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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « Jesus Rocks: An Experiment | Life Verse »
    Sunday
    Jul182010

    Love, Unconditional

    "But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him” (1 John 2:5).

     

    When most people hear the word “love”, immediate images of hearts, pastels, roses, and chocolate pop into mind, accompanied by warm, fuzzy feelings like one gets when playing with a puppy.

     

    Love is also known worldwide as being very powerful, maybe the most powerful thing on Earth.

     

    Songs have been sung, poems written, and lives consumed (in both good and bad ways) in the pursuit of it, but the definition can sometimes seem elusive. What exactly, is love?

     

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8 gives a classic description of what love looks like, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”  

     

    The Bible goes on to tell us that “…God is love” (1 John 4:8).  Going back to grade school math, “is” is a synonym for “equals”. It is because of God’s love for people, that He sent Jesus, His only son, to die a terrible death on the cross so that the bridge of sin between God and man could be gapped.

     

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

     

    God is love, but He is also a righteous, holy (meaning “set apart”), and just God. It is vital to understand the focus cannot be on just one aspect of God.


    Love is not just a happy feeling or a powerful force. Love is both those things and more, because God is love. One side of this love that can be hard to understand, is that God loves too much to let His children easily off the hook for wrong-doing.  

     

    “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1).

     

    He knows people can be better than how they usually behave, and that they will be much happier for following His rules. He loves too much to easily let people take their leave of Him, He loves too much to destroy without warning, and loves too much to never reclaim a repentant lamb.

     

    “The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods..." (Hosea 3:1).


    While recently exploring an online forum for esoteric experiences (be very cautious if you do this, by the way), I came across several people stating that they projected (in their minds) “unconditional love” to others, especially their enemies.

     

    I asked one of them about this, “Being complete strangers who have bumped heads a few times, would you (for example) be willing to go hungry for me and be happy about it?

     

    Or spend hours in prayer or meditation thinking of me? Would you be willing and happy to die for me?” Their response was brief, explaining that I had highly offended them and they did not wish to correspond further.

     

    The reason real love is so powerful, is that it is willing to be completely honest; willing to stand strong; willing to be gentle to those who have hurt them deeply; willing to stand up for what is right instead of easy (or popular); and willing to sacrifice even relationships if that’s what it takes, rather than give way to that which is wrong. Love knows that not doing so would harm the person acting in the wrong, as well as those around them.

     

    “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7) It is only in staying steadfast to true love that real change comes and people are set free. “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12).

     

    Since God equals love, love is indeed, “a many splendoured thing” (Frank Sinatra). If “all we need is love” (The Beatles), then all we really need is God.  “Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:2).

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