Sunday, February 14th, 2010
Reflections: “Consumed With Love”
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12,13
Scripture Reading For This Week: John 15; Romans 10; 1 Corinthians 13; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 11:1; 1 John 4...
If we could truly love the way God loves, then what would our lives be like? What would this world be like? Can you even imagine the kind of love that God talks about? Can you understand what it truly means to be consumed with love?
When we think of Valentine's Day, many think of love, gifts, romance, candy, etcetera. What comes to mind when you think of Passover, Crucifixion, the Resurrection? I think of love. The all consuming love of the Father, and desire to have a heart that is a reflection of who He is.
It is my sincerest prayer, that this week's Reflections will be a source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart and soul. I pray that the love of God consumes your very being and that you will know what it truly means to love in the purest form; to be able to love the way God loves, and to share that love in turn.
1 John 4:15-17, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
Of ourselves, we can do nothing. Not because it is not in us to do, but that we are often subject to our emotions. Our feelings often dictate to us what we do, or are going to do. And many of us know that our feelings can run hot and cold. They are not always reliable. We often make rash decisions that we almost always regret when made based upon emotional impulses. Yet, when we have Christ living in us; when God is on the throne of our hearts, and we are walking in the influence of the Holy Spirit, we are able to do things that we thought impossible. And one of the things we can do, is to love that which seems unlovable.
When God is in us, love is residing because God is love. The word of God says that if we are dwelling in God, then we are dwelling in love. The same applies that if we are dwelling in love, we are dwelling in God and God dwells in us.
Love is the most purest gifts that exists. But the enemy and humanity always complicates the very notion of love, and blurs the line of what love means; what love is. God is love. Love is God. Love, in its simplest and purest form, is the very essence of who God is.
We don't really love. We think we do. But the Father clearly tells us what love is, and shows us what love looks like. We have placed too many conditions on love. We have complicated love, and have made it difficult to recognize. Love is an action word. It reflects its Creator, and the character of who God is, if you could use the word character. Because, love is not a characteristic of God—love is who He is. God and love are synonymous. It is interchangeable. If I were to say: I love you. It'd be the same as saying: I “God” you.
So many rules and definitions have been placed on love, and we still don't understand it. If we did understand love, and its simplest definition, then there would be more love being shown.
1 John 4:9,10 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
God loved us so, that He stepped out of glory into the form of flesh; into the manifestation of Jesus Christ, and took on the armor of flesh that was a clear stench to His nostrils, that He may reconcile us unto Himself, and that we all be given the opportunity to spend eternity with Him in glory. And the most precious and unselfish thing is that, He did it because He loved us, not because we loved Him. For God came for those who believed and for those who also do not believe.
Now, that is what I call love. To leave the glory of heaven, enter a world that is riddled with the stench of sin and Satan, and take on humanity, subject to the passions of the flesh, and to withstand it only because of the love that He has for us. To endure the pain of the cross, because He loved us.
Jesus was consumed with love. He was being himself when He decided to go to the Cross that we may have eternal life. Here is the Son of God, who only knows love, who came from love, and was introduce to every emotion and thought that plagues the human soul and spirit. Because He loved us; because He loved His Father; because He knew the cost; He let love consume Him, and endured the Cross. How many of us can say that we have that kind of love within us now? How many of us can say we are truly consumed with love—totally consumed with God, that we can say no to our flesh and yes to the spirit?
We talk a good game when it comes to love. We say what we would do for love. We profess our undying love, and the minute things do not go our way, we turn on one another. We say we have fallen out of love. We say that we have animosity in our hearts, where just a year, or five years ago we were so much in love. How can this be? How can we say we have love, and it turn so quickly? Did we truly love? Do we understand what unconditional love truly means?
I often imagine what things would be like if God “loved” the way we love. My goodness! There'd be no hope for us. It would be over for us for sure! If God was the kind of love the way we profess, then He would have had no need to send His Son on our behalf. We miss the point that God was showing us Himself. He was showing us love in the flesh, and giving us an example to follow.
When we use the word love, we should be more clear in what we mean by allowing our actions to match what comes out of our mouths. God's love was shown in action, as well as in His words. His words were always spoken in love. His words brought life. So why, if we profess to have God in us, and to love as God does, do our actions and words bring so much hurt, destruction and death?
1 Corinthians 13 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophe-cies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
To be consumed with love, is to be consumed with God. It is to act with the love of our Father. To have our words and actions mirror one another. When we say we love, then we should act accordingly. Our actions need to be a reflection of what we are professing. And to truly love, we must have God in our hearts, for He is love. And when love dwells in us, God is there, dwelling within us as well. And when we love as God, we forgive.
Can we look past a person's faults? Can we learn to not hold grudges? Can we love without stipulations? Can we love, even if it is not reciprocated? You may say that's hard. But the Father does it daily. He loves, even when it is not returned. He loves when it hurts. He loves when He is hated. He loves what is a part of Him, even when that which is a part of Him acts unseeming. God loves all—it is the sin that He hates.
Can you love your child even after they are disobedient? Do you stop loving them because they mess up? Do you write them off, because they have chosen a different path that you wanted for them? You may not agree with them, and hate the things they do. But they are a part of you, and you love what is a part of you. To hate them would be like hating yourself. God loves us. We are His children—even when we act unseeming. He loves us unconditionally, and will never stop reaching towards us until He says, this life as we know it is over.
Ask yourself this: Are you loving the way God says to love? Even if you don't get it in return? Is God dwelling in you? Are you dwelling in God? I pray that God, who is love, is dwelling in every part of your being. I pray that the spirit of peace and of prosperity will rest in every area of your life: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, social, and financial, because you have allowed the Spirit of God to dwell within your heart. Love is not easy. But it is worth the cost. And the cost has already been paid in full when Jesus went to the Cross for you and for me. That, my dear friend, is the perfect, purest form of love that there will ever be. And it is ours for the believing and receiving. Be Blessed.
©2010. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.