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Love or Die

Love or Die

Love is a law therefore it is commanded. Somehow this has escaped me all these years. I know it is good for me to love because it is reciprocal. Hate is reciprocal too. Indifference is no more than a silent hatred. What has escaped me all these years is that love is a law that cannot be broken without extreme collateral damage. Even so love is the motivating law of life.  We see this law in action all around as an inescapable command: “Love or Die”.  We have an insatiable need for love. We are served and serve through love. Intimacy of relationship is though love. By serving others we add value to ourselves and others. We call this appreciation or to appreciate.  The absence of love depreciates, decreasing the value of ourselves and others.

god is love

The Love Defined

God is love. What does this mean? Love can be expressed by four Greek words, agape, phileo, eros and storge.

Storge is a love God the Father expresses toward Christ as the heir of all He has designed and purposed to show the Glory of God to all creation. This love is also expressed toward us who are made in the image and likeness of God.  To live is to manifest the Fathers glory of genius. To reflect this glory is an expression of storge. Storge is the most organic form of love that anyone can feel; something as natural as falling asleep at night. This love is the most comfortable and least ecstatic of all loves. It’s not the rapturous feeling you have when falling in love with a partner. Storge  it like soft slippers might feel to your body. Storge wraps you around like a blanket, almost like sleep itself. The Father has provided all that you need intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To love God you must express this level of appreciation with your total being. You are wrapped in the Fathers love resonating for all to see and feel.

Eros is a love that shows intimacy of being. Eros is the romantic flavor of love. It’s passionate, it’s rapturous, and it’s euphoric. It’s what the greatest songs have been sung about, what the greatest poems have been written about. It’s what many consider the greatest feeling of the human experience. Far more it is an expression that makes you human. If you’ve been walking around with a void in your life, when you find someone who can wipe it clean, it can truly feel like heaven on earth for a period of time.  This is the love of Jesus Christ toward His bride the body/church. This is His glory in action. To eros is to have the most intimate relationship intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To love Christ you must express this level of appreciation with your total being.

Dr. Seuss once said..

“You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

Phileo is a love that is dispassionate, deep, and enduring friendship. This love knows your faults and does not abandon you in times of need. This love stands with you regardless of the circumstances. This love laughs when you laugh, cries with you when you cry and comforts you all the day every day. This love tells you what you need to hear not what you want to hear. This love anchors you to stability not shifting with the sands of time. This love strengthens by faith and creates hope in your life. This is the love of the Holy Spirit toward you expressed in knowledge, wisdom, health and faith of intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To love the Holy Spirit you must express this level of appreciation with your total being.

 

Agape is a love that is comprehensive of storge, eros and phileo. God is Love. This would be better said Elohim is Love. The trinity is Love! You cannot have one without the others. Jesus said “He dwells within me and I in Him…He does the works.” Faith, hope and agape is the essentials of life and agape is the greatest of these. Why? God is agape. Who wants a husband or wife that is eros only? No you want a friend who will walk with you, a lover who will court you and spouse who knows your needs better than anyone! This is expressed toward you comprehensively by God intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

jas 1_5

Law of Love in action

This is where the road rises up to meet you. This is the great teaching of Christ Love is life. Love dwells in all human beings. All things that are good are the result of love. Love creates and appreciates. It does not benefit a person to attempt anything without love. Despite all your will to think positively and accept only good, you will find your thinking warped, demented and twisted into patterns of selfishness, bitterness, and resentment every time you cross a crisis in your life. If love has not manifested fully in your life you will see a world that is hostile and people and things that are hostile. This is a matter of view and not necessarily a reality. You will expect people to be bent on beating, taking from and destroying you. As long as this type of belief lies at the door of the subconscious you will be subject to the Law of Reciprocal Actions. You will get your expectations met creating an environment opposite of your desires. Consequently through lack of love you grow selfish, bitter and complaining, and sow the seeds of hate and destruction; you will wither, die and detract from life.

Life is creation, and all creation is a labor of love. The desire to contribute or add value(appreciate)  to humanity creates our environment and things. The fundamental nature of creativeness is love of life, for such love guides a man to progress, advancement, improvement or more enhanced than has ever been done before. Devine love draws a man into the great unity and purpose, guiding instinctively with perception the direction in which life moves; becoming one with its efforts, he contributes and creates.

