#115

                                                                                (Source of material:  Rev. B.R.Hicks)

Please read Mark 12:29-31.  Love means to give oneself and to bring near to oneself.  If we give our self to God then He will be brought near to us.  Likewise, if we give our self to our neighbor, then we are able to love our neighbor by bringing him near to us.  We have nothing to give to God except our body of sin.  It causes us to distance ourself from God.  Being distant from God causes Him to be distant from us, therefore, we are not "loving thyself".   Giving our sin to the LORD is an act of love, which will cause Him to draw near to us.  If we want to "love thyself" then we are eager to repent and give our sin to the LORD.  By giving we bring Him near---this is loving thyself.  Exposure of sin by the Holy Ghost and the LORD is to give us an opportunity to draw near to God by giving it to Him.  If we blame people, places, and things for the ungodly behavior we sometimes exhibit, we have forfeited the chance to draw near to God.  If we hold on to unforgiveness, anger, or attitudes, we  have also missed the purpose for why it was exposed:  to bring self near to God and bring near His Holy Presence.  Also, we are not loving our self.  It  is through the act of giving that we love:  ourself and God.  John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He GAVE".   He demonstrated this principle through the giving of His Son so we, through Him, could draw near to God.  He gave us the tabernacle of Moses so we could climb His Stature and get closer to the Father.  

Please read Genesis 16:1-9.  This is the story of the relationship between Sarai and Hagar.  Hagar conceived and refused to humiliate herself before Sarai.  In verse 9 she is told to return to her mistress and submit herself.  By submitting she was loving herself.  By coming under the authority of Sarai she was committing an act of love.  Submissiveness is loving ones self.  

The LORD has a Purposive Will and a Master Plan, and many times these are executed through family, the boss, and personal events.  Exposure of sin is the objective---to give us an opportunity to love self and bring God near.  Painful things (sin) are for the purpose of exposing what we have and what we don't have in God.  If the till comes up short, if we have a deficit of love for self and God, then it is time to give and bring near.  Giving sin to the LORD is an act of loving thyself because you bring His lovely presence near.  Who doesn't want Jesus near?  Who doesn't want to smell His sweet fragrance?  If He is near, then you become what you look upon.  Feeling lonely, distant, detached?  Feel like nobody loves you?  Give your self to God and He will draw near to you.  Feel like you're the same old person and you'll never change?  By having Him near you can gaze into His lovely face and become more like Him.  Having Him near causes His holy attributes to overpower sin as we take on His loving and kind nature.