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Friday, August 08, 2014

For the Love of God!

I know; 'we've been here before', but the issue seems to be coming up an awful lot lately, so 'here we go, again'!

What is Love?

Is it a nice warm ( often 'hot' and rather uncomfortable ) feeling that we sometimes get when we see any certain member of the fairer sex? We often say, when we see a rather good looking example ( I do it too ), 'I'm in love', but is it truly Love, or are we simply saying, 'I WANT that'?!

We all know that 'God is Love', but what does that really mean? My translation of Romans 8:28 says that 'God works all things for good, to those who love Him and keep His Word'; the apostle Paul wrote, 'love is the fulfillment of the law' ( Romans 13:10 ). So, if we fulfill the Law of Love toward any given person, we have shown Love to that person, right? If God is Love, then if we have God, we can be certain ( fo' sho' ) that we have Love! Conversely, one cannot truly Love if one does not have God, right?

There are those out there who do not necessarily claim to 'have' ( a relationship with ) God, yet show many of the fruits of a true & lasting Love! The orthodox ( institutional ) church, especially, would likely say that, unless one proclaims their relationship with their Heavenly Father & and congregate with them ( the institutional church ) that relationship does not exist and the love they have cannot truly be Love! However, it is abundantly evident that, just as one can be a part of the institutional church without being part of the Body of Christ, so one can be a member of the Body of Christ without being a member of the institutional church!

So, again, 'what is love?'

Well, I believe we've established that Love is NOT a feeling! Although feelings, even warm & fuzzy ones are often involved, they come, not because they ARE Love, but because when one shows Love, they often accompany that Love! To Love is to Live, so if you've never Lived, you've never Loved! Loving means Living & Living means Loving!

The apostle John wrote that 'God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son.....' ( John 3:16a ); let's stop right there for now, because that tells us what Love is, or rather, does; Love is an action! Love is an object, because we know that God IS Love, but Love is also active, because He sent His only begotten Son!

How then do we show that Love in return? Can we simply have warm & fuzzy feelings ( like during a praise-service in one of those huge mega-churches ) towards Him, getting all emotions & ecstatic ( even 'rapturous' ), or do we show that Love by acknowledging & accepting our relationship with Him, and by keeping ( obeying ) His Word? The answer is obvious; if we truly Love God, we follow His commands & Live!

We've established how we are to Love God, but how then are we to Love our neighbor? We are to Love our neighbor in the same manner; actively! By fulfilling the Law ( of Love ) towards our neighbor, by treating him or her as we would treat ourselves, by actively seeking their best interests & by unselfishly placing their needs above our own wants & desires ( 'the Lord is my Shepherd' )!

May we ever show our Love for God & our neighbor by following His Word, by doing what Jesus did, as the apostle Paul also wrote, 'Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for Her'!

If we truly Love someone, we should be willing to give our Life for theirs, to sacrifice our own wants & desires that they might Live!

For the Love of God,
Charles Haddon Shank




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