This is no secret or special knowledge: only a measure of ignorance that has be sustained from one generation to another. Life seeks out knowledge and creation is the measure of the learning. Creation is the purpose of life; Creation is the mechanism of love. In other words you were created by Love to live in love and to express love with creativity. You have a designed purpose. For example a coffee cup is designed to be filled with coffee. More importantly it is designed to be filled with the brew that the master desires. We should not argue semantics noting that any hot or cold beverage may be placed in the cup. Rather that the desire is love and that love created the cup for the love of the beverage to the satisfaction of the master. You are designed with purpose by love and this love has designed talents and abilities given especially to you making you unique in the universe. Love develops character and sets you free to do the good works that God the Father has ordained that you should walk in. Lasting or complete satisfaction is established in your talents being developed, and your vision and knowledge God magnified. This is the chief end of man to glorify God by enjoying Him where magnification or your vision and knowledge reveal the magnitude of His greatness. This gives you a telescope view of God! By cleaving to the love of God as the power to good works you become free to develop your talents and abilities with an expanding and seeking universe; you become free to contribute. This is to say your life has meaning and purpose that is unique. This is not to say that the world is dependent on you and cannot exist without you; instead you add value to the world you live. This contribution advances humanity along the road. The great deception and evil resides in rejecting God as the source of love and life and proposing humanity as the source. This would be like proposing the eye is the most important organ of the body because it can see and perceive when the body can live without it. However with the eye the whole body advances in function. You are of value and add value. Your contribution is of great value.

We should be shocked and dismayed at the most disgraceful expression evil of our time by those people who do not realize that malfunction and despondency are their own fault. Some would say I have no friends and yet they are not friendly or are not a good friend. Some would say they have nothing to plant in their fields in the spring yet they ate their seed. They are sick and yet do not follow good hygiene. They sow the seed of idleness and laziness and reap neediness. They complain just as the children of Israel in the desert and ignore the greatest miracles right before their eyes. They cry in outrage and resentment along life’s road blaming God:  too much rain, not enough rain, too cold, too hot, too much sun, not enough shade, and negative, negative, negative! The greatest lesson to learn is that the fault is not fate, luck or an angry God—they are the fault. The very word itself presumes a mistake made. Ignorance and lack of love is the error which is to be the fault. This is a shame when we have such a great witness that surrounds us that God is Love!

Love or Die

Life does not have to be this way. God has created you to be more than you can imagine. You can achieve the desires God has placed in your life just as a seed that is planted in the ground. Are you fertile ground for it to grow and develop? The fertility of the ground is dependent on your love. Love is the power to live and grow; the lack of love is death.

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Frustration of Love

 

Frustration

Sometimes we miss some of the simplest of truths. Jesus said unless you come as a child you will not see the Kingdom of Heaven. We call this childlike faith. We forget that we are all children something that time and maturity does not change. In our ignorance and in some cases arrogance we forget what it truly means to be a child. Am I greater than my creator? Ridiculous! By this we understand we will always be a child where as we will always need the Father to provide all we need pertaining to life and godliness and He is the only one who is able to provide. Early in life we learn some valuable lessons that shape our understanding of self and others. How we respond though shapes our view and consequently the direction in life we ultimately travel.

 

A newborn baby is needy. This is for sure and certain.  This child desires all things, asks (we may argue demands) all things, and has complete confidence that he will receive the things he is asking. This is due to the fact that eternity is placed in his heart where all things are provided upon asking, seeking, and knocking. There is never a denial in the place of God. We understand this in the phrase “the spirit of man returns to God who gave it form”. Slowly this child learns that there are beings other than self who must be considered. Such as the human condition here in this world we are born. Christ summed the Law written on our hearts as Love God and Love neighbor. This child learns that in this world there are things that it may not have or due and there are things that it may have and do. There is a protocol for conduct that is appropriate and it must be followed for justice and righteousness. If the child perceives that these denials are directed with love he becomes aware of the care, companionship, tenderness, nurturing, and concern. The response is extraordinary for the child becomes accustomed to consideration and mutual exchange. Love in this case builds character with understanding. Nevertheless if the child experiences malice and/or anger with each denial, then rejection and fear take root. Once this child’s reality is given fear, hate is born. People fears the things they think may hurt them, and once hurt; they hate not the action but the person or thing that causes the hurt. Elementary right. The challenge we face in this life is dealing with those times when rejection lacks love. This is appropriately call frustrating love.

