The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"Love: Personal and Doctrinal"
Love is, in its essence, a Person, or rather, love is the triune personhood of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally dwelling as one God. "God is love" (I John 4:16).
Love is also doctrinal, that is, love is love only as defined by the Scriptures. "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment" (Philippians 1:9).
We must know and respond to the reality of love both personally and doctrinally. We come to God in loving fellowship through the Lord Jesus Christ, as led and enabled by the Holy Spirit. We come to God in doctrinal understanding of love by the Bible as it leads us in the light of God. No true experience of love exists without true understanding of love as revealed in the Person of God, and taught in the Word of God. "Love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God" (I John 4:7).
We cannot know our Lord in a manner satisfying to either Him or ourselves apart from His love being the most intensely personal reality of our lives. Indeed, the discovery and ongoing realization of our Lord's devotion to us constitutes the very heart of our relationship with Him. "The Son of God… loved me and gave Himself for me" confessed the Apostle Paul of the most wondrous blessing he could imagine. "The love of Christ passeth knowledge" proclaimed Paul of a wonder he could never begin to fully fathom or experience (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:19). This elicited the holy response in the Apostle whereby he sought to love the God who so loved him. "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).
The same Paul also knew nothing of a love that did not perfectly and perpetually flow with the current of Scripture. "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 1:13). "Faith and love" must ever correlate with "sound words," the sound words of God's Word, the Bible. Love must have definition in order to foster genuine devotion. We must increasingly understand its source and origin in God Himself, and also what steps the Holy Spirit will lead us to take as we seek to "walk in love" (Ephesians 5:2).
No experience begins to compare with being loved by God, and loving Him in holy response. No subject offers more thrilling mental stimulation and interest than what it means that "God is love," and that for believers, "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us" (I John 4:8; Romans 5:5). Love is Personal. Love is doctrinal. As always, two rails lie before us upon which the train of Truth travels as our Lord calls us to know and understand His love, and to journey ever onward in the wonder…
"Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father… hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace."
(II Thessalonians 2:16)
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."
Weekly Memory Verse
"The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works."