Love - A Christian Perspective

Love's a frequently discussed subject. Preachers talk about it in a soothing voice. Parents tell children they should be gentle, or they're not being loving. The idea seems to be that love's something soft, causing one's heart to flutter in compassion for others. No doubt there's truth in this, but love goes infinitely beyond. Another common thought, is that love comes naturally. You'll have it towards those you spend time, and have things in common with. I once said you can love those you have nothing in common with. They can even have traits or lifestyles you detest. They might be completely immoral people while you're a saint, yet you can still love them. I was told, I obviously didn't understand what love is.

  These misconceptions demonstrate a worldly love. Many Christians hold onto them after conversion. We need to rethink our definition of love. Our understanding needs to be based on scripture.

1.     Love Is A Commandment
  Many feel love is something which comes and sometimes goes. If it goes, it's gone, and you can't do a thing to change this. If this happens in a marriage, it spells divorce. This is far from the nature of love.
  God has the fullest comprehension of love for "God is love", 1 John 4:8.
  He commands us to love:

  36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.    
Matthew 22:36-40 (Mark 12:28-34)
  8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.     
    Romans 13:8,10 (John 14:15,21,23,24)
  This command to love shows us love is of such a nature it can be ordered. This proves it isn't left to the whims and fancies of one's flesh.

2.     Contentions & Wars
Among Brethren
  Love involves more than our likes and dislikes. Many Christians will say they know this, but I have to ask how true that is. Some choose the church they attend by how much they have in common with others at that particular church. Others choose by how much of what that church teaches is directly what they're zealous about. If they feel the church next door is full of Christians with whom they could fellowship, why don't they fellowship with them as well? The church in Corinth had this type of problem:

  11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
    1 Corinthians 1:11-13

  3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?    
1 Corinthians 3:3,4

  Some of the Corinthians had a love for Paul and some for Apollos. This was a worldly love, which was nothing more than the sinful nature with its drives and needs. Now consider these two verses with the previous from Corinthians:

  10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.    
Proverbs 13:10
  1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?    
James 4:1

3.    Love Your Brother
Pure Love Of God Shows Towards Brethren:
  When you became a Christian, you were joined into a family (Romans 8:14-17; 1 Corinthians 12:13,14; Matthew 12:46-50). All other Christians became brothers and sisters. What we do to the brethren, we do to Christ (Matthew 25:34-40). There's a love we direct to brothers and sisters which also goes directly to Christ. Because of this, we need to continue with fervent love towards them which comes from a selfless heart of devotion to God.

  22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
    1 Peter 1:22

  This true love of brethren, regardless of personality, background, intelligence or whatever, is that one great mark of distinction. No other group in the world has this:

  10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.   
 1 John 3:10
  7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.   
 1 John 4:7,8 (John 17:11)
  When it isn't found between different Christians, it's obvious the self-seeking, sinful nature has exerted itself in some area in one or both of the parties (Ephesians 4:3-6).

Help The Weak:
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.            
Romans 14:21 (1 Corinthians 8:13)
  1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
    Romans 15:1,2
  Love sets us in the place of seeking to build up others. This passage from Romans, shows the mature should descend to help the less mature in need. When showing a younger Christian the truth, if he's confused as to what's right or wrong, we must remember to go to that person with a meek spirit, remembering they're trying to please the Lord. Arrogance can have no part in fellowship. One shouldn't despise, but help the weaker brethren.

  An important reason for Christians gathering together, is so we can help each other grow in love. If we don't show it to each other, we're defeating one of the main purposes for getting together:

  24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.    
Hebrews 10:24,25

  Our focus toward each other, as Christians, is to seek to build up the other in the Lord. We're to seek to use what God gives us to build others. Instead of selfish relishing of what we get, we should lovingly seek to use it for others' benefits:

  1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.        
Ephesians 5:1,2
  1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.    
1 Corinthians 14:1,12,26

Love, Or Lack Of It, That Aids In Discernment:
  John spoke powerfully on this. He reminds us of the man who claims love for God. Assume he has lots of devotions, prayers, ministries, etc., but doesn't love a particular Christian. Assume this other Christian is one with an overinflated ego, and considers others as less than himself. Even being like this, not loving this one shows the first man's claimed love of God is a lie. His love would bring obedience to God's commandment to love his brother:

