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Love in Four Dimensions

• Greg Boyd, Rob Kistler, Shawna Boren

The vision of Woodland Hills is “Learning to Love Together.” This is practiced in four dimensions: loving God, loving ourselves, loving other people and loving creation.

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Following Jesus means that we live in love, as Christ loves us. This is lived out in four different ways.

The first dimension of love is to love God. The most important aspect of life is our mental conception of God, which will determine how we actually love God, ourselves, others and creation. We will be spiritually healthy to the degree that we have a beautiful, lovely God. If we have false conceptions of God that do not align with the demonstration of God in Jesus, then we will live in false love, and have our ingrained hunger for life unmet. To the degree that we receive life and love from Christ, we are able to walk on secure ground because our identity is founded on God’s love for us. We are able to love because we have received God’s love. We all need to develop spiritual habits that free us to receive this love.

The second love is the love of ourselves. We naturally practice self-talk based on the way we think about ourselves. Some tend to embrace harsh self-talk, beating themselves up because they are stuck in a false self-image that is not rooted in the love of God. Others are drawn into practices of merely speaking good things about ourselves to help us feel better, whether or not they are actually true. God’s love, in contrast, has bestowed upon us a new identity, one that is founded upon God’s love, and therefore provides a foundation for our self-image and empowers us to have a truthful and loving self-talk.

Love of others is the third dimension of love. We are to be filled with God’s love to the point that we are able to offer that love to others. The Bible speaks of how we are to care for “one another,” which is a mark of those who follow Jesus. Paul wrote in Philippians that we are to consider others as more important than ourselves. This occurs as we forgive each other, encourage each other, bear with each other and serve each other. We have to choose to break out of isolation and independence because the culture will build up walls around us and keep us from living in love.

Loving creation is the final dimension. The Bible teaches that God commissioned us to take care of creation. This means that we must be willing to sacrifice for the sake of the environment.

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Topics: Love

Sermon Series: Sermon on the Mount, Cross Examination


Downloads & Resources

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Study guide
Group Study Guide
Identity in Christ handout
The MuseCast: September 13

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"I am a podrishioner that just wanted to say thanks for sharing Woodland Hills through podcasts and videos. This is my place to get a spiritual refill, and it’s where I get most of my teaching from. Since I've starting following you four years ago, my view on God, myself and other people has radically been changed. Thanks so much, and keep sharing the Kingdom!"

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