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When Love is a Lie - A Devotion

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I Peter 4:8-10 (Amplified)
Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).

As I continue to study this thing called love, I am convicted that there are some people who I most assuredly do not love. On a broad spectrum, I have not time for murders or molesters of any kind especially those who take advantage of children. I do not care for people who are arrogant and rude but since some I might call friend or relative am able to love some of them. To get down on a personal and intimate level, there are a handful of people with one in particular that I do not love at all. The Word of God says that we are to love one another. I believe that every single commandment in the Bible is true and relevant for my life. I share this candidly with you because there are still some believers out there striving to adhere to His Word and follow His Way for those please read on. God is love. I Corinthians 13 delineates the Love of God and how it pertains to all humanity. We are not exempt from love nor are the people who we encounter every single day. It is time to face the fact that God loves the unlovable and Jesus died to set them free from the hatred in their heart that once kept us in bondage, too. What are we to do when love is a lie? When someone who we encounter makes it seemingly impossible to love them in any way, shape or form. We are to have intense and unfailing love for one another, but happens when our love fails or falls short. Love covers a multitude of sins. It covered all of mine but how can the Love of God completely cover the most heinous and unthinkable acts. I want to be an imitator of God’s Love. I want to love others as Jesus Christ does with a willingness to lay my life down for another. But what do I do when love is a lie?

There are very few people walking around today that do not bear the scars of a broken heart. The world was fashioned and shaped by the Hands and Heart of God but when sin came in it destroyed what love created. The gross overridden condition of the society in which we live filled with depravity and perversity makes love hard to find and even more difficult to maintain. Love is defined in the dictionary as a profoundly tender affection for another person that produces a feeling of warm personal attachment. But in the Word of God the definition of love is more specific. “Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. (I Corinthian 13:4-8) By the worldly definition of love, I love my husband and children but by God’s definition I am still lacking. How? I am not always patient and kind. I am sometimes rude letting my emotions get the best of me. I can be touchy and resentful when overwhelmed in life. Yet because of my great love for them and desire to remain attached to them, I keep striving to love them more. This should be my intent for every living, breathing person in this world. God help me…Lord, help us all.

John 3:16-19 (Amplified)
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.] The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.

Most every man, woman and child who has donned the doors of the local church more than twice can recite John 3:16. We all want God’s Love. We want to have eternal life. Nobody wants to think about dying much less do it. But seldom do we look past what makes us feel good to how we can attain it. God did not send Jesus Christ to reject, condemn, or pass sentence on the world. He sent Jesus Christ after the fact. Sin had already bound us for hell, death and the grave. Jesus Christ came to set us free from our indebtedness to sin. He came to remove all guilt and shame. Those who believe are invited to escape judgment by falling in love with Jesus. This is accomplished by faith that turns to confident hope because we believe, cleave to, rely on and trust the Lord. When sin entered the picture in the beginning, God’s Love left the world. Naturally people created their own idea of love and attempted to produce a product of affection that was similar to the life-giving love of the Light of the World who is Jesus. When Jesus Christ provided the opportunity to leave behind love and affection for this world to enter a right-standing relationship with God – we are given a choice who to love. Judgment is based on the fact that some people have decided to continue to love the world and its ways rather than accepting the Love of God and living in it. They love sin and darkness more than life. So naturally the world does not love and support Jesus Christ because He only verifies the superficiality of earthly affection coupled with the fact that this world and its ways only lead to death and the grave. “This is what I command you: that you love one another. If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.” (John 15:17-19) The world does not reject other religions or beliefs because they support independence and freedom of the flesh. However, to support the Love of God demonstrated through Jesus Christ and not make a mockery of the churches attempts to love one another only confirms and solidifies its own fate. The world hates believers mocking their love because it is an admission that they are destined to die and face judgment because they chose to love darkness over the Light.

John 13:34-35(Amplified)
I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].