  20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.    
1 John 4:20,21

4.     Love Covers Evil
  Don't let misunderstanding get in the way here. The Christian with the ego problem is to be loved, but not the ego problem. That's the sin of pride still in his life. We're to hate sin (Hebrews 1:9). The folly is to hate the person as if he himself was the sin. He has been led captive by this particular sin (2 Peter 2:19; Ephesians 2:1-22). The response of love would endeavor to lead this person to a deliverance from that sin. In your love, you would be able to separate the sin from the individual, so you could deal in love over the issue of the sin, which you hate. When he repents, it's as if he never sinned, for this is the covering nature of love:

  8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.    
1 Peter 4:8,9

  9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.    
Proverbs 17:9
  12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.    
Proverbs 10:12

5.     The Love of God & The Love of Man
  There's a good love and a bad love. The good love is of God (1 John 2:15-17). It's self-sacrificing, and follows righteousness. It governs all areas of our life, and keeps our needs and drives under divine guidance, so they're righteous (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Man's Love:
  The bad love is where needs and drives are out from under God's divine hand (2 Timothy 4:10). It seeks self and becomes self-fulfilling, instead of self-sacrificing. Perversion can take place, so natural affection ends up following every sort of immorality (Romans 1:21-32). Even what appears good, is done for selfish reasons when it's boiled down.

  15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
     1 John 2:15,16
  The tainted love of man can't properly mix with God's pure, holy love:

  24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
    Matthew 6:24
  If our love of God is true, we'll see to it our worldly love is recognized and dealt with. To fail in this, is to try to love God and the world. The two won't mix, and the love will end up being only the world's.

God's Love Comes Only From Him:
  It's impossible for anyone to have the love of God apart from God. It's even incomprehensible (1 Corinthians 2:11-16). This is why the unsaved person can't accept it, other than on the basis of folly. This divine love can only come by the Holy Spirit:

  16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.    
Ephesians 3:16-19

  It's imperative we come under complete subjection to God, to possess this love.

  5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 
   2 Corinthians 10:5

  Except it come from Him, we can't do a thing. It would be impossible to obey His command to love:

  4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
     John 15:4,5

  When we come under His love, and it flows through us, there will be times when those, not under His love, will speak against our actions of love. Their murmuring won't, however, deter us from the good, due to the self-sacrificing nature of love. We would seek to help the one in need before we would consider the slander that would be cast at us. Jesus did:

  7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.    
Luke 19:7

    6.     Self-Sacrifice Is Another Word For Love
Live Grace:
  We live in an age of grace. Before Christ's first coming, man lived in an age of law (Galatians 4:1-7). What this meant, was that man was to require the letter of the law of God to be carried out. Judgment and justice were the words. Now, being under grace, we're to live the example of grace. This means that when we're wronged, we're to forgive the wrong as the wrongs we had committed were forgiven us. This is the point Christ starts with here:

  38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
    Matthew 5:38-48 (Luke 6:27-36)

  From verses 38-44, Christ taught how we're to show His grace and love. Jesus also made reference to the limited natural affections the unregenerated have, verses 46, 47.
  An early saint also left us a good example of the heart of grace in his dying words:

  59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.    
Acts 7:59,60
  A demonstration of God's completely sacrificial love, that went to those whose ways are those He hates, is seen in Romans:

  8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.    
Romans 5:8

Our Rights:
  There's an attitude that's most prevalent. This is one of "standing for my rights!" We often feel that if someone does something to us that's inconsiderate or wrong, we have the right to make a big stink about it. We think in essence, "Just who does he think he is?!" This attitude is understandable, but for the Christian, it's not right. It maybe something as small as the neighbor sending his dogs over to mess on your lawn. It could be that you work in an office, and a promotion is given to someone else, who gets it through dishonesty. The Christian response is to submit to that person who's now over us, and even endeavor to help him or her. What we usually end up doing is backbiting, slandering and complaining about that person. At the least, we maintain a deep abiding hate of that person. This takes us back to the beatitudes in Matthew 5:38- 48 (quoted above).

