Thursday, November 19, 2020

Do You Ever Wonder Who Wrote The Book On Love

tell me … Oh, who wrote the Book Of Love I've got to know the answer Was it someone from above” – The Monotones

Seem like an odd way to start a devotion? Perhaps – I guess you have to consider the source!  I heard that song and thought about the significance of the question.  Who defines love. The answer – the One who gave definition to the universe. Paul expressed what it does and doesn’t do in his letter to the Corinthians.

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”  – 1 Corinthians 13:3-8

God expressed that love to mankind when He sent Jesus as the Messiah – Redeemer – Emmanuel.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:16-17

Jesus confronted Peter because Peter was struggling with love.

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’ He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep..’” – John 21:15-17

I am not a Greek scholar, but I have been told that each time Jesus used a different word for love – love Me like a friend – love Me like a Brother – love me the way the Father and I love you? God’s love is without condition. Apart from faith and the Spirit, we do not have the capacity to love God or others the way God defined love. I use the past tense “defined” because His definition of love is not one of the options. Oh – the world would beg to differ. But the world wants to redefined everything to suit its natural understanding.  The world lacks spiritual wisdom and insight because it lacks the Spirit.  Why should we expect sweet water to come from a bitter well?  But we do don’t we? All the time.

So when you think about the two greatest commandments expressed by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39 (I will ask you to look them up) you see that our capacity to love according to God’s definition of love begins with our loving God and then it is expressed to others.  And how do we do that? I think Romans 12:1-2 gives us some insight into that.

I [Paul] beseech [urge] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service [of worship]. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2

And what is His good – acceptable – perfect will? Re-read Matthew 22:37-39.

Are you, like Peter, struggling with love? The solution starts in the heart and devotion to the Father.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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