 

We cannot control the actions of others. We can control our response and how we treat others. Fear of rejection and fear of hurt only continues the perpetual frustration of love. This is why we are told to love and pray for our enemies. They exhibit the same choice we have: fear or fear not. The question we don’t ask ourselves is who sees us as an enemy and why? Are we the enemy of others because of love? Most likely not. We have demonstrated a lack of love in a way that they either fear what we may do or that we look like someone who has done them wrong. Those who view us as an enemy have a high probability of viewing the whole world against them and live in a closet of fear, doubt and hate. Love conquers all. The question is do we believe this or are we doubtful and therefore fearful that this does not apply to us? We live in a messy world and around us there will always be hurt and suffering. Love though meets these with compassion, care and concern uniting us with the Christ and brings healing.

child of christ

How many buried hurts do you have – 10? 100?, 1000?, 10000?

 

This is like a farmer who has experience blight on his crops for decades. Every year at harvest time he sorts the good from the bad fruit discarding the diseased fruit and storing for market the good fruit. He spends more time sorting than the combined time of planting and harvesting. Consequentially he has very little to show for all his labor. Logic says that it would be more sensible for him to take preventive care at the time of planting by planting companion plants, rotating crops, and spraying the crops with pesticide. Further nurturing the crops with gentile cultivation, proper nutrition and irrigation will give a greater yield with far less work.

 

We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We do not need to search for love because we already have love in us. Love cries out to us for expression from deep with in our hearts. Love knows that it is reciprocal meaning to express it is to receive it. Suppress it and we starve ourselves of the thing we need. We think ourselves smart to build a fence around it and live in loneliness, pride and vanity. We only hurt ourselves by depriving the expression of love for love grants us all we need like a bud on a tree burst to expose the leaves that feed the whole plant. Love makes the world go and it will make you go too, let the hurt and fear go and let God. Frustrate Love no more!

The Power of Love

prays best_coleridge

The person who knows God loves God and loves all things He has made. His love does not capitulate for it does not rest on the shifting sands moved by the winds of time and circumstance; instead he knows a complete oneness through Christ with the Father whose very essence is love. He does not seek because he has all. Wherever he cast his eye he sees the reflection of God and the same glory reflected in himself. All things resonates the love of God, from the birds that sing songs of praise early in the morning to the chorus of night creature that meter a harmonic voice to the wee hours of the morning. For this person all creation sings praise to the love of God, his spirit is raised to new heights of adoration and his prayers move mountains, calms the seas of fear and doubt. He knows and is known by and through the great power of God’s love.

 

 

Source of Happiness

servinggodbyservingothers

Pascal says, “All dignity lies in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time, which we cannot fill.” He says further: “These are only two kinds of people who can be called reasonable; those who serve God with all their heart because they know Him, and those who seek him with all their heart because they do not know Him.”

The first man is both reasonable and happy. The second is reasonable and unhappy.
But a man who neither knows God nor seeks him is foolish as well as unhappy.

RESPECT

In “respect is a man’s deepest value”, Emerson reports on a national survey in which 400 men were asked which they could endure better: (a) to be left alone and unloved in the world, or (b) to feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone. Seventy-four percent said they would prefer being left alone and unloved over feeling inadequate and disrespected.( Love and Respect pgs 49-52)

RESPECT

This one paragraph hit so close to home that I feel the stab in my back right between the shoulder blades. At the drop of a hat I will respond to the call to war , to protect home and family. Does this mean that I like to fight? That would be a greatly overstated. However God has wired us men that it is not common for us to back down from a good fight or better stated the action of backing down is the result of  the suppression of manliness. Men what does that say about us? To fight and lose is the same as to fight and win. This is called respect. I do not win all my fights in life. I have lost the battle of pride many times. I have lost the battle with lust many more times. I have lost the battle with bitterness and coldness toward others. I have acted in an unloving way to my neighbor, friends, family, wife and my God. I still come back swinging to be humble before my God. A man is not measured by the battles he loses but the number of times he gets back up and comes back swinging. The most boring boxing matches is the one that does not last one round. However respect goes to both men for getting in the ring. We all want to see a long battle that shows the determination of each man willing to stay the course. Truly does it matter who wins? No! except to the bookie and the betting men who do not have the courage to get in the ring! I am not a great fan of boxing or fighting sports but I am a man and I can relate to the why they do what they do. No man truly wants anything other than respect and if respect is not coming leave us alone.

