So many thoughts stirring my heart and mind this morning as love for the hurting remains strong in me. My mind forever considers God’s Words, the sure and steadfast source from where I seek and find answers, encouragement, direction, and peace. I am drawn this morning to my relationship with God and my inclination to sin in a world that forever sends out false pronouncements.
The most misused word ever spoken is likely the word LOVE. This I’ve known personally as I’ve heard the words “I Love You” spoken to me by individuals who were doing most everything BUT loving me. In the name of LOVE all manner of behaviors are practiced, sanctioned, accepted, and embraced.
So I ask, “what is love and what does love require of me?” Scripture says much to us about love, what it does and does not do. Let’s take a look and see…”Charity (Love) suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Charity never fails…” (1Corinthians 13: 4-7)
Biblically defined love is significantly different from what is touted by many religious and nonreligious people in the world. God gave us His definition of love and it “does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth…” What is truth? What is evil? What is iniquity? We know, yet do we forget, deny, ignore? All of this matters. That is why God gave us the perfect demonstration of it all. Jesus, the express image of God the Father, came and gave Himself for us to free us from the bondage of the sin that would destine us for eternal separation from love, from Himself, yet in so doing, He never once told us to go on in our sin. He never once condoned or accepted sin. He came to bear it in His body so that it could and would be nailed to the cross thus freeing us from it and from its penalty. He was and is truth. His righteous love and death, His suffering and torment He bore to bring us into His righteousness. That is how important righteousness is!
Oh…how my heart grieves over my own sin. How many times, I cannot name, I’ve uttered the words in deep regret, “Lord, I’m so sorry.” And He has forgiven me, but He required of me, He requires of each one, that we turn from/repent of, our sins so that we, through His Spirit, may walk not after the lust of the flesh any longer, but according to The Spirit.
So often I hear excuses made for sin and the immediate retort “judge not!” Yet, believing and holding fast to God’s truth and honoring His Words concerning what sin is does not make me the judge of my brother. It makes me a believer of God’s truth, one who desires to honor His Sovereignty. That is all. No other person’s sin is bigger or worse than my own, yet the power of God that lives in me through His Spirit has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light that I may live in accordance with His will. It calls to you as well…
If I love, according to His Word, I desire righteousness to reign in the heart and mind of every person, out of my love for them and for Him. That is love…unconfused love; unchanging, unending love that bears all things and hopes all things for all people, for all times, for eternity. That is love.
This came to mind this morning so strongly as it has come many times in recent years. I believe I am witnessing this every single time a person claims they are bound with sin that they cannot be freed from, thus, they argue, God must have intended it so it must not be sin at all…how convoluted, how clearly a message twisted by the crafty deceiver of souls both far and near:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers,false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Deep, lingering sorrow fills my soul each time I see one I love so dear falling for the powerfully, enticing deceit that is so prevalent in our world. “Love demands my soul, my life, my all.” Love demands I be married first to truth, to living, speaking, and loving truth because all else leads to despair and demise. I would not have anyone, anyone, to be deceived, to be separated from the richness of God’s righteous love. I long for all to know Him. He alone is the only One who will never leave, never forsake, never let down. His power is not diminished. His love is unfailing, but it abides forever bound to His righteousness. So many want the benefits of God’s mercy and grace without having to contend with the reality of His righteous judgement. All is true of our Lord. He is worthy of our wholehearted devotion. May we ever surrender to the eternal truths of a Savior who defines love in clear, unwavering terms.