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A study on love (4Pt) part 1

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by Raw Clay, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. Raw Clay

    Raw Clay New Member

    4
    +0
    Four part series on love.
    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
    1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

    Included in God’s love are goodness, mercy, sympathy and understanding. Human love produces ardent affection and strong personal attachment. God’s love combined with our love brings meaning and purpose to life.

    Part 1
    We are commanded to love our Lord.

    Rom 12:11, Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
    2 Pet 3:14b, ...be zealous to be found by Him without spot or blemish... RSV

    See? God COMMANDS us to have a zeal and passion for Him. What does this have to do with the series?

    2 things:

    1. Passion is OBTAINABLE. God will always enable us to obey His commands!!! He would never command us to do anything that He wouldn't enable us to do. Don’t think that this’ll come over night, either!! It takes time and dedication. Ultimately, when He is ready. It is His will, you know?! (Keep reading to find out HOW to obtain this passion!!)
    2. Passion is something that must be maintained. God would not command us to maintain something we could not lose. Our walk with Christ will have ups and downs like a roller coaster. Why, because we are imperfect, tainted human beings. However, with Christ, our roller coaster ride can go up in a general direction. Think of it like a drive into the mountains. Our goal is the top, but along the way, there will be ups and downs and twists and turns, but ultimately, we will always be going up. We must maintain that upward accent or we will not get there. One of the guys in my discipleship group was telling us about Summer Camp and how three boys were saved. He told them, “Don’t let this be the peak of your relationship. This is great now, but it should only get better!” To clarify, I’m not saying that you must be perfect to get to Heaven. No one can be perfect. But as Christians, our common goal IS to strive to be just like Jesus. He is our idol, our hero and icon. We must strive to be as close to being like Him as possible. So, maintaining an upward accent to the top of the mountain is just a metaphor to get across that we must always be striving to be like Him.

    So, how do we do that? How do we (learn to) love our Lord?

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment…’”

    To know love is to know and love the Lord. A few ways to get to know Him better would be through discipleship, fellowship, prayer and very importantly, reading the Bible! If we don’t know how to love the Lord, then we will never love the way He has commanded us to. We may think we know what love is, but we don’t. When I was younger, I thought I had love nailed. I’d think, ‘Boy, I love her/him, they do this for me and that for me…’ But, it was all out of self-gain. I loved them for what they did for ME! Hardly ever was I serving THEM!! I was looking for those things that they would do for me to maintain the life of the relationship. My basis was WAY off! Ever heard of unconditional love? Not me, not then.

    Learning to love the Lord means knowing why He loves you. Have you ever drawn a picture when you were a child that you were so proud of and so happy with that you RAN to your mommy with it in your hands out far in front of you displaying your masterpiece? “Look what I did, Mommy!!” And your mother probably told you how perfect it was and proudly displayed it on the refrigerator with gold stars and her best magnets. Much like that masterpiece that you created, God created you perfect in His eyes. We as humans mess things up for ourselves, but God is perfect. He is Perfection. He created you with a deep love and perfection that we need to understand in order to appreciate His love for us.

    Remember near the top of this study, you’ll find that God’s love included the following:
    ~Goodness
    ~Mercy
    ~Sympathy
    ~Understanding

    In Romans, Paul challenges the believers in Rome to focus on the MERCY of God: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
    Rom 12:1 NIV

    “Therefore,” means ‘because of.’ Because of what? Because of the promise God made to save Israel in Isaiah 27:9 and 59:20-21 (also in Jeremiah 31:33-34) that Paul was telling the Romans about. This is an example of goodness, sympathy and understanding, while focusing on His mercy, is it not? He made a promise and is keeping it. This can be read about in the preceding chapter. The promise is as follows from Isaiah:

    And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
    “The Deliverer will come from Zion;
    He will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
    And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

    “…I urge you, brothers…” is to encourage. I was told by a pastor once to be careful not to teach if not appointed to teach by God, but we should always encourage one another as Christians.

    “…in view of God’s mercy…” God made a promise to Israel, a covenant. They didn’t necessarily deserve the Lord’s mercy, yet, He WAS merciful! This was a wake up call! “Look at all you’ve done, yet God still keeps His promise! Look how merciful He is to you!!” I could just hear Paul now.

    “…to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” You just can’t be a Christian and cruse through life, being a product of a promise. As a Christian, it is our duty to sanctify, if you will, ourselves for the Lord’s Glory, setting an example to those who aren’t saved, and even those who are, and letting them see Christ through us. This IS our duty! But still, I think there was more to what Paul was saying to them. To offer their bodies as living sacrifices, unholy as they were, would mean nothing to the Lord. But to be holy and pleasing to God, that’s where it counts. Nothing we do as humans can ever make up for what the Lord our God does for us, yet He still loves us. When we begin to understand exactly how God loves us and what unconditional love really means, we will WANT to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to our Holy Savior.

    Profession of love for the Lord is futile if words, deeds and actions indicate a lack of commitment to Him. I say to a fellow believer, “I love the Lord our God!” then turn and curse or vainly speak of His name. You can’t be a hypocrite, even behind others’ backs. God sees all of that and it is obviously not pleasing to Him.

    If the love of possessions, pleasure and popularity are more important to us than pleasing God, we are still “conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will.” This first reminds me of the Bible; do we take it literally or figuratively? It was, after all, created how many years ago!? I believe that when the Bible is figurative, it is figurative, such as parables. Yet, when it blatantly states that 200 million horsemen will kill a third of the population in the End Times (Rev 9:16), it is being very literal. Don’t put things past God. If you believe the Bible and what it says, that means that you believe God provided man with the ability to write it. If it was not of His will, it wouldn’t be in there!

    God wants our love without reservation, giving Him first place in our lives, using our time, talent and treasure, which He gave us, for Him. Look at Matthew 19:21, it says, “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’" There will come a time for you when you will be “tested” so to speak. It may be as subtle as giving your last $5 to someone you know who needs it more than you. It may be as big as getting an offer for a job you’ve literally been waiting for all your life with great pay and benefits and turn it down because God has given you the opportunity to serve Him for less money with less than desirable circumstances. God will provide for you, you must prove faithful, however. You may think that it is less than desirable, but that’s because you’re “conformed to the world.” Matthew 10:37-39 says, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    Find your life in Jesus and learn to love Him. Your life will be renewed like you’ve never imagined!

    With love, brothers and sisters,
    His servant
     
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  2. altya

    altya Servant of God

    +260
    Non-Denom
    Thanks, there was some questions about love not so long ago.
     
  3. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
     

    There STILL are!
     
  4. altya

    altya Servant of God

    +260
    Non-Denom
    I wish to know how anyone can define love. I tried to but fail. All I know is what love do or what the substance of love is, and only the Agape love. All the fruit of the spirit together makes this love ‘working’

    The philo love is for me 'to high to come by'.
     
  5. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    I would like someone to define "to high to come by", because there is no such term in my dictionary.

    But there have been "libraries" written on love. If Agape is all you know, it is enough.  Don't worry about definitions.

    Some people listen to music, others feel it.

    Some people eat a meal, others savor it.

    Some people enjoy a good book, others lose themselves in it.

    Some Christians talk about soul winning, others do it.

    Some people define love, others experience it.

    Whatever love you know, experience it, feel it, savor it, lose yourself in it, and let it define itself.
     
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