ESSENCE OF LOVE (1)
Hands of Jesus, Fire of Holy Ghost, Love of Christ
God is good!
God is forever!
God is love.
No matter what names we use to describe the Creator of all things, He who interacts with us, the bottom line is “GOD IS LOVE!”
His essence is love! His concept is love! His being is love! We are God’s creation! And we are created out of love! For God is love! The world is God’s creation. Hey! The suns (stars) and whatever planets they support are all God’s creation! Any lifeforms that may or may not be out there would also be God’s creation! Anything and everything that IS, He created it and He created it all out of love (for God is love). Again I emphasize, He created it all! (Got enough exclamation points here?)
Because God is love, He wanted something (someone) to shower that love upon. He desired something (someone) to share that love with so He created all life, all that exists.
Yet He wanted to love more, so He created man, that is, us human beings. A more direct object (if you will) for that love. He made man in His image – not the image of other men or animals. Note the capital “H”, but in His (God’s) image. Why? Being love, He not only wanted something to love but he desired that ‘something’ (someone) to share some of that love back with Him.
Look at the parent/child relationship. Mom and dad love the little babies, the kids and teach the children learn how to return that love to them. At least, in some form or fashion. We show love towards our children and they share some of that love back with us (parents). Atwo-way-street!
Look at the nature of man. How does that love function in our own lives? We desire companionship. In other words, who can we share our love with? Friends? Spouse? Children?
Listen to a basis for why I even care.
In my youth, my teens, my early twenties, maybe even my early thirties, I don’t remember. It was well before Father started to really get my attention. I did go to Sunday School in a Baptist Church through High School. May have been during those years. It may have been before I married at age 26, or even after. Like I said, I don’t remember exactly how old I was when Father shared this with me.
However, somewhere along the line I asked Father just how BIG was He. I may have asked how great are You or how awesome – but something along those lines. For an instant, He showed me the vastness of existence. For a split second (though it felt like an eternity) it seemed as though my mind was racing through space with all the stars whizzing past me at “warp” speed. I was reminded of the time, in the original series) the Star Trek crew encountered an alien who could implant thoughts into their minds, did so with those things which they (the crew) feared the most. From his seat in the helm, looking out the front portal of the Enterprise, Sulu saw, what looked like hundreds, of daggers flying towards the starship in a tight formation and, as I said, perhaps even warp speed. As I comprehended what I was seeing, it was like Sulu’s daggers whizzing by. Not a blur, but I could see clearly each, individual star as it zipped by me. What I know in my heart is that had my experience lasted any longer than what it did, my head felt as though it would have surely exploded (literally). I said, it lasted only a split second. Faster than the time it takes for a lightbulb to come on once the switch has been flipped, quicker than a normal inhale of breath, in comparison, I think even the blink of an eye would’ve been slower.
I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how “immense” God is. His magnitude. His vastness. I understood what the bible meant when it said it would mean death if one saw the face of God – at least in this human body. As I said, I felt as though my head would explode and obviously, that would have resulted in my physical death! I could not handle what I was seeing!
A few years have passed – OK, a few decades – since that time and Father has not let me forget that experience. Do I constantly think about it or am I fearful because of it? No! But it does keep me mindful of who I am, who Father is and what our relationship is. He is the eternal God! Through the years and even now, He continues to show me His magnitude! Not with stars whizzing by at warp speed, but how deep His love is for me. Amen? (Thank You Jesus)
Even though man turned away from God, that is disobeyed the one thing Father told them not to do, God still showed His love.
He clothed Adam and Eve to ‘cover their nakedness (sin) and He explained that He would repair the damage they had done (Gen. 3:1-24) – as God said to the serpent that even though his seed would bruise the heel of man’s offspring, man’s offspring (Jesus) would bruise the head of our enemy (Gen3:14-15).
Today we know that that ole devil thought he had won a huge victory over Father when he encouraged the priesthood and the Romans to crucify Jesus. Get rid of the Messiah before He can take over. Yet, through His sacrifice, He established His kingdom! A temporary death as Jesus rose on the third day, walked with His disciples for forty more, then ascended back into heaven (form whence He came) and He’s now waiting for the time to return for us. Bruising His heel? Yet, through the cross, Jesus, the Son of God, coming through the lineage of King David the offspring of man) crushed the hold Satan had on mankind and for all those who would receive Him (Jesus) bruised Satan’s head. For those who accept Christ Jesus, that ‘bruising’ might be considered more like crushed! Jesus ushered the way for our forgiveness of sin and eternal fellowship with Father. Glory to God!
