Consider these concerns:
* Until we are all changed into the creature God has predestined us to be, we face emotional challenges in our love walk. As individuals, we must love self, so that we can love others without being weak, because of external influences. We must be comfortable in the 'skin' we have, so when we want to express love to others, there is no hindrances from our soul (mind) and spirit.
* The biggest challenge in this love walk is with those who really make our lives difficult, frustrating, and uncomfortable. They could be family, friends, acquaintances, and even church brothers and sisters. They test our patience and peace, and push us to reveal parts of us we have been working on to suppress and control. As the Bible reveals, iron sharpens iron (Prov. 27:17), and without these moments (testings), our love for others would stagnate; not grow, and most importantly mature us in God's ultimate type of love.
* For some of us, to love our enemy unconditionally makes us cringe at the thought, especially when we know that, that individual's sole pleasure in life is to see us fail, have no happiness, and even die. Yet, we are still to love them as ourselves, our family, brothers and sisters in Christ, without any inhibition; by this, we become the epitome of love.
* Learning, growing, and practicing the kind of love God has, is not far fetched as it sounds. And the Bible has several examples of this, even before Jesus came to earth. We find many stories in the Old Testament where God demonstrates His love by compassion and loving kindness (Exodus 34:6-7).
* No greater love than to give one's life for another is the ultimate show of this kind of love as Jesus did.
Besides obedience to God, there is only one other reason for these types and levels of love, and that is to defeat, and keep our enemy (satan) under our feet and thwart his strategies against us; enforcing God's covenant with us. God is love and satan, being the anti-christ, is hate clearly defined. Satan has no remorse or sorrow in him, and his boot from Heaven has turned his wrath into hatred for anything God loves, namely us. Hatred (strife) blinds and leads to confusion, and can be fatal if not stopped and converted into love. This is why, as Christians, we must fight to remain in love, despite how we feel, how things look, and how many others may innocently influence our hate for others.
The New Testament - Matt. 22:36-40, " Love God and your Neighbor" - records that only two commandments are truly required, as these two also cover the others. If we are to be in the family of God and receive all its benefits, then we have to adhere to these two commandments. Now, to me the first is clear as day and absolutely cannot be ignored. And after all, we are talking about the Almighty; He who holds our life in His hands, and through love, gives us a free pass into the Kingdom; with some conditions. Yep, conditions; we just cannot seem to get around some form of compliance where ever we are or what we are doing.
Here's the thing, the second commandment to love your fellow 'person' is not something that you comply with, but we have to assimilate, to take in, to ingest, so that it becomes a part of us; eventually having no distinction. Now, it's easy enough to love those we love and avoid those we don't love, so we aren't put into a position to love them. But it's not that simple once we come to the knowledge of why love has to be true, for all people, despite individual, cultural, religious, and political differences. We are even commanded to love our enemies - Matt. 5:44. To be clear, we are not to love angels, spirits, good or evil, and the things that fall under those categories; this would lead to worship - Col. 2:18. For those of us who like to be legalistic, the Bible commands us to love God, and not Jesus, but He being our savior, intercessor, and part of God; the Word, and as shown in John 14:9, "you know the Father (God) because you have seen Jesus" clearly lays a foundation that Jesus is to be loved equally as God.
Love has not only physical benefits, but more so, spiritual. When applied and received properly, it gives us peace, comfort, and vitality, knowing we have the love God can only give, and in turn our love is pure. On the flip side, when we love anything that preoccupies our time, efforts, and resources they can become idol worship, if not checked and controlled. We must not take the word, and the act of love trivially, because God took the time, through the Word, to clearly define it for the purpose of keeping the channels of His blessings open to us - 1 Corth. 13:2, "without love, we have nothing". We can even without knowing it, over-love our loved ones, turning it into worship, which is contrary to God's expectation of how we are to love.
The weapon of love has no weaknesses or limitations, except those that we impose. This is because we do not comprehend the full value it has, all its many attributes, and often we use it like a power tool without maintaining it. Just like a cordless tool, it must be cared for, and have regular charging, so that when used it gives full power. It must also be used in the proper manner and not abused. The Bible clearly shows us how our love must be - 1 Corth. 13:4. It also lays a foundation of applying love for everyday use. We also must know what love is not, and how to use the proper, and effective application of love; so unintentionally, we don't make the act of love of no righteous effect.
* Love for others can never compromise any other commandments from God.
* Weak, compromised love is not to be used as a substitute for not dealing with and confronting critical issues that spring up in ourselves, families, and acquaintances; especially concerning media programs and social issues that are obviously unrighteous. The application of love must be from God's perspective and not our own, and it must not be from any other psycho babble that permeates our everyday life.
* Love must be applied genuinely, and be reserved, not used as a way of applying political correctness in social gatherings. There must be true emotional; as well as, spiritual power behind it.
* True love has no conditions, except that of Godly righteousness. It is consistent, steadfast, and overcomes obstacles; including physical and spiritual boundaries, and conditions.
* Love requires practice, and must not be applied in any unrighteous method. It must be fresh, sustainable, meaningful, and personal.
* Faith is the twin of love, and the two cannot be separated.
* To love others, and even our enemies, does not require you to be complicit in their actions.
* Love is tangible and has no boundaries in expression. It must transform.
* Love must be treated with respect, and not taken for granted, so as to uphold its righteous values and benefits.
Without Godly and righteous love, we cannot please God and be called sons, daughters, and heirs of His Throne, nor can we defeat satan. Attaining this love, as God defines it, is easy once we have come to that place in our hearts where our wants, motives, and selfishness, no longer factor in any decision of our lives; other than the giving of ourselves. Then, our love becomes a seed that produces several harvests that we and many others benefit from.
Flush it out! - When in doubt, Love.
Love must be the prime concern. I heard of a Christian from a media company who did a story on a false religion, and then received a death threat personally from a fanatic. The media person, would be in their right to demonstrate to the world that they were right about this false religion. Instead, they contacted the religious fanatic, and the love of Christ was applied. This is someone who knows the power and blessings that result from this type of love walk. This was, and is, the love walk that Jesus did, and God wants us to have. As Christians, we are to do righteous work, revealing God, and saving the lost in love.
January 28, 2016
LOVE - The Weapon of Choice.
We are in a spiritual battle, and without realizing it, we are surrendering ground to our enemy because of our love walk, and I am not referring to a carnal love but rather a spiritual love. Many of us, when it comes to obeying God's commandment of love, can find it difficult to accept. It's easier and sounds more reasonable to accept the other commandments, as they are more straight forward. They make obvious sense, and can actually be against the laws of the land.
The Empowered Christian Faith
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