Loving God, serving people

The Reunion Church
     8153 W. Cactus Rd, Peoria, AZ  85381


Go L%V# Yourself

Go L%V# Yourself

The concept of “self”


noun \ ˈself – plural selves\ ˈselvz

Definition of self

  • an individual’s typical character or behavior
  • an individual’s temporary behavior or character
  • a person in prime condition
  • the union of elements (such as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person
  • personal interest or advantage
  • the entire person of an individual
  • the realization or embodiment of an abstraction
  • material that is part of an individual organism

So what do we really mean when we discuss the concept of “self”? I know what my mind conjures up – the workings of the inner monologue that sometimes seems non-existent, and yet at other times is so deafeningly loud that it drowns out my surroundings. People, places, and things can just instantaneously disappear when I escape or drift off into my “self”.

The “self” includes my emotions – how I interact with and react to stimuli that I encounter. How things make me feel – truly unique as it is sometimes exactly the same as others and at the same time exactly and completely opposite than others.

The “self” is the collection and storehouse of my knowledge. It is the books that I have read. It is the education that I have received. It is the training that I have encountered – it is what was gained from the numerous jobs and careers that I have pursued and that have pursued me.

It is my sense of morals and what I believe to be true – about people, about life, about social constructs, about religion, about god – big G God and little.

The most compelling definition from Merriam Webster (according to my “self”) is the longest:

Self – the union of elements (such as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person

Note here the inclusion of sensations – which is inherent in my concept of “self”. It is desire, it is passion, fear, doubt, hope, dreams – the very constructs of our sense of reality and interactions with a physical/spiritual/ethereal world.

The concept of “self” is the basis of our existence and the origin of the exploration and adventure that we refer to as life.

Now, these are mine – these thoughts and concepts and attempts at explanation. However, they are not unique to me. I do not own them completely. I share this outlook with like minded individuals. I build upon my paradigm (my outlook and model for life) by gleaning and learning from other “selfs”.

All that being said, let’s take a look at another term that makes up the declaration of today – Go L%V# Yourself – Love.

The concept of “love”


noun \ ˈləv \

Definition of love

  • strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
  • attraction based on sexual desire: affection and tenderness felt by lovers
  • affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
  • an assurance of affection
  • warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
  • the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration
  • a beloved person: DARLING —often used as a term of endearment
  • British —used as an informal term of address
  • unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as
  • the fatherly concern of God for humankind
  • brotherly concern for others
  • a person’s adoration of God
  • a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love
  • an amorous episode: LOVE AFFAIR
  • the sexual embrace: COPULATION
  • a score of zero (as in tennis)
  • capitalized, Christian Science: GOD

So what do we really mean when we discuss the concept of “love”? I know my mental image is quite segmented in an attempt to classify love. For me, it really breaks down as love in general – romantic love – and God Love.

Love, in general, is the Beatles and All You Need is Love – it is the warm sentiment that makes us human. It is what drives and defines compassion and caring. It is world peace and THE answer, THE emotion, THE driving principle. It is what divides evil from good and it is the one thing that we can seemingly agree on as human beings.

Romantic love is rom-coms, love letters, passion and purpose. It is staring into your chosen person’s eyes and discovering their soul. It is carnal and desirous, it is warm and fuzzy and a dozen roses and sonnets and ballads – it is first kisses and final wishes.

And love is dark and unrelenting. It drives the sanest of minds beyond their brink. It destroys families and friendships. It creates doubt, and jealousy – it enrages and incites. It pushes the depressed beyond reason. It kills.

It cannot be defined as it is a collection of our culture. It is a collection of our wants and our desires. It is a collection of our consumption – of news, and politics, and sports, and entertainment – our insatiable appetites for comfort.

And we say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

I say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

You say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

And we mean it. We are here, at this time – the same as others before us always have been. We are here, at this time – and we are navigating the space that is our “self” and we are attempting to attain “love”. And broken and scared we look out on our lives, on the lives of our friends and family, on the lives of our community and city and state and our county – and we’re saddened. Some of us – and possibly this is just my “self” talking here – but some of us have become consumed in our judgment. We’ve become consumed in our self-righteousness. We become consumed by our intense application of a “love” paradigm that fails to deliver.

And we say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

I say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

You say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

And we feel justified. I feel justified in this. I really just want to shake some people sometimes and scream from the depths of my soul and reason and then question their motives and their character and their heart. How do we hurt and hate so many people? How do we tear down others in order to build up ourselves? How do we bully and beat down and stomp-on and oppress?

Because we say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

I say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

You say, “Go L%V# Yourself”

And we take no time to define – outside of our “self” – what Love and self are. Love and Self are the embodiment and the gift of a Creator God. They are not things that can be owned or reasoned to or actually even attained – they can only be received and experienced because they are offered.

So what does that mean? How does that change anything at all? What does that look like – a realization that Love and Self are gifts and not our own?

It looks like Jesus.

It’s really that simple

It looks like getting over your “self”

It looks like forgiveness

It looks like meekness

It looks like turning the other cheek

It looks like the relentless pursuit of the broken, and the lonely, and the outcast

It looks like truth – even when it’s unpopular

Listen to Jesus:

The Sermon on the Mount – excerpts from Matthew 5

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This should rock your image of success and blessing. The poor in spirit (that would be humble and hurting) those mourning and meek, those who literally hunger and thirst in their soul for what is good and right, those who offer mercy in all circumstances instead of impatience and intolerance, those who seek peaceful resolution and not violence and hate – and ultimately those people who are spit on and beat down and laughed at…. Jesus names them blessed and says they will inherit the earth.


“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Jesus says to let go of your “self”. He isn’t even speaking about people that you don’t like or don’t agree with politically. He is speaking to your life and your friendships, your families, your communities and your co-workers. Your hatred and your anger towards people is a selfish retreat into your “self” and does not tear down or destroy others – it consumes your soul and your eternity with the fire of hell.


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Pornography is at an all-time high. Do you realize that porn makes up ⅔ of all internet usage? It makes a world run rampant with sex trafficking, abduction, rape, disease – and the laughable part is that we disregard and live in a world where this isn’t cheating, this isn’t bad, this lust doesn’t stain our “self” – go L%V# yourself takes on the full sense of its meaning here and that’s not an attempt to be crude. It should shock the hell out of us to realize that Jesus goes to the extreme of suggesting mutilation (even castration in this context) to keep us from hell.


“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Divorce is higher inside the church than outside – marriage is seen as an inconvenience given up on with little to no effort – because we are too caught up in loving our “self” to realize the impact that we are having on the construct of our society and the lives of our children. We’re wrong in our justifications – we are wrong in our excuses. Unpopular opinion, still doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.


“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.


“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

About Reunion Community Church

Located in Peoria, AZ, we are a non-denominational Christian church. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.

We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and YouTube

#GoL%VEYourself #ReunionCommunity #PastorToddSBookout #Sermon

Published by Dr. Victoria Isaac

Dr. Isaac has been involved in Christian ministry for over three decades. She has served as an adjunct professor at several Christian universities, created Christian leadership courses, and written course curricula, and now serves as the President of the Fully Equipped Bible Institute.

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