Sunday, April 22, 2012

Love Perfected

So, I thought that God was giving me a new post about godless chatter, but come to find out, He would rather me discuss the subject of love perfected.

I just had an instant of great revelation on this.  I'm glad to get to share this with you guys! I know that I've posted before on love, but this I guess can just be an adjunct to that post.

I have been praying for quite a while now, that God would place in me motives that were driven by love.  That everything I did was just oozing God's love onto others.  I know that I've never loved fully anyone- I'm serious- no one.  God began to reveal some deep places in my heart that was (in some cases) absent of love altogether.  It's not something that none of us want to see in ourselves, but we all know we lack.  Well, be careful what you pray for, because God will begin to dig up your dirt, so be prepared to embrace your deepest darkest fears.  What more does a person fear than not being loved?  Really?  I honestly don't know.  EVERY human being desires to be loved.

If everyone could grasp and put into practice this one revelation of love, the world could be changed completely in a day.

 1 John 4:7-21

God’s Love and Ours

 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


I'm going to pull this scripture apart piece by piece and point out some very key truths that God spoke into my heart and changed my way of thinking. 

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

So we all know the "Golden Rule"- Love your neighbor as yourself.  Okay, so any Christian will agree that this is truth and this is God's ultimate command to us.

Then.......why aren't we doing it?   I'm preaching to the choir on this one.  I mean,  was really distraught after reading the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and realized that I wasn't anywhere close to being a true Christ-ian (yes, I mean to put the dash there).  If we don't love our neighbors, honestly, we NEED to question whether or not we truly love God.  Or are we just pretending to be a Christian?

Honestly, I think for a while, I was on the lines of playing the good ole Christian game of coming to church, sitting down, singing a few songs, smiling when I felt like it, and maybe saying a few 'amen's to agree with the pastor's sermon.  I loved others, but not anywhere near enough.

I loved my bubble of comfort a whole lot more, though.

What good does it do to only love your close friends, or your spouse, or your kids?
What good does it do if our love for God never leaves our homes, our churches, or even our hearts?

Sometimes we have to love the people who don't give us love back.
God does. So should we!
  
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.    God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.

The love we receive from Christ is not given so that we horde it all to ourselves.  If God is light, and He radiates, and  if he is also love, well, doesn't love radiate. Wouldn't make sense for love to have frequency waves as well? And if we are made in God's image, should we be looking like Him, radiating Love's light?  Absolutely!!

Here's our dilemma:
We think that it's only safe to love in an environment that was previously set up for love to flourish.  But aren't we carriers of God's presence inside of us?  Isn't that enough nesting ground for love already?  We are supposed to be reflecting God.  So, we shouldn't wait on others to love first.

God first loved us, so we should first love others.

There's a video I watched of a teaching by a rabbi who lives in Jerusalem and he did a great job explaining this. I encourage you to take the time to watch this explanation of love.  It's convicting but truthful.  The first time I watched the series, my mind was blown.  Jews really have a great understanding of God and creation (of course).

Love = Vulnerability
This is the main point Rabbi Yom Tov Glaser makes.  If we love first, If we take down our guards, not fear that those people we love will hurt us.  If we have fear, we don't have love.  These two elements are constantly at war with one another.


The opposite of love is fear which is the absence of love as well.

 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Fear is not of God because fear is not of love.
Fear is the absence of Love.
Fear is what builds the 100 mile-long gap between two people-especially between a person and God.  But, there's a hope, and a combat for fear-  God's love (obviously).  God's love working in and through us causes us to have courage.  Think about it, when two people are "in love", they miraculously find courage to try new things that they were bound and determined not to try before they fell in love with this other person.  But because their love for this person is so strong, all fear they had has been expelled and no longer dwells in them.  They, then are free to move outside of their realm of confinement into a new, greater expanse.  It's the very same principle with our relationship with God.  When we find God's love welling up inside of us, and we are just so in love with the Lord, these things we used to be afraid of seem like grains of sand to stomp on.

Fear has to do with punishment.
So, that means that when we fail to truly love others, we are automatically casting judgment on them.  We are basically saying in our hearts that this person is not worthy of our love.  If God had practiced this, then we'd all be cast into hell already.  But God's love distributes mercy.  So even when a person seems like they are unworthy of love, even the ones who have does the greatest damage, they are not marked off the infinite list of people to love.

God's been showing me also how to practice love.  Because it still is something we have to work toward.  Our human nature doesn't want to love others.  It wants to love itself and love how others love it.  So, sometimes, though it may seem humiliating, or uncomfortable, (aka vulnerable), we have to go out of our way to love someone- whether that means giving just an encouraging word, or giving food to someone in need, or maybe someone just needs a big hug.  God gave us brains to be creative with how we distribute love.

What would the world be like if everyone was completely living in Love?
AWESOME!

If love was our sole motivation, there wouldn't be hurt, crime, drugs, alcohol, porn, or stripclubs.  There wouldn't be children without caring parents.  There wouldn't be abortion.  There wouldn't even be divisions of churches.

With the great words and wisdom God gave Paul:
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.
(2 Corinthians 6:11-13)

Open wide your heart and let love out!  :)

1 comment:

  1. whew!

    that. was. so. good.
    and much needed to hear.

    thank you dear

    ReplyDelete