Again, God so loved the world that He gave His only “begotten Son” – born of man into this world that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Jesus IS Emmanuelle which is translated “God is with us”. So, not only is Jesus the Son of God, but He is God (the Father) Himself, His Word, come into this world in the flesh – born of a woman (Isa. 7:14, Matt. 1:22-23). No earthly father but an earthly mother. Born of a woman, under the Law, yet born of the Spirit (Father), not in bondage to the Law, so He could redeem us from the letter of that Law! Father (Himself) was willing to walk as we walk, as an earthen vessel, so there could be no complaints of man saying that He (God) just doesn’t understand what it is like being human. He showed His love or us by ‘walking a mile’ in our shoes! Heh! God knows!
The Holy Ghost took up full residence in Jesus as John (the Baptist) baptized him (as Jesus rose up out of the water) and testified that he saw the Spirit of God descend upon Him (Jesus) like a dove. Implication here is that Jesus actually walked as a man for thirty years, walking in full authority, but full power not yet released. Then through this baptism, Father released the full power of the Holy Ghost within Jesus. The Holy Ghost now had full freedom to give Jesus all the power He needed to fulfill His mission our salvation. Is there any question that Jesus needed that full power to endure the scourging, humiliation and finally the cross, itself?
There is no greater expression of love than for a man to lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13). Jesus has calls us His friends (John 15:15) as He laid His life down for us (on the cross). His grace and mercy endures forever as He rose on the third day!
We can show our love for the Lord by laying our lives down for Him. Yes, there have been martyrs and still are, but every Christian can lay his life down for Jesus by “living” for Him and in Him. We live for Him by keeping His commandment and His commandment is to love (Mark 12:28-31). The “Law” of the Old Testament and the New Testament all hang on LOVE. (Matt. 37-40).
But Father expresses His love for us also, in so many other ways:
Jesus said that if we love Him, we should keep His commandments and His commandments are to love. Yes, ‘commandments’ is correctly pluralized. Love God and love our fellow man. It is a single commandment (to love.) with two parts. Note the direction of that love. First it points upward towards Father, then it points outward toward our fellow man. We express our love for God by expressing our love for our fellow man (Mark 12:29-31). As said earlier “God so loved the world …” (John 3:16) that He desires that no one perish but all would repent, come into everlasting life (2 Peter 3:9).
Jesus gives us an idea of what love is all about. The sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46). Jesus says to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, be hospitable to strangers (one never know when we might be entertaining an angel [Heb. 13:2]), provide clothes for the needy, visit the sick and visit the incarcerated (we never know when they might give their hearts to the Lord). Take note, especially of verse forty for what we do to the least in the kingdom of God, it is the same as doing to/for Jesus. As for the sheep and the goats? The sheep did these things, the goats did not! The goats do not enter into God’s rest. The sheep do!
He also warns about hypocrites in the church. Not all who “say” “Jesus is Lord” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do what!? “The will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Many will prophesy in the name of Jesus and do many wonderful works – even casting out of devils (Matt. 7:22). Whoa! Wait a minute! Jesus says whatsoever we do, do in His name, right (John 14:13)? Don’t worry, God’s Word won’t come back void (Isa. 55:11), even if it should be spoken in unbelief. But understand, we can’t say just say anything then add Jesus’ name at the end – to make us sound good. It is when we speak (say out loud) “God’s Word”, or that which is consistent in His love (still His Word), then what is said will not come back void. Point – even when someone puts Jesus’ name at the end, if it wasn’t what God wants shared … no guarantees even though an unbeliever can speak God’s Word. Believe me when I say I have known people who have told me Jesus told them to tell me something and it did NOT set well with my spirit. And later, Father even told me “I didn’t say that!” They weren’t quoting the bible or a bible truth, they were just trying to get me to do something they wanted while ‘using’ Jesus name as authority. Father will usually set the stage for us by letting us know when He’s involved, as He did with Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10:1-22).
We know this, that our love towards our brothers and sisters is consistent with our love towards Father through Jesus. Hey, that holds true towards anybody. Our love with Father is an ongoing growth process, therefore so is our love as it is expressed towards those around us. We grow to love, not just our brothers, but everybody. God doesn’t want anyone to perish!
We have to make the decision to love, so we grow, every time we make that right decision, it strengthens our love.
The Apostle John shares with us that as we show our love towards others it IS because we love Jesus and that loving Jesus and our neighbor IS confirmation of our eternal life in Christ Jesus (1 John 5:13).
We need to understand that the Ten Commandments describe love (Exod. 20:1-17). The bible, in its entirety, is a basic comprehension of love. It talks about how God, through His love interacts with man. The more you want to know about the details of love, the more bible one needs to read. The bible is written evidence of God’s love towards us. Exodus, Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the letters of John are a good place to start to begin our journey into love. Paul’s letters help us understand even more about love. But, like I said, the whole bible is Father’s love letter to us, with plenty of examples of compassion, guidance reprimand, etc.
All this brings us into a personal level with Father so we can grow in love. Father wants, us, His church, to grow in the Essence of LOVE.
This is part one of a three part series.