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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Love. . .Why We Wait"

Introduction. . .

Ohhh... the agony of waiting!! ... What's the purpose of it all?

. . .Brings back painful memories of waiting for my dad to return from another business trip when I was a child.

He called us every day ... saying he was on his way ... he might have a couple of stops to make ... but he would be home soon.  Then he would give Mom his current location so she could show us on the map ... just how close to home he really was.

My sister and I would cry like big babies ... on the phone ... telling Daddy how lonesome we were and begging him to get home fast.  

He would assure us that he loved us ... then gave the usual reminder ... that IF we were "good girls" ... "did what Mom said" ... and did not "scrap" (argue with each other) ... he would bring presents.  In fact ... the presents were already, right there, in his suitcase at that very moment.

He finally did get home ... (he always seemed to drive straight through the night) ... arriving "unexpectedly" in the dark ... in the middle of the night ... and I was always the first one to hear his voice ... He was having coffee in the kitchen with Mom ... as the sun was coming up ... laughing ... and impressing her with tales of the amazing adventures experienced on this trip.

* * * * * 
So why do we have to wait so long? discover how much we loved our father ... and to experience how excited we were about his return. understand that patient waiting was also going to bring rewards. be reminded to do what was right IF we expected to be rewarded. remember to love our family ... 
    our sister(s) and brother(s) ]

Would we have learned these important things, if we never had to wait?

Could it be that God was not going to bring our father home until we sufficiently learned these important lessons ... and were ready to be rewarded with his presence ... and presents? :-)

... Besides being commanded to watch ... why do we have to watch and wait so long for the return of Jesus now? 

... What does God's Word tell us?

"The Lord is not slack 
concerning his promise
as some men count slackness; 
but is longsuffering to us-ward, 
not willing that any should perish
but that all should come 
to repentance."
-2 Peter 3:9

Hint ... "God is Love" ... It's really all about Love ... AGAIN.

"For God so loved the world,
that he gave
his only begotten Son,
that whosoever
believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life."

-John 3:16

Love ... from God's perspective ... is all about giving and receiving.  

It's really a transaction.

We could even say ... it is a "legal" transaction ... that also involves the heart.

I found myself face to face with the reality of this concept in 4th grade when ... unfortunately ... a very annoying boy in my class fell hopelessly in love with me ... following me everywhere for weeks.

It was unfortunate because ... while he was "exceptionally" nice to me ... I did not enjoy his company at all ... he had a reputation for being a poor student ... and for having older brothers and sisters who were always being sent to the principal's office for rebellious attitudes.

So you can imagine my dilemma when he discovered my address and showed up at the door one Saturday afternoon ... with a red heart box filled with chocolates.

It was also unfortunate ... this time ... that my dad was there ... felt sorry for the boy ... and encouaged me to go sit out on the front steps to visit with this boy.

Please understand ... even at that age ... I didn't want to break the poor boy's heart ... but there just wasn't any way on Earth that I was going to accept that gawdy red heart box of chocolates ... and let him think that his presumptuous love for me ... was mutual ... UGH!!  :-(

Such is love ... whether it is "puppy love"... love and marriage ... love between children and parents ... love between siblings ... love between friends ... or ... love for God ...  it just takes two to have a real loving relationship ... and that is all there is to it.  

Humanly speaking ... the feeling must be mutual ... it is impossible to ... successfully ... ultimately ... fake real love ... either it genuinely exists ... or it doesn't.

Love...Reaching Out

"He [Jesus Christ]
was in the world,
and the world
was made by him,
and the world
knew him not.

He came unto his own,
and his own
received him not.

But as many
as received him,
to them
gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them
that believe on his name:"

-John 1:10-12

First and foremost we need to remember Who God is.  He is perfect Love ... He is the Preeminent King of kings and Lord of lords ... There is not one thing in Him that is not to love.

It was the Father's great love for us that compelled Him to send Jesus ... to rescue us from ourselves ... by suffering and dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

And ... it was Jesus' great love for us that compelled Him to fulfill God's part in this amazing love relationship ... at the cross.

So how did God's created beings respond to the Word He gave to them ... to alert them to the reality of their sinful condition and need of a Savior?

They refused to recognize Him.

They rejected Him.

They received Him not.

They ... what??

They did not "receive" Him. 

