Tag Archives: forgiveness

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.

Advertisements

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!

Forgive and Forget

Forgiveness is not forgetting the pain, but choosing to forgive daily that which caused the pain and rejoicing in the lesson learned and being free from the bondage of bitterness. –N. Green

Most confuse forgive with forget. Though God places our transgressions in the sea of forgetfulness, we do not have the ability or the capacity to do the same.

Heb 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Mic 7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Forgiveness of others and ourselves is something we choose to do every day or when it is brought to our remembrance. Never forget that today is everyday, yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes for when it arrives it is today. We live everyday with regrets and those regrets can make us better or bitter. I make note the prayer model we are taught by Christ referred to as the Lord’s Prayer.

Mat 6:9-13  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.

This is a daily prayer that is our benefit to pray (as a model) because it reminds us that praise starts with God the Father and our forgiveness is linked to our forgiving others and may I stress ourselves. If I am unwilling to grant myself forgiveness am I truly forgiving others? Logically speaking forgiveness is not an apology rather the attitude I will not hold the transgression in judgment of condemnation. Likewise, God does not hold our transgression in judgment of condemnation because the wage of the sin has been paid on the cross. Furthermore guilt is a natural response to transgression and should not be suppressed rather accepting the guilt as a gift of God that keeps our hearts tender and pliable. Feel the guilt yes! Praise God for His mercy and Grace. Ask for the corrective action that restores our relationship with Christ. Then join David in Psalm 51 so you can join the fellowship of transgressors who learning the mercy of God can teach others by your experience

Psa 51:1-19  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Forgive yes!  Feel regret, yes! Never forget the experience and be ready to give an account for the Hope that you have in the mercy of God and His Grace!

Kingdom of Heaven

Over the years I have leaned heavily on Men Like Charles Haddon Spurgeon for writing inspiration. They have exhorted me to drive deeper in my study, and prayer for understanding and resulting relational growth with Christ. Morning and evening devotions are no exception. Lean in and hear this devotion as if you were sitting by an open fireplace sipping coffee or tea. 
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.”

– 1 Peter 1:23
Peter most earnestly exhorted the scattered saints to love each other “with a pure heart fervently” and he wisely fetched his argument, not from the law, from nature, or from philosophy, but from that high and divine nature which God hath implanted in his people. Just as some judicious tutor of princes might labour to beget and foster in them a kingly spirit and dignified behaviour, finding arguments in their position and descent, so, looking upon God’s people as heirs of glory, princes of the blood royal, descendants of the King of kings, earth’s truest and oldest aristocracy, Peter saith to them, “See that ye love one another, because of your noble birth, being born of incorruptible seed; because of your pedigree, being descended from God, the Creator of all things; and because of your immortal destiny, for you shall never pass away, though the glory of the flesh shall fade, and even its existence shall cease.” It would be well if, in the spirit of humility, we recognized the true dignity of our regenerated nature, and lived up to it. What is a Christian? If you compare him with a king, he adds priestly sanctity to royal dignity. The king’s royalty often lieth only in his crown, but with a Christian it is infused into his inmost nature. He is as much above his fellows through his new birth, as a man is above the beast that perisheth. Surely he ought to carry himself, in all his dealings, as one who is not of the multitude, but chosen out of the world, distinguished by sovereign grace, written among “the peculiar people” and who therefore cannot grovel in the dust as others, nor live after the manner of the world’s citizens. Let the dignity of your nature, and the brightness of your prospects, O believers in Christ, constrain you to cleave unto holiness, and to avoid the very appearance of evil. —Charles Haddon Spurgeon