1. What Does True Love Look Like?
“Herein is love, not that we first loved him but that he first loved us”
Everyone wants to know what true love looks like. Let me tell you it’s not as pretty and beautiful as it seems.
Wait did I say that? Yes! I meant it too.
Love is pain, suffering, stripes, hurt, torment, and sacrifice!
Don’t believe me?
Who is the primary example of bestowing and administering true love to all the entire world and why is that?
It was Jesus; he was selfless. Selfless to the bone. (Literally)
You want to have a very close look? Please come with me. We will start in the prison house where Jesus sat waiting to be questioned yet again right before he was to be beaten.
His love was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, and hidden by the rest of the disciples. And, on top of that, he was betrayed, denied, and hidden from all in the same night by his best most cherished followers. Many of us would have never recovered from that experience. We don’t love enough.
We would throw our arms into a pretzel to our chest with a huff and say: “I don’t need them anyway if that’s the kind of friendship I get!”
As he was led out and beat, stripped from his own clothes and mocked with a royal colored garment as they made fun of his kingdom that is everlasting would we have thought that God had abandoned us or that he had failed us?
They proceeded to mock his Godhead his kingdom and also his omniscience as they covered his face beat him in the face and challenged: “Who is he that smote thee?”
As they crammed that thorny, spiked, filled with poison, crown upon his brow and beat on it with a read piercing into his head, if that would have been us, would we have loved?
Would we have loved if they had beat us savagely, and then laid a very very heavy beam of wood against that same area that they had beaten and torn open raw? Imagine leaving that wood to grind up and down the bones of his back! Although his garment drenched in red blood covered the marks of torture it was obvious to the crowd he had been beaten beyond recognition. What if that had been us?
Would we have gone out of our way to talk and communicate as we held the cross and comforted the women as we walked painfully up that trek to Calvary?
Imagine in your mind as the time came to pull his garment off him in front of people who were no friends, many women, and children and as they torn and gambled upon his clothes, would you have willingly laid yourself against that beam!?
The anguish of the back against that cross with all your weight upon those wounds, and the blood from his brow blinding his eyes and mixing with sweat and tears as he laid his hand out knowing the pain was coming as a jagged nail was manually and angrily shoved into his hand.
Then the force of the blow of the hammer into the wood bringing with the penetration his own skin into that hole in a pinch he could not free from and a feeling of torment like no other! He outstretched the other hand. Then the feet. Or it could have been feet first…
However the case, the worse was yet to unfold as the men lifted the cross in a swoop and his weight dropped against those spike nails and tore at his flesh and as it jarred hard in the hole in the rock every bone in his body including his teeth were all out of joint and spasms began to wrack his body uncontrollably.
Would you have even thought of fighting?
Do you love this much?
Let me tell you my dear friend. You can. Jesus gave of that love to us. Don’t believe me?
John 17:26 “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou has loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Faith worketh by love. You might say love is the fuel that feeds our faith. Less love, less faith. Less faith less impact. Dead Christianity.
Ephesians 3:16-19 “That he would GRANT YOU, according to THE RICHES of his GLORY, to be strengthened with might by HIS SPIRIT in the INNER man; That CHRIST may DWELL in your hearts BY FAITH; the ye being rooted and GROUNDED IN LOVE, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length, and depth, and height; And to KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST, which PASSETH knowledge, that ye might be FILLED with all the FULNESS of GOD.”
Once we understand the love of God, we are filled with the fulness of God for the purpose of using that love not only obtaining the knowledge and basking in it. This is what the martyrs had.
Love is not a feeling alone, nor is it something you dote upon only one other person.
Love is a world language God intended to be imparted to all.
Whoa what!? So I’m just to go around and tell everyone I love them!?
Love is not a word.
Love is a deed. It is something you have done. Something that you choose to do to someone else. Remember the verse that says let us not love in word but in deed and in truth.
Truly love and truly show that you love deeply and unfeigned. Do it: act upon it.
For this is Charity: A love only Christ can give through us to someone else because we are incapable of of bestowing love of that magnitude on our own through our flesh.
Love, is the very first fruit of the fruit of the Spirit, I believe this is so because first of all, the Bible uses the term “fruits” in multiple places as if there is a plural, but in this instance, fruit is singular. None of the fruit of the Spirit may be accomplished successfully within a fruit-bearing Christian without true charity. Without love, there is no way that we can obtain any other attribute.
If you do not love and care, how would we then see the need to be joyful or joyous? Ever seen someone joyful without true love permeating their lives?
You normally are not at peace where there is not joy nor love, you don’t care about waiting and being long-suffering to anyone. You don’t love enough to be gentle to others. You don’t love enough to behave yourself and be good to others. You don’t love enough to silence your inner rage and be meek and tamed. You don’t love enough to control yourself with temperance, and you certainly don’t love enough to trust and have faith.
Love, (defined in the active duty Christ like love imparted unto us) cannot be of any value to anyone unless clearly openly activated and manifested in truth.
The Bible says very clearly that we are to love one another (believers) as Jesus charged: “As I have loved you”
How Much Does God Love?