  Many Christians concede to the fact they're not to take other Christians to court (1 Corinthians 6:1-8). Unfortunately, their conforming to this demand is legalistic conformity, not a love led, Spirit filled walk. If some corporation, or unsaved individual, does something evil to them, they snap to attention with the all out goal of suing them or even picketing. They might say to justify themselves, "The Bible doesn't forbid suing non-Christians, does it?", and kind of nod their heads with an "I thought not". Their thought lies in that familiar passage on suing found in Corinthians. They don't try to search the Bible to find passages such as those in I Thessalonians:

  15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
    1 Thessalonians 5:15

  19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 
   Romans 12:19,21
  Doing good is what we're directed to in 1 John:

  18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
    1 John 3:18
  There are circumstances where suing would be right, but the lust for vengeance and the hope of wealth wouldn't be present in these necessary circumstances. Such a circumstance could be malpractice of a doctor where your taking action would help save the same from happening to other victims, or provide for the need of you or your child to compensate for the abusive service.

  Our Christianity sometimes leaves us when it means we can get a good deal. Instead of doing to others as we would have them do unto us, we excuse ourselves with the thought, "If they're not smart enough to make sure they don't accidentally let something of value go for nought, or next to it, they deserve what they get." The "do unto others" rule would teach us to not take advantage of a person's mistakes, and encourage us to mercy.

  In going all out for God, being wary of false doctrines, and trying to obtain all He has and desires for us, we may forget a most important place to show love. I've noticed preachers attempting to imitate other preachers, declaring their opposing view. They imitate them in a mocking voice, which has the effect of belittling the other minister of God. If someone of that opposing view were to listen, that belittling and mocking manner would most certainly not touch their heart, causing them to seek honestly in God's Word. He rather creates a larger barrier through lack of love for the other person, if indeed it's the other person who's deceived. This failure of love can be very damaging if not, most unnecessarily, schismatic as well. It's God's goodness that brings us to the light of repentance, not that which springs from a lack of love:

  4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?    
Romans 2:4
  This whole problem springs from pride of our knowledge and disdainment of their supposed lack of knowledge, the opposite of self-sacrifice.
  Two good passages to keep in mind are:
  8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.    
1 Peter 3:8-11

  12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.    
Colossians 3:12-14

  Our ways should be that of looking low. When we look to the high and strong people, we become proud and compare ourselves to others. We fight and scratch to the top. We see men instead of Christ and seek to build up self instead of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:12-18). When we look back, we despise those behind us and those who weren't able to follow us in the faith:

  17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 
           Romans 11:17-24

  A warning to heed is given in Romans:

  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
    Romans 12:3 (James 2:1-9)

  10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; . . . 13a Distributing to the necessity of saints; . . . 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17a Recompense to no man evil for evil. . .    
Romans 12:10, 13a, 14-17a
  The way of looking low, values the other's desires and needs above our own (verse 10). We support fellow Christians in need as we're able, verse 13a.

  44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.    
Acts 2:44, 45
  This would also remove the state of receivers as being looked down upon for receiving. There wouldn't be giving with the wondering in the back of our heart of, "Will I get it back?" The looking low is the same way God looks at us in our sinful nature, and descends to meet our needs. There's a word for that: Mercy.

7.     Mercy Is A Manifestation of Love
  This great mercy, a love which reaches so deep and grasps so wide, is told to Peter:

  21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.            
Matthew 18:21,22 (Luke 17:3,4)

  We receive this great mercy from God and we think - WOW! Note, however, that this verse is telling Christians what they're to do. This kind of love and ability comes only from God. By allowing God to live this through us, we get the promise of receiving it in turn: "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." "Do unto others," remember?

  10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.    
Proverbs 12:10
  This manifestation of love goes out in every area and to all life. A man who's cruel to animals or hates them, must be seriously frowned upon in any declarations he makes to love in any other way. Check the fruit.

8.     Love Is An Ingredient In Meekness
Meekness Looks To Others:
  Meekness is a special state of heart which comes from two major sources. One is from seeing our state before God, and comprehending our own humanity. (This is further discussed in the lesson entitled, "Wisdom" - James 3:13). The other comes from love both toward God and toward men:

  1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.    
Philippians 2:1-4

  From verse 3, we see the meek as valuing others more than themselves. The only way one will ever do this, is through love. This means self-sacrifice, to sacrifice our own comfort for another.
  1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.    
    Ephesians 4:1-3

  When our heart and responses are directed outward to others with true meekness, the result will be regarding others in a state of love.