1Co 9_24-27 

We are instructed as men to live in such a way that we do not bring dishonor or disrespect first to God and then to ourselves. Respect is the highest measure of God for it produces Glory. Many times in the scripture we are told to Fear God. The English language is too subjective for this expression. To fear God we recognize that He is supreme in intelligence, power, and might. Everyman esteems to have all three of these qualities. To possess them is wisdom and respect. Some of the most powerful men that have walked on this earth did not have physical stature to move mountains and yet they moved mountains. Power is found in the arm and chest. Power is also found in the intellect. Might is found in the stature of a man. Might is also found in the temper of a man. This is illustrated with diamonds which possess power and hardness. What can match the power and hardness of a diamond?  The fear of God is our view of His intelligence, power and might.

And fear not them which destroy the body, but are not able to destroy the spirit: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both spirit and body in hell. Mat_10:28

Many have been harsh with this passage. Jesus is speaking to us men on a very personal level. Who do you respect?  The same is said of poisonous snakes, lions, bears, crocodiles, and sharks. Make your own list. We give them space for the reason of respect. They have the power to wreck havoc on our body. They are worthy of this respect. You can call this fear if you must. The respect is not found in what they do instead what they are capable of doing.

micah-6_8

Now the million dollar question:  What does God require? He requires the same thing all of us men do, who is made in His image and likeness. Respect! You want respect? Be respectable. God the Father gave us Jesus as an example of being respectable. He loved, He cried, and He laughed. He walked on water not to prove that He is God but to show us that we can do mighty things in His name. Ask Peter! He healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf not to prove that He is God but to show us that we have the power to have compassion on the needy and fix broken things. He gave life to the dead not to prove that He is God, but to show us that life is in our words for the building up of those who are around us. Ask Martha. He gave His life on the Cross innocent of every charge brought against Him not as a show of weakness or frailty but as a show of strength found in mercy. Ask the thief beside him on the Cross!  This mercy is to be our strength in this messy world. He was buried in a borrowed grave to show us that our life is not about the monument raised in our name because this is not the end but the beginning. He arose from the Dead to show us that as God he has shown the way through the grave and blazed a trail to greater things than we have ever known. He appeared to the disciples who testify that grave could not hold him and death could not  defeat the power of God and that we to are victorious through Him. We are a victorious people who though we may lose battles WIN THE WAR. He did this for you and so much more. This is RESPECT. This is GLORY.

Men we all want respect. Fact is we need respect. We are wired for respect. Respect begins with a relationship with Christ and following the example He has set before us. What this means is that we fight for character and integrity. We evaluate our lives and take corrective actions to be men of faith, men of courage, men of honor, and men of integrity. We go through the furnace and temper our words and actions. We do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God!

1-Corinthians_2-9

Purpose = Happiness

God created us with a purpose in mind no doubt. We find in the

Westminster Shorter Catechism:

The most famous of questions: Q. What is the chief end of man? A.Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

We all want to know why we are here and that our being has meaning and significance. We often confuse results with purpose as if cause/effect must alway be origin/end. God is glorified when you are happy and you are happy when God is glorified. This is not the law of causality rather the Law of Reciprocal Action. 

God is the first cause with out question and his creating you is His glory demonstrated or manifested in you. Your joy or happiness is then first demonstrated in your being. The more you seek His purpose for your life the greater His glory is magnified and the greater your joy in being all He has created you to be.

Thank you for your post for in doing so you have Glorified God in your sharing and you have shared your joy with me bringing me great joy. I pray that God will increase His glory in your life and in so doing increase your joy!

May the Lord Jesus Keep you close, clean and safe!

Source: Purpose = Happiness

The OLD PATH is the NEW PATH

old path

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jer 6:16 

Growing up I loved this song:

“Old Time Religion”

Refrain:
Give me that old time religion,
Give me that old time religion,
Give me that old time religion,
It’s good enough for me.

1) It was good for Paul and Silas,
It was good for Paul and Silas,
It was good for Paul and Silas,
It’s good enough for me. [Refrain]

I am not sure that we get the message though from this song that is conveyed in Jeremiah 6:16. I know that for me the message looks like the 20th Century church and life. God though has another view of the OLD PATH. Jesus said narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and broad is the way that leads to destruction. Solomon wrote:

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Pro. 16:25

The way that seems right

For those of us who have most of our childhood and even adulthood in the 20th Century have witnessed changes at a rapid pace. Those born in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s have literally witnessed the introduction of indoor plumbing, appliances and motor vehicles for every household. Those who remember an outhouse and hauling water can reminiscent those old days with a certain fondness maybe because they appreciate not having to work so hard. Those born in the 70’s, 80’s remember a time without electronics and can reminiscent those old days without the internet and cell phones maybe because they appreciate not having to work so hard. We can get caught up in the good ol’ days and apply this same view to scripture. The challenge we face is not in our view but the reference point of the view. Solomon is right there is a way that seem right and the vector is at least a degree off.

