Wow, Love! Here I am being pursued by this message of love. It has been several weeks now and this message is everywhere. I am not talking about Valentine’s day. It’s not a message of romance for that day that comes once a year, but it is a message of death to selfish desires for everyday every year. And it holds power to set us free!
We are learning to “Lift” our charachter through a series done by our youth paster. We are actually looking at our lives and saying, “God search me out- show me anything in me that doesn’t please you.” (Psalm 139) We are actively catching and removing those little foxes that hinder love. (Songs 2:15) So it is clear that we want the way of life that is best of all.
Paul, by a powerful revelation from the Holy Spirit, shows us what that best way of life is: Love! 1 Corinthians 13
He is so sold on the power of love that he says if you or I were to be full of faith doing miracles and even becoming martyers that if we did not posses love then we would have gained nothing and been nothing. If you want to be humbled, then read what Paul says love is and compare it to your own life. These four verses of what love is are supposed to be a reflection of our own life and attitude. This is the charachter that we want to live out- that’s our goal and desire. But how do we get there?
By the law? No. It is the law that awakens those sinful deisres in us. Although the law is good and holy, our sinful nature rebels against it. Then how do we get out of under from the power of sin in our lives?
Death. Yes, we get there not by works or effort but by death. We identify ourselves with Christ’s death on the cross. Paul explains in Romans 7:4, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: you died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the One who ws raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.” Our life now is life through Christ. He goes on to say that we no longer live by the letter of the law but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
So it is the Spirit that produces freedom and love within us. “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.” Galatians 5:22
“He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.” Colossians 1:8
“But we don’t need to write to you the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9
“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full funderstanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, Love, and self-discipline/sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. ” 1 John
Eph 3:15-19 (this is my prayer for you, as well)
“I pray that from His glorious and unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s peole should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
It is not that we love God but that He loved us first! And it is His love that awakens love in us.
Love must have a subject to fix it’s eyes upon. It is frist to love God, the greatest commandment.
And then love people. Life is too short to be fixed on ourselves! Love God! Love people, God loves people!