       "not receive"
       = #H2983 = not take with the hand
                         = not associate with
                         = not desire to have a 
                            relationship with
                         = not want to take what 
                            is offered

Love is a transaction that involves the heart ... Two things must take place for a relationship with Christ to occur:

(1)..The Love of God (salvation from sin) must be offered. . .

        . . .which it has been offered ... at the cross ... and is still being offered retroactively ... through the power of the Spirit that resides in the written Word ... Holy Bible ... as reading and hearing makes the knowledge of God's offer available today ... "Faith comes by hearing...the Word of God."

(2)..The love of God (salvation from sin) ... must be received. . .
        . . .with a response of mutual love ... in addition to gratitude that submits to the righteous Preeminent Authority to the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Until these two things take place ... no relationship has really been established.

Love is a two-way street ... giving and receiving. However ... when the Creator of all that exists ... the One who IS perfect Love ... offers a person the gift of an eternal relationship with Him ... we are not allowed to take the gift apart and pick some parts out and toss other parts into the trash.

Actually ... He IS the gift ... He gave all of Himself for us ... so we cannot dictate the terms of this transaction ... but must in turn give up all of our life ... in this world ... to receive a new life with Him.

Once this "life for life" transaction takes place ... we are bound in this new relationship with Him and we begin to develop a personal interest in Him ... become involved in His work ... He takes us under His wing and develops His personal interest in us ... teaching us all about who He really is ... what makes Him happy ... and ... oh ... yes ... what He hates and what makes Him angry.  

He tells us every thing we need to know to be in harmony with Him so we can enjoy being in His presence and working with Him to accomplish His agenda in this fallen world.

On the other hand ... those who do not willingly ... eagerly receive Him ... and sincerely desire to have a genuine relationship with Him ... are never going to enjoy His presence ... but will become very uncomfortable whenever He speaks to them through His Word ... or whenever anyone else shares His pure ... unadulterated Word with them.

A New...Relationship
A New...Type of Love
A New...Commandment

"A new commandment 
I give unto you, 
That ye 
love one another
as I have loved you
that ye also 
love one another.

By this
all men know 
that ye are my disciples
if ye have love one to another."

A new type of relationship ... is a spiritual ... supernatural relationship.  We are no longer going to be "humanly speaking"... now we are going to discover God's type of love ... a love that goes beyond any type of love we have previously experienced ... even the love for family.

A new type of love ... The way God loves us ... is now going to be the way we are to love one another.

A new type of commandment ... that will make worldlings sit up and take notice ... the type of commandment that is so unique that it will testify to the reality of Jesus Christ ... bringing sinners to their knees.  

When all is said and done ... genuine love is really what everyone is looking for ... but few are able to demonstrate because it is a work of the heart that cannot be generated by man ... because real love only comes from the Holy Spirit.

"And, being assembled together 
with them, 
commanded them 
that they should 
not depart 
from Jerusalem, 
[but remain in close fellowship]
but wait for the promise 
of the Father, 
which, saith he, 
ye have heard of me.
[heard..through the Word/Jesus]

For John truly baptized 
with water; 
but ye shall be baptized 
with the Holy Ghost 
not many days hence."
-Acts 1:4-5

While professing Christians are busy looking for "signs" that "validate" a salvation "experience" ... they overlook the "elephant in the room"... the only sign ... specific to salvation God tells us to really look for ... which is: pure ... Holy Spirit ... love of the brethren.

"A new commandment 
I give unto you, 
That ye love one another; 
as I have loved you, 
that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know 
that ye are my disciples, 
if ye have love one to another."

Jesus is calling genuine believers to a new mission ... a new command ... a new work ... something we must do.

We understand that sharing the Gospel of salvation brings sheep into the fold ... but here ... in John 13 ... we are told how this is going to happen.  It will be a result of obeying the command to "love" with a supernatural love.  Yes ... love others.

 ... BUT ... our priority ... after loving God with all our heart ... is to love "one another"... the brethren ... brothers and sisters in Christ ... in order to demonstrate to unbelievers what this unique type of supernatural love looks like ... and prove to them ... and everyone else ... who the REAL believers are.

End Time Deception
. . .Supernatural Love

Yes ... it is wonderful and amazing to experience real love being generated by the Holy Spirit ... and witness the power it has to bring others into the fold ... BUT we must also realize that this type of unique love serves another very important purpose in an End Time world ... filled with deception.

Genuine love will identify the genuine believers from the false.

