Friday, December 16, 2022
Do You Love?
Do You Love?
by David Brenneman
As I sit here with my coffee, I have been thinking over some of the things of late, of some of the things this past year has accomplished in us. The thought and question that arises is the one that's in the subject of today's post. Do You Love? Do you love what and who God loves and do you honestly dislike or hate what He hates? Is what is a priority to God, to Jesus, to the Spirit, important to you?
We are often getting so wrapped up in the world that we can't see the nose on the end of our faces. We get involved with so much in this world, with our own ideas of right and wrong, that we don't consult the one true document, the Bible, on what God says is right and wrong. We go with words and phrases that make sin not sound so bad. We refer to sins as mistakes. Mistakes didn't send Jesus to the cross. He didn't die for people's mistakes. Mistakes, in most cases, are fixable by fallible humans. Mistakes happen and often Doctors or Nurses fix them. Mistakes happen and after being given a ticket and paying a fine all is 'good'.
Mistakes aren't sending people to Hell. Mistakes aren't separating people from God. Sin is, and sins are, what separates mankind from the Holy God.
For God so loved the world...that is humanity...that He gave His only begotten Son...Jesus and no other...that whosoever believes in Him...Jesus and no other...will not perish...that is be eternally separated from God, but have eternal life...that is to spend the rest of eternity with Jesus.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength....that is with all your being...all that you are.
Love your neighbor as yourself...that is people...regardless of who they are like, who they claim affiliation with, who or what they look like. Jesus Himself went to people all over before His crucifixion. He met with people that the Law said ought to be shunned. People that you shouldn't touch because of the Law, He did.
Jesus closed the gap. Technically, according to the Law, I couldn't go to the Temple had I lived in those days or in the centuries of the first Temple. Born with defects you couldn't go to the Temple. Had I been physically alive during Jesus's time on the Earth, He probably would have come to me as well.
Where does your 'love' go? Is it towards ideologies and things? Is it towards others, even before God in your life? Does your love get expended on things, places, and people and God is left by the wayside?
Where is your devotion going? As a song says...is your all on the altar? When you invited Jesus into your life, to be your Savior....have you been trying to keep Him from various rooms and places in your heart and mind? Are you? I can't answer that question for you. That's for you to come to terms with.
If indeed you have come to Christ...are you using the Spiritual gifts that God gave you or are you leaving those things on a shelf because of maybe embarrassment or something else? Have you been an active part of the body of Christ or are you freeloading?
Is being in the Word of God daily at all important to you? Is talking to Jesus not just before eating, but throughout your day, at all important to you? Have you shared what's truly on your heart with Him? Have you been at all honest with Him in everything? In your desires, in your loves, in your hates? Have you been 100% truthful with Jesus?
Remember what the Bible says...it's He who searches the hearts. While you may delude yourself in thinking that you have kept Him out of this or that in your life...my Dear Reader...He's already been there...already seen you at your worst and at what might be your current seen as best.
If at all you start with thoughts of excuses...that you can't do this or can't do that when prompted by the Spirit...remember who it is you're talking to.
Moses tried that line with Jesus and it didn't work. Yes Moses one of the top pillars of people in the Jewish nation that was to be. A 'right hand man' to the work of God in the nation of Israel tried that line with God. Tried saying he wasn't good at public speaking...and was promptly reminded...uh who is it that created the mouth?
Do you let your mouth overrun your tail end? Was something that I grew up hearing from my Dad. Don't let your speedboat mouth overrun your rowboat tail end.
Have you let ego get in the way of being who you were meant to be in Christ? Have you wrapped your mind and heart around this or that in politics or even in religion and have actually separated yourself from being who Jesus meant for you to be in Him?
We read that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.
We read that we are to live and do life in such a way that those who have not yet come to Christ might see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.
When we hold to worldly thinking, worldly ideas, worldly things and hold them honestly higher than our value of our relationship with Jesus...we show the world that we're no different than them and in a very bad way. When we do things that do not show the love of God, when we say things that do not show the love of God, when we think things that do not show the love of God...then what are we showing?
When rants are going forth from our mouth about this or that in anger, without considering the consequences of those things Spiritually, are we glorifying God in them? When we rage about things...are those things what angers God or just angers us?
Do we love as we were loved first by God? We cannot know love until we first see what real love is from God. We cannot say we know what love is until we're shown what real love is from God.
God's love is unconditional. He cared not the attrocities of the kind of man or woman throughout human history...He died for them. Think on that.
He died for people like King Nebuchadnezzar, like Alexander the Great, like even Hitler, like even those on the sports teams you 'love' and those you 'hate'. Jesus died once for ALL is what the Gospel message says. There's no verse exclusion called 'just kidding' for after using words and emotions to justify belittling, berating, etc. people. It's no joke to Jesus.
Do you love? Do you love people? That's the second of the two most important things Jesus said sums up the Law. Love God, Love people.
Do you? Do you hurt people with your words? Do you hurt people with your affiliations? The Bible is actually where we go to clarify that. Paul wrote that for conscience sake of those who see us...not necessarily US...if we even eat food known to be sacrified to idols...for the OTHER person...we ought not to eat it.
For the OTHER person. If we engage in behavior we ought to in light of what it might do to the OTHER person. If we eat or drink...we ought to do so with regard to the OTHER person.
John wrote much on the Biblical idea of love. I think it's said that even his dying words had to do with loving people. When writing...he was often referred to as the Disciple that Jesus loved. Regardless of their outburst of wanting to call down fire from Heaven to consume some people...John and his brother James learned quickly that their thoughts on people needed to change.
Do you love? Do you love as God intended love to be? Do you love as He first loved you? If you are still reading this and have not yet experienced the love of Christ...let today be your day to know. Jesus isn't willing that any should perish...that is to be eternally separated from God. If you die without salvation in Christ you will be eternally separated from God. That place is full of pain and torment. Both the temporary place that's now known as Hell and the future place called the Lake of Fire. Regardless of the songs written there will be no party going on there. Regardless of various world religions that talk about higher plains of existence and of evolving...the Word of God says you die without salvation in Christ Jesus you will not go anywhere or do anything but pay for your sins.
You, no matter how your life has been or is, can still come to Christ to be saved just by asking Him to come into your life, forgive you of your sins, and be the Lord of your life. As it says in the book of Romans chapter 10...that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. It's that simple, yet oh so many stumble over that and do not want others to know or find out about that.
For God so loved...even at our worst we ever thought we could be...He loved...
Jesus is coming soon...will your life show HIM that you loved? When we all give an account of our lives before JESUS...it's HE who will decide and HE who will determine. Not us. The Spirit seals those who are in Christ Jesus...it is HE who shows us how to love as we were first loved. Jesus said the Spirit would come and teach us ALL things....a life in Godliness. All Scripture is inspired, or God-breathed, and is useful for correction, for training, teaching, for rebuke, in righteousness...that the man (or woman) of God would be adequate, equipped for every good thing.
Look at what you've done, likely in ignorance, that has actually caused you to harm others rather than show them the love of God.
Look at what you've said, again likely in ignorance, that has actually caused people to turn away from the truth of God.
Look to see if you are loving God and loving people as God first loved you.