In the area of God’s love, there seems to be three types of Christians: 1. Those that totally relate to God based on performance. 2. Those that know the scriptures on unconditional love and grace, but don’t relate to God based on that knowledge. 3. Those that know the Scriptures on love and grace, understand the finished work of Christ, and relate to God based on that knowledge. The third type is very rare, but it should be the standard. Let’s get into God’s Word, and let’s get a revelation of God’s love.
1Co 8:1-3 says “ ...... Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” Often people think that if they have knowledge of The Word of God, then they have what they need. That is wrong. Knowledge alone just makes you heady, high-minded, & arrogant. Many heady Christians have no fruit. However, Agape love (charity) builds up. Knowledge alone puffs up; Agape love builds up. Loving God, and being known by God; this is what is important (Gal 6:3, Prv 26:12).
In Revelation chapter two, Jesus gives the church at Ephesus a solemn warning: Repent, or you will be removed. In other words, if you don’t change your ways, I don’t even want you around (Rev 2:5). What was their crime? They had good works, they labored in the Gospel, they were patient, they didn’t tolerate false doctrine or false preachers, they hated evil deeds, they didn’t faint in what was good, etc., etc. I mean, come on! This church sounds like a Gospel power house! What could be so bad?
I’ll tell you what: They had fallen, because they had left their first love. They had become like Pharisees. They were doing everything right, but for the wrong reason. It wasn’t motivated out of their love relationship with Jesus. If you do A, B, C, & D, and have not love; it profits you nothing (1Cor 13). This is so fundamental, that Jesus was going to shut them down if they didn’t get their priorities straight. Did you know that Jesus said the number one way the world would know that we are His disciples, is our love for one another (Jn 13:35). The Apostle John said, that if you don’t love, you don’t know God; for God is love (1Jn 4:8). These are pretty strong statements, don’t you think? Maybe we should do some restructuring in our own lives, and make sure our love relationship with Jesus is number one.
The question may arise, “How can we love like this?”. The answer is simple: you have to know how much God loves you. And you find that out by reading The Word. God’s thoughts towards us are of peace; to give us a destiny, a future, and an expected end (Jer 29:11). His thoughts towards us are precious, and more numerous than the sands (Ps 139:17-18). God rejoices over us, rests in His love for us, and dances, spins, and sings over us (Zep 3:17)! Can you believe that! I’m sure I just messed up someone’s theology by saying that, but look at that verse in Hebrew. You know what else is awesome? These are Old Testament scriptures! We have an even better covenant, based on better promises (Heb 8:6)!
We love God, because He first loved us (1Jn 4:19). Christ died for us when we didn’t care about God (Rom 5:8). He was good to us, when we didn’t even know Him (Eph 2:4-5)! I pray you would know how much God loves you. That you are a equal heir with Jesus to God Himself (Rom 8:15-17)! What a privilege to be called a child of God (1Jn 3:1)! What an honor to be a chosen generation! A royal priesthood! A holy nation! A peculiar people (1Pt 2:9)! Believe it! Believe it! Believe it! As the apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians to comprehend God’s love (Eph 3:14-21), so I pray that you will as well. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!