"The Reality of Love"
The word "love" freely flows from human tongues and pens, but often unaccompanied by any understanding of what the term actually means.
"The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalm 119:130).
Only God's definition of love matters, as provided by the illumination of Scripture. To know love, we must know Him. To understand the meaning of love, we must be illuminated by His Word. All other sources deceive us, painting a portrait of love that distorts our reception and experience of this most vital reality of our being. Indeed, consider the Bible's declaration, "God is love" (I John 4:8). Moreover, the two great commands call us to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength… Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mark 12:30-31). Thus, it behooves us to find out what love actually is, as revealed by the only One who can tell us because He alone exists as the very essence of love.
Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of God's love - again, the only love that actually exists - involves the truth of His wrath and chastening. Our Heavenly Father could not be love, nor could He act in love, apart from the execution of judgment upon the wicked, and discipline upon His children. Those who will not receive or regard Him must ultimately be removed as a threat to the sanctity of God's creation, and particularly, of God's children. Allowed to forever remain in proximity to His realm and His people, the unrighteous would eventually destroy all things. Love therefore must act on behalf of its recipients in order to remain faithful to them, and to itself. Presently, God must also act in the discipline of love toward His trusting children in Christ. "Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6). No genuinely caring father withholds the rod when only the rod can guide the child in the way of truth and peace. Love, God's love, therefore hurts us when necessary as no less an expression of compassion than the tender caress.
Our spiritual enemies fight against our understanding of genuine love more forcefully than another other aspect of God's truth. We must rightly know our Lord's definition if we are to rightly respond in our calling to love Him and others. Only the Word of God and the Spirit of God can teach us regarding this most vital aspect of our existence. Let us therefore make the matter an ongoing inquiry in our personal walk with the Lord, and in our consideration together. What is love? Who is love? What does love do? How does love act? Only in the light of God's countenance can we find the answers, as revealed by the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures.
"And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God."
(II Thessalonians 3:5)
Weekly Memory Verse
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
(I John 5:21)