Rebuke Guided By Meekness:
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.    
Galatians 6:1,2
  We're to deal with sin when it's present in the body. There are two factors in play. One, we hate sin. The other, we love the individual who's caught in sin. We also realize we're prone to sin. This being the case, the love mixed with knowing ourselves, brings us into a state of meekness when dealing with someone. This combination brings out, and demonstrates, love in a magnified way. It helps prove the genuineness of our love. What provokes the discipline of sin, is love as seen in Proverbs:

  24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
             Proverbs 13:24

  From the view of the person receiving discipline, the love and meekness isn't always seen, as Paul indicated in Corinthians. If this particular manifestation of love is violently rejected with the claim of your lacking love, remember this:

  21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?            
1 Corinthians 4:21 (2 Corinthians 13:10)

9.     Love Gets Tough Sometimes
Wounds Of Love:
  Love isn't always gentle. Gentleness at the wrong time, is lack of love. This may prove the love to be selfish and worldly. One which doesn't dare risk itself for the other's ultimate good. It fears losing the love of the loved one, so doesn't rock the boat. This kind of love would see the other one destroyed, to save itself. The disciplines of love seek to help:

  6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
    Proverbs 27:6

  The love of God manifests itself in discipline:

  6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.             Hebrews 12:6

  6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.    
2 Corinthians 2:6-11
  We see from this in Corinthians, the tough treatment they showed an individual was from a heart of love.

  Love isn't without prerequisites. True God-like love doesn't just love everything, and it's not considerate to all people. This may sound shocking to you, but the scriptures show it:

  34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.     
    Matthew 10:34-39

  12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
    Matthew 15:12-14
  Don't use these passages to excuse undue rudeness or hostility, but don't neglect their lessons either. God-like love will show devotion to God first, then others. Those who love the world will hate the ways of God, even though they may claim otherwise, like the Pharisees. God's love won't show consideration of sin, especially in those who claim to be His servants. There is, in love, a priority, which if confronted with someone of another priority, will result in hostility. Either way you go, the world's love or God's, there will be hostility.

  Beware of the world's lie. It's called "compromise": You agree to disagree, and go arm in arm in harmony.
  You think you've found a meeting ground. What you've done in reality, is returned to the world's love which is always soft with no rebuke. It chooses to fellowship with sin, it doesn't seek God first, but itself. Thus, Satan has claimed another victim, and you won't offend in your love.

10.     The Love Chapter
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.    
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
  This is the great chapter on love. It's such a magnificent chapter I could hardly make a comment on it that would do it justice. It points out the greatest thing in all the Christian walk, the most splendid thing to be sought after and most enduring, which will take you the farthest, even over faith and hope, is love itself.
  A friend told me of a promise his mother requested of him. She asked him to daily read the thirteenth chapter of Corinthians for a week. He told me the reading of this chapter changed his life. Give the Spirit of God a chance, and He can accomplish great things.

11.    Finding Fulfillment in Love
  Love isn't merely doctrine to be grasped and looked at. With doctrines we may think, "Well, this is interesting." The issue of love is a matter of life, in its fullest sense. As long as there's room for growth or development of anything in our lives, there's room for improvement in our love.
  Love's a two way street. We almost always seem to think about the giving when we ruminate on love. The receiving of love also has complexities. We need companionship and love, but find friend's love has limits. This leaves us with a lack of fulfillment. The only place to have fulfilled relationships is in Christ. When we seek Him first, his love is able to flow through us, which is perfect love. When we meet people who do such, we meet a perfect and fulfilling love. There's more though.
  To meet love directed towards you, in someone else, versus the love towards you from God directly, are different matters. We'll never find fulfilling love in man alone, even in a Christ-centered person. To be fulfilled, we need to keep God's companionship continually. While knowing Him in a loving relationship with others, (or the lack of others) we're able to be satisfied, since we have all we need in Him (Philippians 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:9,10; John 15:1- 14).

12.    Questions to Ponder
a) If someone does something offensive, whose well being do you look to first, your own or the offender's? If you say the offender, how do you feel about giving love, when you feel you've been slighted? Is this then true love?

b) Do you find delight in things that put down others? (Polish jokes?)
c) What's your attitude toward someone who doesn't want to do something you do, because they fear it may be evil? (Example: some don't celebrate Christmas because of pagan ties.)
d) Suppose you fellowship with a brother or sister who is certain something you're doing is a sin, and they tell you so. Is your attitude one of, "Get off my back or get out of my life" or "God, help me, if I'm wrong, show me, if not, show my brother/sister"?

Please Rate this Page
1 - Poor
5 - Excellent


3 + 4 =
(to prove you're a real human, not a spammer)

Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

Return To Library