LOVE

Love

 

I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world. Mother Teresa

(God is the lead in our pencil)

 

By Pastor George Lehman

 

What is God writing with your life?

 

“When one has once fully entered the realm of love (agape), the world, no matter how imperfect, becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.”  – Soren Kierkergaard

We see the world through God’s eyes.

 

Agape is total love. ”It is the love that consumes the person who experiences it.  Whoever knows and experiences agape learns that nothing else in the world is important – just love.” –   Paolo Coelho

 

Where there is love there is peace, joy, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control.

Many times, we want to place the responsibility for love upon the actions, attitudes, and reactions of others.

If they are kind, nice, caring and loveable I will show love.

“We love the most the ones we love the least.” – We love others best when we love God most.

We all want to be loved, admired, and respected by others.

That’s not the basis of real agape love.

That is simply the basis of selfishness and self-interest and self-serving. It’s about loving the unlovable.

True love begins with you and me.

 

1 Corinthians 13:2 (NIV) – If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

 

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) – 21”Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Jesus spoke hard to the religious order of the day about this.

 

Luke 11:42 (LB) – “But woe to you Pharisees! For though you are careful to tithe even the smallest part of your income, you completely forget about justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave these other things undone.

 

Jesus’ warning:

Matthew 24:10-13 (NIV) – 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Stand firm in love)

 

Romans 12:9-10 (Amp) – 9 Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile* and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honour.
*guile = Bedrog; Being crafty and deceiving

 

Ephesians 3:17 (Amp) – So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] *rooted and [securely] grounded in love,

*rooted = no root, no fruit

 

Colossians 3:14 (Amp) – Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

 

Simply this:

John 15:9-10 (LB) – 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Live within my love.10 When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in his love. 

 

Paul reminds us:

Romans 5:5 (Amp) – Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

Romans 8:35 (Amp) – Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 

We have no excuse not to love.

 

Romans 8:38-39 (Amp) – 38 For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Legalism says God will love us if we change.  The Gospel says God will change us because He loves us.

The verse I am reflecting on – fearless love.

 

1 John 4:18-19 (Amp) – 18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. 19 We love, because He first loved us.

 

#1  The protection of perfect love.

This gives us security and confidence in our relationship with God.
When we have perfect love, we will make other people feel secure and confident around us.

 

#2  The power of perfect love.

 

Psalm 36:7 (Amp) – How precious is Your loving kindness, O God!  The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

 

This love enables us to change and experience freedom from fear and all its forms.

 

#3  The potential of perfect love enables us to…

A:  Live without condemnation.
B:  Live free from rejection.
C:  Live free from judgment.
D:  Live free from the fear of man.
E:  Live freely in a love that totally accepts you, forgives you and restores you.

 

#4  The problem of imperfect love (the one who fears)

When you are not living and practicing in the knowledge of God’s true agape love for your life…

…your life causes others to be drawn away from God by what your life is teaching about God.

 

John 13:34-35 (Amp) – 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

 

The agape love is not an optional extra for those who are willing to have it in their lives.

It is a command for every child of God. It is a Fruit we display.

 

Jude: 21(NIV) – Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

*****