So, how does one become love? It’s really quite simple and the only requirement is an open and willing heart. To become love is to understand love. And the only way to understand love is to know God’s love for yourself. If you grasp this simple concept, it will literally change your life. The ripple effect as a result of that transformation will influence your loved ones, friends and acquaintances.
The first step in discovering God’s love is to find out about His true nature in His Word. This can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task if you don’t approach it in the right way. The simple gospel (which is the finished work of Christ) is comprised of three things: Love, understanding and truth. I’ll go over the first two parts today and bring everything together next week.
Love; an all encompassing, noxious and beautiful word. The misinterpretation of this word has caused so much discord and pain in the lives of our brothers and sisters it’s sickening. Ben Aptaker’s article Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind Bible Verse Analysis discusses the real meaning of this word and how important it is to have a full, unbiased understanding of it, even if context to our enemies.
“When we are told to love our enemies, it does not mean that we are to do good to them out of a mere sense of moral obligation. Indeed, we are to love them in every deep sense of that word, heart, mind, and soul. If one (such as myself) feels unable to perform such a feat, the only suggestion I may offer is that one seek God, who is the source of such love.”
God’s love, in its truest and rawest form is healing, restoring and completely selfless. But, what we were conditioned to believe and know about Love is the total antithesis of its original meaning and value. Love is not about what you do. It’s not about what you say. It’s not about what you can offer. It’s not, in any sense of the word, about you at all. On the contrary, it’s about the spiritual culmination of God’s thoughts about us towards others. It’s our eyes becoming His eyes and as a result, seeing people from an entirely different light. I’ve been doing some detailed research about becoming love through the sermons posted on YouTube by Dan Mohler. In one of his sermons, he discusses his life altering encounter with the Father at a time when everything was seemingly falling apart.
This powerful testimony speaks to the unadulterated and relentless love of the Father. Even when you are not pursuing Him, following Him or even listening to Him, He is still pursuing, following and listening to you. His pursuit of you never stops and never waivers no matter what you do or how you behave. This is the place where understanding begins…where hope abounds…where the shackles of sin consciousness and condemnation cease to have power. Once you get to a place of acceptance in this, your understanding opens up.
The true righteousness of Christ is rooted and grounded in understanding. You must understand that the finished work of Christ set you free from the law, from works based living, from finding acceptance in the words of others and from the normalcy of discouragement and disappointment. Human emotions were brought about by the fall of man and this is where a lot of the confusion begins. It was curiosity and confusion, ignited in the mind of Eve by the serpent, that began a warfare of misunderstanding and misinterpretation in the minds of believers. Most believers assume that Eve is to blame for the fall of man because she ate first and then gave it to her husband, Adam.
“Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”
But, what we forget is that back in chapter 2 verses 16 and 17, is that Adam was given the command by God, not Eve.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
Which means that the root cause of the fall of man was not the result of Eve’s naive nature, it was because of Adam’s disobedience. This and many other misunderstandings pollute the minds of God’s people, causing them to become selfish, self centered and self righteous. This separation is the reason so many of us struggle to understand how God can love us or how we can love others the way he does. If we can come to a place of true surrender and allow God to transform our hearts and minds, we can come into the truth of who He is and what His Love is really about.
So, what is God’s truth and why does it matter?
Check back next week for the final part of this series.