Love Just One

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

The Upward Call
It is sad, but many Christians muddy along, hoping for nothing loftier than a short reprieve from sin and self-condemnation. Should the lowliness of our sinful state have veto power over the enormity of God's promises? May it never be! For Scripture assures us that our call, even as lowly as we feel sometimes, is an upward climb that relies upon faith in God's abilities and Christ's redemption. We are not harnessed to our flaws and weaknesses; rather, in spirit-to-Spirit fusion we are united to the resurrection power of Heaven! Our call is not merely to attend church but to walk with God, whose eternal goal has predestined us to be "conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom.8:29).

Yes, let us deeply repent for our sins and learn to walk humbly with our God, but let us not assume faith must depart so humility may arise. No, our adoption as sons and daughters has made us joint heirs with Christ. You see, everything concerning our salvation and the gifts of God in our lives comes to us not as something we attain by works but as an inheritance we receive by faith.

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:16-17).

Therefore let us set our hopes high upon the promises of God. Though we fall, the Lord will lift us (Prov.24:16; Micah 7:7-8). God's grace will not wilt because we're weak. In ever-increasing degrees He will work in us conformity to Christ the Redeemer. Let us take faith: God will help us.

The Voice of Love

Let me take our statements of faith further and make our quest for discernment as practical as possible. If we seek to know Christ's motives we will soon perceive His thoughts, for thoughts exist to fulfill motives. Christ's motive for coming to mankind is to reveal the Father's love. If we obtain His motive, we will increasingly hear His thoughts.

Thus, as we seek true discernment, let us make our steps practical by turning our focus upon Christ's love. Indeed, God's Word tells us that "faith work[s] through love" (Gal. 5:6). Our discernment is made more sure as we rest our heads upon Christ's breast and listen to His heart.

Yet I also acknowledge that, for some, to love as Christ has loved us remains an ideal too far to reach. Therefore let's start small and bring this task close to home. Rather than attempting to love everyone, let us reduce our challenge and determine to love just one person. Now I do not mean stop loving family or those you already love. I mean add just one person and love that individual in a greater way.

This person may be a lost neighbor or a backslidden friend; he or she might be a sick acquaintance or an elderly person from church or a child in pain. The Lord will lead you and help you reduce your goal to genuinely loving just one soul.

Come to this experiment without seeking to correct him or her, unless they themselves ask for advice. Pray daily for the individual. And as you listen to the voice of God's love, something inside you will flower and open naturally toward higher realms of discernment. Inspired by God, impulses and ideas born of love will increase in your relationship with others as well, and the knowledge and insights you gain from loving just one will become a natural part of your personality in loving many.

Yes, discernment will grow as you love just one.


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, Spiritual Discernment and the Mind of Christ available at www.arrowbookstore.com.