"Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
As Jesus walked the dusty roads of Jerusalem people would look at Him and see something never seen before. God's love and power wrapped up in one man. His presence was so powerful that people were drawn. His power was so compelling that one of His disciples, thought to be John, could not stop himself from placing His head on Jesus' chest. (John 13:23-25)
How is it that God's love and power can become purely manifest in one person in such a way that others become attracted like magnets? Furthermore, from that presence people receive healing, wisdom, and compassion. The answer is humility.
Throughout the Gospels, it's repeated explained that Jesus is relinquished to the Father to tally and completely. Jesus' relinquished lifestyle is the highest example of humility toward God which delivers God's presence in the flesh.
Many of us are presented with difficulties. More often than not, we get on our knees and pray. But prayer is only part of the solution. Humility is the part of the solution. Just remember that Jesus lived a humble life and was obedient to death on the cross. (Philippians 2:8)
This level of humility is how God's highest and best love and power can be manifest in us. (Matthew 23:12) In fact, according to Proverbs 22:4 it is "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life (longevity)."
So what kind of humility are we talking about? For the answer we have to reflect on Jesus, the perfect example. The Bible states that He had "no beauty that people should desire Him..." (Isaiah 53:2), so He was humble in appearance. He was compassionate toward crowds of people. (Matthew 9:36) In Mark 10:45 it states that He came to serve, not be served. So He had the attitude of a humble selfless servant. Jesus was completely submissive and the Father exalted Him over all through His final act of submission - death on the cross. Which by the way is an act of love and kindness toward all of us.
The Science Behind Loving-Kindness
What if I told you that God physically designed you and I with the same capacity to love with complete submissiveness would you believe me? Fortunately, we can thank the scientific community for the countless hours they spend dreaming up experiments and then vigorously testing theories.
In a research article published in March 26, 2008 and titled Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise conducted by Antoine Lutz, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, Tom Johnstone, and Richard J. Davidson, demonstrated that the merely the sound of human distress calls causes biological changes in the body like dilation of the pupils and activation of limbic the regions including the insula and cingulate cortices.
Interestingly, during meditation the activation of the insula was greater when presented with distress calls. These results support the role of the limbic circuitry in emotional sharing with another person's pain. The activation also showed an increased activity in the amygdala, right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) during meditation.Let's put it this way, your brain is wired for to experience love, compassion, even without regard personal safety or well-being. Isn't that what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross? In the end He pleaded with God to take the cup of His fate away, nevertheless, He chose God will in total submission to us and God as the Perfect Servant. (Luke 22:42)
Activating Your Loving-Kindness
Ephesians 4:32 is a verse that exemplifies love expressed in humility, and is the key to being spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and even physically exalted by God (Matthew 23:12)
Christian loving-kindness meditation, is a method of developing love and compassion toward others in humility toward God. It comes from the biblical principle that we should holy because God is holy. (Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:16) In Matthew 5:43 - 48 Jesus equates the perfection of the soul to God when we love and do good to everyone, including those who hate us. Christian loving-kindness meditation is essentially about cultivating the love of Christ for all people.
Christian Loving-Kindness Practice Instructions
This meditation is about the Lord's unconditional love for you and all people. It has no conditions (Matthew 5:43 - 48); it does not depend on whether one “deserves” it or not. This type of love has no restriction. Just as Jesus died for sinners who did not deserve His love, so our love must be reflected as light to all people. (Matthew 5:45)
This is the ideal, pure love, which comes to us from God, has the potential of perfecting us in holiness, and it starts with the greatest commandment to love God.Once our entire heart, soul, and mind is completely submitted to loving God, and nothing else, we can move on to the next stage, loving others. (The second greatest commandment)It would be very difficult to extend a God-like love to others without following the first and second greatest commandments. Practicing these two precepts will gradually have an effect on your life experiences.
This meditation cultivates of care, concern, tenderness, love, patience, kindness, friendship, gentleness, peace, forgiveness, tolerance, and self control. The practice will soften heart, soul, and mind under God's power (meekness - 1 Peter 3:4, Ps 37:11, Mt 5:5, Mt 11:29) and open the door to deeper and deeper levels of God's pure love.
As you travel on the loving kindness path with Christ's humility keep in mind 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
"Love is long-suffering and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away."
So love rules over all things, and rightly so since it has the power to imbue us with God's perfect and powerful love.
Get into a comfortable position, preferably sitting. Take a deep breath and release. Do this 3 or 4 times to relax mind and body.
Anchor your attention on Jesus. Start to dwell in Him. Feel the love and joy you get from communing with Him this way.
Next start to experience the Life in Jesus. Since it comes from the Father you are experiencing the Father. Dwell in this state for 2 or 3 minutes. Experience God the Father in Jesus.
Start loving God your creator with your entire heart, soul, and mind. All carnal, or worldly thought, must be set aside at this moment. If your mind produces a thought, simply acknowledge it, and let your mind become relaxed and completely absorbed in God as you love Him. Do this for about 2 to 3 minutes.
In this state of mind take a deep breath, release, and let go of any feeling of inadequacy, rejection, self esteem, and so on. Let go of anything that might block you from loving all human beings freely and with limit (Mt 5:43-48)
Once you've let go of any block become totally and completely aware of God's love for you and others. (Mt 5:45) Bask in it for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Now start loving others. Start by loving people who are closest to you and who may annoy you in some way. Visualize each one and feel strong unconditional love for them. At this time you may think of ways to express your love for them, go ahead. Do this for everyone that may cause you some distress.
Love them with your entire being like God would. (Mt 5:45) Let your love for each person spread through your whole heart, soul, mind, and body. (Mt 5:48)
Next, allow your love for these people to flow outward to all people. (Mt 5:45) Start to feel love for everyone around the people you focused on and beyond. See your love grow through towns, cities, counties, states, countries, and finally the world. See yourself loving all people with Jesus. (Mt 5:45) Feel it. Radiate it. Be it.
Start loving Jesus. Love Jesus with all your heart soul and mind. Let go in your love for Him. Be attentive to Jesus and observe your feelings, emotions, and thoughts as you love Jesus.
Take a deep breath and let go. Relax. Start to slowly become aware of the room you're in. become aware of your physical position. Start to slowly move your head, fingers, and toes. Then start to slowly open your eyes. Coming out of your meditation should take 2 or 3 minutes.
The entire meditation should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
The Additional Benefit Of Practicing Loving Kindness
Although, totally relinquishing to God in humility so we can love more perfectly like God has a great promise attached to it, "that we may be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect." it doesn't end there.
In our article, "Love, Longevity, and Telomeres" we revealed the amazing effect love, kindness, and compassion have on our genetics. This leaves us no room but to once again confirm God's word as infallible.
In Proverbs 4:22 is states that if we keep His word it will be health to our flesh. Being humble enough to obey His word of loving god and others is a precept that not only changes us spiritually by genetically.
Hope you enjoyed this article. Please post your comments below. Let us know what techniques you use to practice loving-kindness during the day. We love you and we're praying for you. God bless.
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