What is right?

What is right not What is truth? Truth does not guide us to right. For instance it is true that an atom of hydrogen can be split. The way to split the atom may seem right however history show the destruction to two Japanese cities as a result. Sound familiar? The end is death! That may be an extreme example.

hammer a screw

Consider a hammer and nail, screwdriver and screw. It is true that you may use a hammer to drive a screw into a 2×4. It is true you may use the handle of a screwdriver to drive a nail into the same 2×4. Equally true is the hammer will drive the screw and the screw will rip a hole in the 2×4 doing damage to the wood and rendering almost useless the hold the screw was designed or the screw will be damaged rendering it useless. Equally true is the nail will wedge into the wood as designed and no resulting damage to the nail or wood. However the handle of the screwdriver will bear the scar of the nail head and eventually destroy the handles design to be held by the craftsman.  Just because we can, does not mean we should. Right and truth are not synonyms.  Right is a path that should be followed that leads to life not death, rest not turmoil, harmony not chaos, purpose not meaningless.

What is truth?

Pilate ask Jesus “What is truth?” Jesus responded to the question several times throughout His earthly ministry.

 

drifting from truth

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Joh 14:6

What does this mean? Jesus is not giving us a nice catch phrase for us to feel better. He claims He is the truth. In other words there is truth everywhere and some truth is meant to follow and others not to follow. Truth does not make right. Truth is not a thing rather the revealing of a thing as opposed to concealing a thing. To conceal is to potentially deceive or at least continue in ignorance. Jesus points us back to the OLD PATH: The way that is true and leads to life.

What is the OLD PATH

What is the OLD PATH spoken of by Jeremiah? The OLD PATH, you may be surprised, is not a list of things that you should or should not do or a religion. What is religion?

The English word “religion” is derived from the Middle English “religioun” which came from the Old French “religion.” It may have been originally derived from the Latin word “religo” which means “good faith,” “ritual,” and other similar meanings. Or it may have come from the Latin “religâre” which means “to tie fast,” or “bind together.”

Defining the word “religion” is burdened with difficulty. Many attempts have been made. Many people focus on a very narrow definition that matches their own religion, but few if any others.[i]

Anyone can be religious in belief and practice. This does not mean that the belief and practice is one that everyone should follow or that the practice is linked to God.

For instance a person who rises every morning and gets a cup of coffee and checks his email falls into the cast of religious activity. This ritual has no link to God or even a moral code of do’s and don’ts. This is a ritual and this man religiously performs this ritual every morning. Is it any wonder we have a difficult time understanding scripture?

The old path can be related more to a testimony of a man who lived before the flood. Enoch 6th born from Adam or Noah’s Great Grandfather walked with God. One day Enoch was walking with God and God took him from this world.  I like to think that while out walking the day got late and God announced to Enoch my house is closer that yours come on home with me. We read:

And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Gen 5:23-24

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Heb 11:5

christ-and-his-disciples

The OLD PATH looks more like a relationship than our modern religion. Jesus demonstrated this with the 12 disciples and later with Paul. He actually walked and talked with them. John is reported to have leaned his head on Jesus’ shoulder. He laughed with them an even cried at Lazarus’ tomb prior to raising him from the dead. They ate with him and slept on the ground next to him for three years. They fellowshipped around the tables with many people who would call Jesus a close friend and they were correct for He called them His friends. The OLD PATH Jeremiah speaks of is not a list or even a commandment but a fellowship, a friendship for life.

Make no mistake to tell the truth, there is right and wrong. There is good and evil. There is an OLD PATH and that path is a path that if we follow will lead to eternal life and rest in this life. That path does not lead to a church building or denomination, and hopefully the people who are in that building is on the OLD PATH. The OLD PATH is not a way of life or ritual. The OLD PATH is not a set of rules but Jesus said that the one who follows the OLD PATH will have a fellowship of love and will follow His commandments which are not a burden; instead a truth that sets free from the bondage of sin and death.

The OLD PATH is the designed purpose of every human being to have a relationship with his/her creator and a walking, talking fellowship all the days on this earth and for ever more.

[i] http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_defn1.htm