When Jesus Christ came, He brought a new commandment. One that we could easily fulfill now that Love had come back to the earth. Love one another. So why do I fail so miserably at showing others that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. If I could only learn to love others as God loves me and demonstrate it as Christ who did not think twice about laying His Life down for His Friends – maybe then love wouldn’t seem like such a lie anymore. The Lord has commissioned us to love each other (every single one that makes up each other) like family. (Romans 12:9-11) There are no exemptions from the Love of God and we are all given the invitation equally. We are to offer others (all others) the consideration and care that we desire to have as people. We are to love everyone else as we desire to be loved. (Galatians 5:13-14) Jesus tells us to love others as I have loved you unconditionally and without measure. God help us to love because I still don’t think I love everyone as you have commanded but Lord I want to.

John 15:9-14 (Amplified)
I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do.

Lord, how do I learn to love others for real? That is what you are asking right? You want my love for other people to be authentic like my faith. “Let your love be sincere.” (Romans 12:9) Why is love important? It is the source of overflowing, complete and full measures of peace, joy, gladness and delight. It doesn’t come from the outside in but from the inside out. See you are called to love not be loved. It doesn’t require that these other people love you back. It would be nice but not required. The Love of God is in you. The Holy Spirit resides in the heart of all God’s Precious Children. You are full of love and lacking no good thing. The world offers many substitutes and counterfeits but feel free to wave them off and pass them by because total fulfillment comes from the Love of God received by faith accepted as confident hope that produces love in our life. Love that the world cannot see but feel emanating from God’s People. It is safe and secure which means the thief who is our enemy cannot steal, kill or destroy it as he does natural love day by day. It is not a product of this world. This life can only produce death and decay. We are born dying. But by accepting Jesus Christ and His Love, we can produce love like Jesus Christ that produces life to those we choose to share it with. Love is a choice. It is to choose life over death and blessing over cursing. His Name is Jesus. You cannot give the world love from a human standpoint when overextended to sin. When sin owned your heart, it was desperate to survive. But now with the Love of Jesus firmly intact, you can love anybody and everybody because you have nothing to lose. Your debt is paid. Your future is secure. No man owes you anything and you owe no one else anything but love that is. (Romans 13:8) Now love is not a lie anymore, it has someone to back it up. His Name is Jesus!

I John 4:7-13 (Amplified)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! By this we come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we abide (live and remain) in Him and He in us: because He has given (imparted) to us of His [Holy] Spirit.

Could it be that we have been going about the whole love one another thing all wrong? Insisting that our flesh get it together and find some redeemable quality in humanity, maybe we are doing it all wrong. Yes, I believe that we have. Love one another. (Next sentence…) Love springs from God. We learn to love for real as we progressively know and understand God (who IS Love). We must perceive, recognize and get a better picture of who God is and how He loves. Our acquaintance with God produces love and our friendship with Him establishes it as we grow in faith and hold tight to confident hope. As God abides, lives and remains in us – His Love is brought to completion. We have put the cart before the horse. If we would spend more time getting to know God – perfect love would be produced in our life by faith and confident hope. We are focused on the wrong thing. We must press into the Lord, strive to live like Jesus Christ, thriving in the Righteousness of God. In this place, our love will mature and be transformed by His Spirit into that which is pleasing to the Lord because we have shown that we love the Light more than darkness. He has given us His Spirit fully consummating His Love for us and establishing us as His Children. If we would get to know the Love of our Father, we will learn to love like Jesus! For real…without God there is no love! Without Jesus, we cannot reach God. His Spirit indicates your faith and belief has been accepted and confident hope remains to love others without the need or expectation of anything in return. “So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

I Peter 1:21-22 (Amplified)
Through Him you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are [centered and rest] in God. Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart.

Your love will never be valid outside the Love of Jesus Christ because God is love. The more that you believe in, adhere to and rely on the Lord faith and hope will produce a greater love for all of mankind. Your heart will soften for those it once condemned with unforgiveness. As guilt and shame are washed away, we no longer need restitution or validation. Overflowing love and forgiveness will well up and overflow from heart transformed by His Great Love. You will love people authentically when you learn to love Jesus committedly, unashamedly and fully! There will be a day when love is no longer a lie.

I Thessalonians 3:11-13 (Amplified)
Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) guide our steps to you. And may the Lord make you to increase and excel and overflow in love for one another and for all people, just as we also do for you, So that He may strengthen and confirm and establish your hearts faultlessly pure and unblamable in holiness in the sight of our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) with all His saints (the [a]holy and glorified people of God)! Amen, (so be it)!

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