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The Daily Word of Righteousness
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (I John 4:8)
Of all possible attainments, the most important are in the realm of relationships. When relationships are troubled, none of the other aspects of life is satisfactory. All are spoiled.
When relationships have been perfected everything else falls into line. Warped relationships have brought the world to the grief-filled, ruinous conditions that exist in our time.
Only God can correct our relationships.
The "treasures in heaven" of which Jesus spoke are relationships. "Things" do not make a heaven. Only relationships can make a heaven.
Let us examine what must take place in us before our relationships can be corrected.
In order to understand what God is doing in us we must see clearly the two lives that are at issue.
Our natural, human life consists of a self-seeking soul in an animal body.
The life into which we are being transformed consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwelling with us in perfect, complete union in an incorruptible, eternal body.
These two lives are different in kind.
The first man is Adam. The second man is created from the Nature of the Lord from Heaven.
The first man is a living soul. The second man is a life-giving spirit (I Corinthians 15:45-47).
Both of these persons or lives, however you wish to term them, desire love, joy, and peace. For both of them, relationships are an important part of love, joy, and peace.
Neither of these "persons" can obtain love, joy, or peace until he loves (or seeks to love) God and his neighbor.
However, the first man, the self-seeking soul in the animal body, has a great deal of trouble loving God and his neighbor. His love is clamorous, self-seeking, filled with pain, jealousy, strife. It easily is broken. Natural love readily turns into hate.
It is impossible for the first man, the living soul, to acquire satisfactory relationships. He is not capable of them.
God has commanded each of us to love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. Yet, it is not possible for the natural man to do so, and God understands that.
God gave the Jews many commandments, such as the careful observance of the seven feasts, while they still were in the wilderness (Leviticus, Chapter 23). Since several of the feasts were agricultural in nature it was not possible to keep them in the wilderness. The agricultural feasts, such as the feast of Tabernacles, could not be celebrated until the Israelites had arrived in the land of promise. Did God know what He was doing?
God understood very well that the Jews in the desert could not celebrate agricultural feasts. God understands very well that it is not possible for us in our present state to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves.
Therefore God has planned for us a new kind of life, a life in union with Himself in which loving, joyous, and peaceful relationships are possible.
To be continued.