WHEN YOU THINK OF LOVE
When you think of love, what are some of the first things that come to our minds? Maybe it is our spouse, our kids, our family, our lifestyle perhaps. Maybe it is a certain food, or a vacation memory or certain event. These are all well and good when kept in their proper perspectives, unfortunately most don’t and this is what makes up their perception of love.
1 John 2:15-16 – Gives us this very stern exhortation: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.
So why this warning and why is it so dangerous? Well, we must look back to the Garden of Eden (there is so much to learn from Genesis 3) where the fall took place.
Genesis 3:6 – So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Do you see the deep similarities compared to 1 John 2:16? Eve falling for Satan’s lure of slick rewording of God’s command not to eat… You will not surely die (exactly the same words but in a different order!) then to set the hook of sin, Satan says “Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” Let’s be honest with ourselves and especially with God. How many times have we wanted things our way and did not like His ways? So Eve sees, and it turns into delighting desires, and ends with her pride that she is not going to have God telling her what to do! Yeah, us either!
But wait, I thought this was about love? Oh, it is alright!
So after all of this in the garden, what does God do? He curses everybody! Satan goes on his belly and eats dust all the days of his life, eve pains in giving child birth, Adam having to work for their food and provide for their families. But God also showed great mercy and the type and shadow of His Son, Jesus Christ was also their in the garden, when God slew the animal and made skins for Adam and Eve to cover their shame. So it is to this day, that Christs’ blood is still the only and perfect atonement to cover all of our sins who have been given grace and mercy to believe in Christ and why He came.
Now look John 15:13-14 – Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. What is it that He commands those who He has saved? Well, we again need to go back to the Old Testament for some background.
Leviticus 19:17-18 – You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6:4-6 – Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
Deuteronomy 10:12 – And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
These two laws sum up the 10 Commandments, the first 4 Commandments belong to the worship of God alone, and the other 6 commandments are how to properly live in this world loving others and obeying God. However, we do not keep these commandments for ANY reason to earn or keep our Salvation, rather we use them as a mirror or God’s law and expectation on how to live for Him and bring Him glory.
However, we fail so much and so often because we live more of our lives in the world and its flesh than we do of faith in God, trusting His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in the narrow ways of this treacherous sinful world. That is why many times you see in John’s epistles the word “abide”, which means to accept or act in accordance with.
We all need to properly use all that God has blessed us with accordingly in that He always has first place in our lives, but He also gave in abundance so that we may also love others, but do we? Do we truly love God and truly loves others, especially Christians as we are commanded, not suggested, COMMANDED to do? May this give much to think about, pray about, repent of, and seek to be more like Christ.
Be sure to come back tomorrow as we continue more deeply into loving our neighbors as ourselves.