There once was a plaque that said “I asked God how much do you love me?” “This much” he answered and stretched out his arms as far as they could go and died.
Wow! There is also a verse in the Bible that says that we are to love the brethren insomuch that we are willing to lay down our lives for them. How many people would you jump in front of to save?
We all have our buds, our besties, our BFF’s but is that mentality at all scriptural in the New Testament? Actually, it very well could be as we look at John the disciple and Jesus. (The disciple whom Jesus loved)
People will have very special places in our hearts. That is very true. Places no one else will fill or replace, however we are mistaking how very vast our hearts are. And they are not just made for one person.
Why did I say that?
How Big Is God’s Heart?!
God so loved the world that he gave.
His heart was so enlarged at the love he had and the burden that he bore for the entire world that his heart melted like wax within him according to Psalm. It burst with the love and the weight of the entire world’s guilt, sin, shame, and burdens, depressions, diseases, anguish, torture, God’s angry wrath! Poured out upon his only Begotten Son!
How much do we place upon ourselves?
We teach “Don’t carry everyone’s problems everyone must learn to bear their own weight” When the Bible says “Bear ye one another’s burdens” It also says we are to “care” and to help one another that are weak by the strong in the faith spiritually.
Where did we get the mentality that we can only bear our own troubles and that is the way it is supposed to be and stick our heads in the sand to all the hurt? How have we gotten so cold!?
Jesus Heart Sobbed
When Jesus saw Jerusalem he saw an angry mob screaming crucify him. He saw the stoning of Steven. He wept “Jerusalem Jerusalem thou which killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee!!!”
His weeping did not stop there. He continued with how he longed to gather them as a mama hen her babies under the fluff and comfort and love of her soft feathers in a homey nest.
Is that the way we look at our enemies?!
Do we sob over our city and say “Oh city!!!! How I have begged you to come to Jesus comfort and you would not!”
Where is our sobbing over the hurt and neediness of others? Where is our hearts?! Stuff? Sports? Things? Games? TV? We cry when we watch a touching film about hurting people when our next door neighbors just buried they baby and you had no clue! When a boy three streets down hangs himself in the garage and we never knew! Where someone is being kidnapped down the street and we have no idea!
Where are the Jesus followers who have hearts of tears and repentance who weep and pray and mourn and LOVE and love and love and love!?
- Where are you?
- Who do you love?
- Why do you love
- When do you love
- In church?! Doeth not the publicans the same?!
Why don’t we love love the communities love the houses next to us love the children, the bus children, the homeless the addicted the deranged, the handicapped, the disabled, the lost the dying the sick, the diseased!? Why don’t we stop loving ourselves so much and loving our houses and our little retreats from the world and just love!?
Why cannot we teach our children how to be separated but to love their world around them as Jesus did?! When did the mentality to hate the world as in the people that are in it?!
When did we learn to look upon outward appearances and learn to despise people in our hearts?!
When did we learn anger over the most craziest subjects when they are another believer that may even love the Lord more than we do!?
Oh we must STOP IT!
We Must Revive Ourselves With That Love
We must learn how to love and dig in the Word and understand that love is hurting for someone else. Love is allowing oneself to be hurt by another. Love is allowing people to be angry at you and to love them anyway to reach out no matter if you get burned in a deal.
To give no matter if it hurts.
To reach out no matter if you might get shot or knifed.
The reason we don’t have martyrs in America today is because we don’t have the guts to be what we should to cause people to ve so convicted that they throw stones!
They that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution and why do you think they suffer persecution because they were screaming their lungs out preaching on a street corner? No! Because they loved and begged and pleaded for people to be saved so much that people rejected and became angry for no cause such as Stephen’s heart and love and sacrifice to the people he set himself up knowing these people were angry and against God he knew the risk he stood his ground and he loved and he got stoned for it.
No, love is a hurting thing. Love does hurt. But let me tell you when you stand before the throne of God and those love tears stream down the face of Christ as he reaches out to you and your face lets loose with those tears of regret of what a poor job you did showing THAT KIND of love you will weep and wish with all your heart you could love again in that world, you could reach those people in that world, you could die for those people in that world because then then that is when you will truly understand what it is like to be godly. Then you will understand what is like to be revived. Then you will understand what it means to be like Jesus Christ! Then! You will know….you will cherish, you will realize.
THIS IS TRUE LOVE
Let me ask you Christian…Do you really love?
- Do you love your church do you love your Man of God
- Do you love God’s people like Jesus Christ does?
- Do you love you family
- Do you love your enemies?!
Until we have truly learned to love we have never learned to die to self and very few Christians ever ever ever digest the true, pure, sacrificial, selfless, dying love of our dear dear Savior JESUS CHRIST.
THAT WE SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS.
Let all your things be done with Charity. I Corinthians 16:14
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” Colossians 3:14
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. I Timothy 1:5
And above ALL things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8
This is my commandment that ye love one another that your joy may be full.
May we love as we should dear Lord above and only allow you to love through us with a charity we are incapable of on our own. And may the world see such a difference they must be saved and excited to know more about that love!