Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The love God wants

The mention of the word love, produces many pictures and associations good or bad, pure or evil. Yet when Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, the answer is quite surprising given that if we were to guess what is the most important, we would have begun with 'Thou shalt NOT......."
Jesus however says, 'Thou shalt LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength..." ((see Matthew 22:36-40))
Consider the contrast: Restraining something vs. producing something.
It is quite possible to appear as though you are 'restraining' yourself from breaking the laws of God, but when the matter is one of producing something which originates from within, the 'problem' is amplified!
Jesus Christ calls each person to LOVE the Lord from within, to respond to Him with pure motives. The Love that is required is not a 'love' that is separated from actions, from commitment. The love required is not a 'love' that springs from flowery poetic speech, for such God calls 'lip service'.
Mt 15: 7-9
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:" 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"

In otherwords, it's very possible and common to speak loving words and yet to have wicked motives. Here the Lord ties lip/worship with hearts/teaching from men, which shows that the validity of worship or speech towards God is seen in response to His laws.
To further show this truth, Jesus Christ makes this as plain as can be when He says:
"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching." Jn 14:23,24
Apart from obedience, love does not exist!

Contrary to common belief the love God requires has nothing to do with a one-time act, regardless of how incredibly sacrificial it is, there is absolutely nothing that we can give in order to gain favor with God.
1 Corinthians 13: 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If 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 have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
There is nothing that we have that he needs and every gift we attempt to give while refusing to do what He commands us is nothing less then stubborn rebellion. Only one sacrifice was accepted and that was Jesus Christ!

However there still remains the dilemma, concerning HOW DO YOU LOVE God from within?? How can you CREATE pure motives in seeking God and seeking after righteousness???
You may be thinking 'but I thought all we had to do was to "repent and believe" ?' well yes, but what kind of belief and repentance can exist without love? Repentance and belief without love, is nothing but hypocrisy, it is stripped of life and becomes merely words!

The only love that is acceptable to God, the only heart that can give such love is a divine one. The state of our hearts (will, desire, motive, passion, focus, drive) is utterly void of giving God the love He requires and this is because we are unable to just STOP loving the things, God HATES and to simply start loving Him. The good news is that through the redemption found ONLY in Jesus Christ, we are now able to enjoy such hearts, hearts that will love, fear, and follow after God and His laws.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
31"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, " declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

The new covenant is JESUS CHRIST! Jesus Christ paid the penalty that we owe by suffering under the furious wrath of Almighty God who crushed the Son without restraint because our sins deserve nothing less and above and beyond that He has imputed (given, transferred) to us His perfect righteousness so that we are not only cleared (forgiven) but are perpetually treated and looked upon as spotless (sinless). These truths actually effect an internal change in the state of the true Christian, they are literally changed. The true Christian is given a new heart, in other places this drastic change is pictured as being 'transferred from darkness to light', from 'death to life', and what might be the most familiar term for this supernatural change; the Christian is a person who has been 'born-again'!!

Jeremiah 32:38-41
38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.

The law written on our hearts, gives us singular focus to lovingly fear and seek God. Notice also in these passages the use of 'I WILL...' which leaves NO QUESTION to the truth that God is the one making the changes, we however are simply reacting to what God is producing (by grace we are saved). This is also why no one can claim some unique and impossible condition that prevents them from ever being saved AND changed. God is NOT limited by our intellect, by our 'vices', by our pasts, by our upbringing, by our environment, or anything else, salvation is of the Lord and those who are saved WILL be given HEARTS that FEAR and FOLLOW Him!

So then the only way to give the love God wants, is to receive the One who gives such loving hearts. The Lord calls all men to REPENT and BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, to turn from their sins and to turn in faith towards God. Seek the Lord while He may be Found, Seek HIM while you still have time!


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