Weekly encouraging messages from our Pastor Ray…..enjoy and be uplifted.
Loving God’s Way
In line with the desire to make our walk with the Lord more practical, let’s look at the most important commandment….’Love your neighbour as yourself. I’m sure we’ve heard these words many times, but have we really understood what Jesus meant? In order to appreciate His command, we need to see how it is that God intended us to love others.
We’ve discussed before how difficult it is for us to walk our daily walk in a manner which pleases God. The reason: because we are trying to please God in our own strength, with our old nature, instead of allowing Him to work through us in the power of our new resurrected nature, the one that Jesus gave us when He rose from the grave at Calvary .
After the fall, the scripture in Genesis shows us that Adams nature changed from one which was ‘God centred’, to one which was ‘self-centred’. We can see in the book of Galatians what this self-centred nature was really like. As we can see, this nature doesn’t seem to have the type of characteristics which would enable it to love someone in an honest way. This self-centred nature was passed down through the ages to us today, and sadly we will further pass it on to the next generation. How to stop it is a discussion for another time!
The well-known scripture in Corinthians gives us examples of how God would like us to love. If we compare this scripture with the scripture of Galatians 5, we can easily see that it is impossible to ‘love our neighbour’ the way God really intended us to, simply because our human nature is not designed to be able to do that.
“Ahh yes, but I do love people” you might tell me. Let’s examine this a bit closer. As human beings, the love that we are prepared to share with others is based on certain conditions, in other words, “I will love you if you will love me”.
The love we have for others differs according to our relationship with that particular person. For example, the love we have for our parents is different to the love we have for our (blood) brothers and sisters. The love we show towards our families is different to that which we show to our friends or other Christian believers.
As difficult as it maybe for us to hear, our human love is born out of a self-centered nature filled with pride and arrogance and we see this further testified to in the book of Timothy. As human beings, we will be prepared to love others according to the amount our pride will allow, for example: – Those who are closest to us, we feel happier about loving – why? – because we know them better. The less inconvenient it is for us, the more we will love. Our human love is conditional and we will only share it under conditions we deem as ‘fit or comfortable’.
By God’s grace, His love, on the other hand, is not based on any conditions – so He freely loves us all, expecting nothing in return. If God’s love was as ‘fussy’ as our human love – only certain people would qualify to enter the kingdom. As it is, we all have the opportunity of entering the Kingdom of God by receiving the gift of salvation because of God’s selfless love towards us.
And so now we see the basic difference between God’s love and human love – one is selfless and the other, self-centred.
The greatest gift we can possibly give to another human being, is the gift of everlasting life. How wonderful, if we can be a vessel for God to use as a channel to pass on His eternal life to others.
To care if others come to the Kingdom of God – This should be our total motivation for serving God. With this goal in mind, we will then willingly serve others.
As we go about our day, we should look at things through God’s eyes and care if others come closer to the Kingdom. Criticizing and judging destroys people and breaks down situations, which is not how God works. “Loving our neighbour” by laying down our selfish motives in order that those around us may come closer to the kingdom of God, is a far more encouraging way – and is God’s way. Let’s just repeat that: “Loving our neighbour” by laying down our self-centred motives in order that those around us come closer to the kingdom of God, is God’s way.
1 Cor.13 shows us how Gods selfless love works.
Let’s have a serious look at this scripture now and challenge ourselves with a few questions:
1Co 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; – How kind and patient are we on a daily basis?
love does not brag and is not arrogant, – Do you and I brag at any time during our day? (even slightly?)
1Co 13:5 (Love) does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered, – How often are we provoked and then focus on the wrong done to us?
1Co 13:6 (Love) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1Co 13:7 (Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – scripture says …not just some things…but ALL things
It would be good for us to daily meditate on this scripture during a quiet time with the Lord.
God’s love and our love are completely different. God’s love through us, is based upon a laid down life – in other words, caring if others come to the Kingdom of God, and that, at any cost to ourselves. How far will we go to help someone before it becomes too uncomfortable or inconvenient for us?
Human love is based on self-centeredness and emotion. God’s love and human love cannot mix. We need to seek the Lord daily – so that automatically, His love, will flow through us unhindered. This can only be done as we become less self-centered and live a more Spirit led life.
Thanks for joining me, it was really a joy for me to share this time with you. The Lord bless you all, until next time.
From: “…time with the Master…”
|God’s Love (1 Cor.13:4-8)||Man’s Love (Gal.5:19-21)|
|Suffereth long and is kind||Uncleanness, hatred|
|Envieth not, Vaunteth not||Envyings, revellings|
|Not puffed up, seeketh not her own||Disputes, dissensions, factions|
|Is not easily provoked, does not think evil||Wroth, witchcraft, emulations (jealousy).|
|Rejoiceth not in iniquity, rejoiceth in the truth||Impurity, evil desire, greed (Col. 3:5)|
|Beareth all things, endureth all things||Wroth of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)|
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