During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier’s fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell’s heart was touched and he said, “Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!”
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12
God, through His Word, is pronouncing to us that the effects and results of love will live far beyond the moments of our life. When we pass on into eternity, and our frail, mortal bodies are laid into the grave to rot, what we have done on this earth, and who we were, will still echo to all those whom we have touched. Such deeds of love will never rot. When real, authentic love is in our lives, it is endowed with an eternal quality, because God is empowering that love.
So, we need to take this seriously, and with confidence, to allow love to flow into us from Christ, and, in return, flow out from us to those around us. God’s love is the ultimate power for the Christian. Character, and the love that infuses it, will be the only thing we produce that we will take with us into Heaven, the only thing that matters. Love has power that transcends human logic and emotions. So, while we remain here on this earth, let us perform our life with love! Allow your relationships to be built on love instead of the pride and spite we so often dish out.
In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.”
If you are thinking, wait, I might get hurt. or, I have been rejected after I spent so much of my time and energies on so-and-so. Well, take to heart this valuable point; you did not waste your time. Giving love and time to others even when we do not get anything back or even if we get hate thrown back at us, is never a waste of time. Emulating and fostering real love is never a waste, because we followed Him! Love is not about our circumstances; it is about Christ working in us. Remember, God has born your hurt, too!
When love is practiced, our relationships are certain to succeed. When we practice love, we are both trusting and obeying our Lord, doing His prime will. We can take to heart that the love we give will never be defeated, no matter how poorly people treat us in return, or, only appear to be playing their part. When we give love and it is not returned, the hurt and rejection we receive is not in vain. We may feel hurt, confused, and not understand what has happened or why we did not succeed. But, in God’s eyes, we did succeed. Our time of giving love did not go to waste! We all, at some time, will experience love for someone who does not return it to us; perhaps you were even the one who did not return it to someone else. There are a multitude of reasons for that. Maybe the love was not meant to be; perhaps he/she was the wrong person for you. Maybe you got your signals crossed, or maybe you were too afraid to take the chance. Maybe the fear of being rejected consumed you, so, you are alone now. Your hurt has become your identity, while love and relationships go unmet and undone. If this is your life, remember: Love is never offered in vain. Your hurt has not been borne alone!
Pride goes before destruction!
God is eternal, He is self existent always was and is. The power to be in of Himself, without outside start or influences. He is not dependent on anything else, eve our worship and praise that please Him, does not feed Him. We have a strat and finish. We begin and we will end. In this God was already there, He already existed, a firm foundation all all eternity, Love with beginning or ending seeking us. OH WOW what a great comfort we have!
In the Hebrew language, God is described as love throughout the OT Scriptures. Especially when He leads out His people from bondage into the promised land.
In Mica we are asked what does the Lord require of you? The essence of the passage is love, as the operational parameters in all of the work and function in life that we do.
In the book of Hosea the basic theme is loving mercy (Hos. 4: 1-19). The profit is giving us a subpoena from God that we have committed a crime, spiritual adultery. The Hebrews flat out rejected His truth, His priests, His prophets and every thing eslse that is godly. This was not a pep talk, but a walk with God the Father to behind the woodshed for a beating they deserved. The Hebrews forgot truth and mercy and love was left as waist, and waist was used as their spiritual food. “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” not because of a lack of food or military might, because they forgot God and to follow His decrees. They forgot to be the light to the world, they forgot who they are in God and what He did for them. So God asked Hosea to take a wife who was a harlot as an example of what God has gone through. The name of the son and daughter they have is an example of who Israel behaved to God and how God can and would retaliate using the same behaviors against them as they used to God and others, Yet God remains hopeful and still operates to His problem children in Love! God rejects the people for their sins and still remains hopeful they will come back to Him and says they will come back to Him.
Electing or Sovereign Love of God: Eph. 3:
Gen 29: 28 vs 31; Rom 9 Jacob God loved and Esau God hated! So why? God has some sort of preface for the distribution of His love. He loves them both, but one more than the other. So the % of the difference is so vast it seems like hate as in a comparison.
Three types of love
Benelavence means good well being, the opposite is menelavance which is to with evil on someone. Luke 2:8-20 The Shepard’s song of glory to God in the highest, peace, good well. This is benalavence, God’s good well to us, then how we are to be toward others. God’s only will is good, and this is His attitude toward us as his created beings. Ezec. 33:10f; this is where Frances Schaeffer got his idea of “How then Shall we Live?”
Beneficence love is doing good actions flow out of good will. Matt. 5:43-48 love is a verb here where we normal classify it as a noun. It is love as an idea verse love as an action, what we do come out of what we are.
The word arus does not appear in the NT, but the writes would have been well aware of it! It is erotic love as in the temple prostitutes and even though the Greek philosophers used it and cleaned it up so to speak, it is necessary for us to know of it for reason of contrast and that there are different and very different levels and interpretations for love.
Agape is the ultimate form of love. Jesus says to Peter do you love me more than me, and Jesus calls Peter Simon! The word agape is used. Peters answer is yes and you know I do, an almost rebuke, but Peter uses the word phelo. Although John uses both words interchangeable and thus the two words for love in their context can be the same or it can be a contrast, perhaps both. I believe it is a contrast and peter is still coming in to maturity and ownership of his faith. This was Jesus final personal challenge to him. So an inference by the tree time the question is asked that Peter is missing the point. And Peter does follow Jesus and is even martyred for the faith. Remember we too have the same call to Love and the giving of ourselves to Christ and the people of God!
I Cor 13, love cannot exist when the opposite traits are ruling us, love cannot be in the same parameters as love…
What love is not is as important as what love is!
In society it is our performance that gets peoples attention and respect. Most commentators during the Clinton scandals said what he did on his off time did not matter. Thus, if you are an actor or a president and have illegitimate children, cannot not manage your personal life and have a string of affairs it does not matter. But in Christianity performance is secondary, because it is our love that matters. And our character and behaviors will flow from our love, so we can manage our lives effectively and godly. Love cannot exist when the opposite traits are ruling us, so love cannot be in the same program parameters as love. If we are envious we cannot love.
Just look at envy and how destructive it is. It cases us to desire what we do not have then takes it further to violence and destruction such ad vandalism; can you imagine Jesus acting that way?
Love does not parade itself, this is what animas do to attract a mate, it is our vile fallen nature that exhibits this, to puff ourselves up as we are then main show as we are all that. When it is Christ who is all that. This is hard for us to do, to do seek others ahead of ourselves even a spouse or family member. So seek their insets and what they want over ourselves, but this is what Jesus does. “Not my will but yours father”. This is not being naive, but modeling Christ like behavior.
God is not calling us to have a child like faith, but a faith in maturity. Yes there are aspects of child likeness we are to emulate and that is the trust and acceptance, but as paul say as a child I aced as a child….!
No matter what we do if we do not have love we have nothing!
This is a reflection of God’s love. What love is not is as significant as what love is.
(See RC book Loved by God; J Edwards book on love charity and its fruits)
As we are the mirrors of Christ, He is seen by who we are. When we stand up for the faith and act in good character, people will come against us with gossip and slander because their plans become disrupted and their desires are found guilty. But, when we remain faithful, regardless of the circumstances, they will see virtue and honor in action and, thus, have a glimpse in God’s character and call even if they reject Him and seek to kill us. There will be times when it seems our efforts are weighted because people do not listen or do not repent. But, they are not. Each action we share is looked upon by others. We are watched! So, when we live to honor God, people will have the example they need to accept His grace or reject Him. We may never see the fruits, but they are there. We have a God who will judge and return, so let us get busy and make sure all those who come across our path see Him in us!