Saturday, July 11, 2009

First Fruits: Love

So I have been reading and studying about love this week in preparation for the message tomorrow. The first fruit is love, and that makes sense. It is the gateway to the other fruits. (You really can’t have peace, joy longsuffering, etc. with out love.) What I am finding is that the Bible sees love differently than the way we see love. We tend to see love as a feeling. God sees love as a commitment. We see love as an emotion. God sees love as a responsibility. We see love as a matter of the heart, and God sees love as a matter of the will.

I can’t help but think about (and show my age) The Partridge Family crooning “I Think I Love You.” If you “think” you love me, you don’t love me very much! However, our Western Culture has taught us that love is an emotion, a feeling. And a fifty percent divorce rate to go along with that. I don’t advocate arranged marriages, but communities that have them have a much lower divorce rate that we do. I heard about a woman from India who defended arranged marriages by saying, “We don’t get to choose our parents or our siblings, but we grow to love them.” As I said, love is a commitment, not an emotion.

It is a commitment God makes to us and asks us to make to others. It is why Jesus said that the Greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” Matthew 22:37 (The Message) Then love others as we love ourselves. Jesus says there is a hierarchy of Love. God first. Others second. Ourselves last. What would happen if we all lived that example. I should think divorce rates would plummet. Infidelity would disappear. As would child abuse, rape, jealousy, envy, disrespect, and strife. Wars? Murders?

Overall, though we must get it straight and love ourselves and others and God the way God loves us. With a commitment and a dedication. How do we start? By loving ourselves enough to trust in God and His love for us. So start by loving yourself enough to ask God for His love to dominate your existence. Quit sitting on the premises and start standing on the promises! And remember, God loves you and wants the best for you.

Still feeling a little out-of-favor these days? A little unworthy? Then remember this---
God does not love you because you are valuable. You are valuable because God loves you.

Blessings,

Steve

2 comments:

sarah said...

good message. Sarah
www.cultofdeception.blogspot.com

Steve said...

Thanks.

check back often.

Blessings,

Steve