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This is what Love looks like January 13, 2008

Posted by theregenerateme in Thoughts that sanctify.
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Love. A word too commonly used, and barely understood in it’s true meaning. We say we “love” all sorts of things. I’m certainly guilty of it. I say I love a good filet mignon….but that’s not really being used appropriately. People say they love one another in the blink of an eye, when most times it’s just mere lust and attraction. Unfortunately, the word love is just way too overused, and has lost it’s importance and true definition along the way. There are 18 results to define love in the dictionary. The first 11 all have to do with a worldly perspective. Affections of another, sex, desire, attraction, feelings, and it goes on and on. Finally by 12 we read something more profound;

The benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.

Now we may be getting somewhere. It goes on with 13-18 all being more of the same worldly ideas about what love is and how it’s used in different areas of life. I then looked up agape love…and found very different definitions, one of which was;

The love of God for Christ, for humankind. Unselfish and without sexual implications. Spiritual in nature, as modeled for us in Jesus Christ.

What Perfect love God has for us….and moreso, what Perfect Love IS God. Pondering that, my heart and mind started consuming in thoughts of how I love and how I am supposed to love, in regards to my personal relationship with God.  These are the first things that came to mind. 1. I love God with all that I am, even though I know it’s not enough, and I can never reciprocate the love He gives me. 2. I love God for knowing that we as humans can never do enough to save ourselves, and so in turn gave us a pardon to an eternity in hell by means of Jesus Christ crucified. That’s grace, so I love Him for that too. 3. I love God for giving us His Perfect and Absolute Truth, found in The Word of God. 4. By reading His Word, I know that to love God is to obey Him, so I love God because He commands me to be obedient. And that’s where my mind stopped. I could have continued, but I felt a conviction when I got to thinking about this: obeying Him IS loving Him! That’s what our love should look like. That’s what our Merciful and Heavenly Father has commanded of us to do. And when we show this love to God, He then gives us the desires to love one another appropriately. In other words, if we love God and we want to obey Him, we will look to His Word for answers about how to live our lives and how His design for loving one another should look, instead of relying on our own ideas of what we think is good and right.  I have been reading MANY wonderful passages in The Bible this afternoon that pertain to obeying Him and keeping His commandments (a few are: Exo. 15:26, Exo. 19:5, Exo. 20:6, and Exo. 23:22). Then I stumbled on a very profound passage in Leviticus. All of these passages force you to examine your own heart, your sin, your walk (or lack thereof) with The Almighty One. They have been convicting scriptures for me to read. I fall short every day, and God knows; but He has still asked me to keep His commandments. If I break one (and I have), a desperate and repentant heart must follow. The Holy Spirit will convict my heart in such a powerful way, that I will literally and physically become sick with disgust over my sin, and confess it to The One whom I sinned against. This is what love looks like. Do you say you love God? Do you say you know Him? Then do you have the desire to obey the things He has commanded of you and I? So many of us have this all wrong. I confess that I used to be one of those persons. I proclaimed to know God, to love Jesus, but I wasn’t living an obedient lifestyle. Not even close. Some of my lifestyle choices I knew were wrong in the eyes of God, others I didn’t…because I hadn’t read His Word to find out. I want to leave you with this powerful and profound passage that I was talking about in Leviticus. It’s a good, long passage, so be patient to read it all the way through….. remember, it’s His Words, not mine. God shows His merciful love to us in these scriptures to follow, but also shows that He is our Judge, and a Wrathful God too, for those who disobey. This is what love looks like, and I feel more challenged than ever to follow Him and keep His precious commandments (and I’m not just talking about the “famous” ten)! I hope you feel the challenge too………….

(by the way, I thought about linking the passage since it is a bit long, but felt a strong need to type out each word specifically, helping it be ingrained to my mind and heart. Just thought I would share!)

For His Glory,

Lauren

Leviticus 26:3-43

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. So, I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. You will eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new. Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of the yoke and made you walk erect.

But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all commandments, and so break My covenant, I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that will waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it up. I will set My face against you so that you will be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you. If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit. If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins. I will let loose among you the beasts of the field, which will bereave you of your children and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted. And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins. I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands. When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread in rationed amounts, so that you will eat and not be satisfied. Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. Further, you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat.  I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you. I will lay waste your cities as well and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your soothing aromas. I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it. You however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste. Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it. As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall. They will therefore stumble over each other as if running from the sword, although no one is pursuing; and you will have no strength to stand up before your enemies. But you will perish among the nations, and your enemies’ land will consume you. So those of you who may be left will rot away because of their iniquity in the lands of your enemies; and also because of the iniquities of their forefathers they will rot away with them. If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me– I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies– or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. For the land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, will be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes.