Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Love is Paramount! —Part 1

I am paramount in my life!

I do seek after God—hard!  I come to Him, meet with Him, talk with Him, listen to Him.  I love Him!  But in all honesty, when it comes to loving down here, I am lacking.

Self is such a big obstacle—for everyone.  So I will not be discouraged.  I am doing exactly what pleases Him.  I am asking Him the questions that are hard to ask of oneself.  I know that He loves me for asking—wanting to know His truth.  And yes, believing—trusting—that I will receive it.  His truth!

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:1-3

The first three verses of the “love” chapter in the Bible lead up to its description.  But today I pause here to ask this question—Is love paramount in my life?
I ask, already knowing the answer.

So God, what in me keeps me from loving?  How can I love more freely, more fully—like Christ loved?

Pride!  (You know...I am really beginning to hate that little word!)

There is a bending down, bending low to love.  There is a laying down of self, expectation, desire, outcome, perception when one loves like Christ.

True humility is key in so many areas, isn’t it?

Humility is the key to locked doors of prisons self made and to tangled chains of the evil one's entanglement.  Humility frees me to love with abandon—selflessly!

Laying down my pride at the feet of Jesus frees me to pick up others hearts, needs, hurts, wounding.  Not for me myself to become entangled in with them, but for me to offer the hope of freedom—which is Jesus Christ.

In a hurting, loveless place someone cannot always recognize and receive the love God offers them.  Someone with skin on can love them in His place.  Revealing His love to the lost, the hurt, to those dying inside. 

Imagine right now Jesus doing all that He did during His time on earth, but without love.  Imagine Him serving, healing, calling, teaching, receiving others unto Himself—receiving their questions.  Now—imagine Him pouring out of Himself all that He did, but void of the love with which He did it in!

There is not true compassion where there is no true love!

Service can only go so far.  Healing is only physical or mental.  But love—love reaches into the depth of one’s core—their soul.  That is where God can go.  I can go there too, by the grace of God, with His gracious love to offer.

v.1  “If I speak...”
Jesus was received so ardently because no one had heard anyone speak like Him before.  He spoke with authority (Luke 4:32), yes, but also with love and deep compassion.  Their religious leaders did not love like Jesus.

v. 2  "If I have prophecy and knowledge...”
No one had more accurate prophetic words on His tongue than Jesus.  No one’s knowledge more thorough or complete.  But it was love that delivered God’s message.  It was love that offered freedom from laws added to by man and man-made rituals.  The people oppressed by a “god” of rules and stipulations were receiving from a God of love.  It was love that fulfilled those prophetic words.  It was love that caused Jesus to willingly give Himself up for me—for all!

v. 3  “If I give all my possessions and deliver my body...”
Jesus laid aside His Deity—His place in the heavenlies—to take on the putrid form of man!  The God of the Universe—Creator of mankind—loved mankind so deeply, so passionately, that He willingly placed Himself in the womb of a poor woman betrothed to a poor man.  Highest Nobility born to live a life of destitute povertyALL was His to possess and He gave it up for love.  He delivered His body to the cross, to the suffering, to the shame and stigma attached to the wooden beams His body was attached to

All for love!

All that Jesus embodied in His human body was love!

His words, His prophecies, His knowledge, His poverty and His body were all given out, given away to man in and through love!

It is all about love—God’s love.  Christ’s love.

I'll pick up on this again tomorrow.  Today, spend some time asking Him your own tough question on love...and be open to hearing what He has to share.  God bless you as you set your heart to seek Him!