This morning I want to continue discussing Love. I want to continue because the subject of love is the most important and most powerful subject that the people of God can ever discuss and understanding and receive love especially Love from our Father in Heaven is the key to understanding and unlocking every other blessing that we desire or pursue.
In the 3rd Chapter of the book of John verse 3 John gives us an compelling lesson about what motivates God, when he declared that “God so loved the world” in other words God’s reason for His act of redemption was not need, or desire, it was not dependence, vanity, pain, lust, greed, ambition, fear, need for validation, attention or any of the countless reasons or justifications that are often the justifications or reasons for our behavior is was love. This point is especially poignant when we consider how dirty, detestable, useless the world was in it then current condition. God did not do as we do and suggest that when the world got itself together, or when the world was ready, has sufficient character, proved itself worthy or some how qualified that God would act, but rather at a moment and place in time when the World, the entire system that God created had become complete unhinged God in an amazing expression of pure love did what was necessary for the world’s redemption at great and unimaginable cost what was necessary for the world. That is LOVE. IF we were to examine not just God’s act of sending Jesus into the world but also Jesus’ responses to those who He encountered during the three and a half years on His public life on earth we would see a true picture of not only the operation of love but also the power of love. Each example contained in the Word of God that chronicles the activities of Jesus is a lesson in the operation and power of love, from the man with the withered hand, to the man at the pool of Bethesda, to the woman caught in the act of adultery we see a clear pattern from which we can and should draw a number of valuable lessons.
The first is that the act or expression of love as well as the willingness to love is not based on the character or characteristics of the person who is the object or beneficiary of the action but rather the moral character of the person in the position to express love. In other words whether you love and how you love is not dependant of the person you love it is dependant on you. So often we based our willingness to love based on whether the person who needs our love qualifies for it not realizing that when we act in such a matter what we are offering is actually not love. Love is always a gift and a gift is never earned.
The second lesson is that the expression of love is determined by the need of the receiver not the interests of the giver. Throughout the Bible we see that Jesus’ response to every person He encounter was based on the circumstances the person found themselves in and was specifically tailored to address their specific need, Jesus never, as we often do based His responses on His feelings, His mood, the effort that would be required to carryout as specific action, but rather always did what was necessary to solve the problem He encountered.
The third lesson is love is never based on appearance or public opinion. Love is not always popular. The Bible teaches us that on numerous occasions Jesus’ expressions of love angered those around His and subjected Him to threats and ridicule, even from those closest to Him. Unlike us Jesus never sought a second opinion as to whether He should do what He knew was right or needed by the people He encountered.
Lastly, The Bible teaches us that love has a price!!! Through out the Bible we are taught that Jesus fact ridicule, attacks, slander, abandonment and even threats as a result of the actions He took on behalf of those He loved. In the Church today we believe that our demonstrations of love will and should always act to our benefit and often times we presume that if we cannot see the benefit for us then that is an indication that we should not act. But nothing could be further from the truth. It is the opportunities when we engaged in acts of love with no hope of benefit that we should the world the love of God.