Just as human love cannot be ultimately feigned ... so supernatural love ... that comes from the Holy Spirit ... cannot be counterfeited for long ... either.

"Seeing ye have purified your souls 
in obeying the truth 
through the Spirit 
unto unfeigned 
[unto genuine..not false]
love of the brethren
see that ye love one another 
with a pure heart 
supernaturally loving heart]
[with great emotion]

Being born again
[of the Holy Spirit]
not of corruptible seed, 
but of incorruptible, 
by the word of God
which liveth 
[through Holy Spirit]
abideth for ever."

Therefore ... we are actually commanded to love the brethren ... and love them "fervently" ... with emotion and passion.

We will know we are loving correctly ... when unbelievers refer to us as "those crazy ... over-emotional Jesus people who go overboard with their expressions of love"... So ... aim for that.

... or aim for the way we respond when our favorite sports team scores a point. :-) ... That should be close enough to count as real love for the brethren.

The point is ... if we are not really loving the brethren ... or ... if we are rejecting the love of the brethren ... it is time to check to see if our "conversion" to Christ is really real ... because we are currently in the time of great deception and false doctrine, which is promoting an easy-believe-ism ... self-centered ... counterfeit salvation "experience."

We are warned in the Word of God ... if we think we stand ... to take heed ... lest we fall.

Because love ... whether human or supernatural ... is always a two way street ... which involves giving and receiving ... we can identify the genuine from the false by the way "love" is given ... AND ... received by professing believers:

(1).."Giving" love... is giving as Jesus gave.  This can be studied throughout the Holy Word of God.  It is a self-sacrificing love that benefits another (whether they realize it or not) ... It is a love that has another person's best interest at heart, according to Biblical guidelines ... asking God for discernment and wisdom regarding God's priorities for those He brings into our lives ... and seeking God's instruction regarding how to cooperate with what He is already doing in their life ... ministering to the needs of the other person the way we would like to be ministered to ourselves ... if we happened to be walking in the other person's shoes.

This is not only limited to the spiritual life of another person ... but the physical ... mental ... and emotional dimensions as well.

The body of genuine believers will function similar to the way our earthly physical body functions ... feeding ... nurturing ... repairing damage ... cleansing ... bringing rest ... etc. ... always doing what is best to keep the body encouraged, well, and functioning.

Genuine believers ... will be giving as Christ gave ... or will be in the process of learning to give as Christ gave ... because the Holy Spirit will be leading them to love in this manner ... and they will be eager to join in ... when love is being expressed.

False "believers"... will continue to be self-motivated and self-absorbed ... not sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit ... because they are not indwelt by the Spirit of God ... because no real ... born-again-of-the-Spirit-of-God conversion to Christ has actually taken place ... and self is still on the throne of their life.

(2).."Receiving" love... is based on completing an important transaction ... a transaction that is not complete ...  until love is received.

"He came unto his own,
and his own
received him not."

Jesus came to His own people ... He wanted to give them the gift of His Words ... His Words are the essence of all that He is ... These people were created by His Word ... their very lives were sustained by everything else He had created by His Word ... but they hated His Words so much that they put Him to death by nailing Him to a cross.

Like another little boy I used to know ... in this case ... a very love-less boy ... when someone reached out to him ... he would take hold of their hand and twist it until they cried out in pain ... 

So when Jesus offered them His love and the gift of His Word, they refused to receive it ... doing whatever it took to get Him out of their life ... or ... so they thought.

Genuine believers ... will value every expression of love offered to them in the Name of Jesus ... because it has been divinely inspired ... a precious gift given to another ... to be passed on for their comfort and encouragement ... and will also cherish every precious Word of God ... willingly submitting to it as Preeminent ... enjoying fellowship in the Word and sharing it with one another ... like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies from the oven.

False "believers" ... on the other hand ... will welcome flattery and previously determined ... socially acceptable ... false expressions of worldly "love" ... but become uncomfortable when genuine love is expressed ... the Word is spoken ... or if a false believer happens to be holding some position of "authority"... he may even use his perceived position to forbid the speaking of the Word.

In groups ... false believers will interrupt when a Word of God is offered in conversation ... turn their back to the person ... abruptly change the subject ... or will counter with a minimizing remark ... or even begin to lead the group in "politely" patronizing ... or treating one who brings a Scripture like one would treat a child ... or person suffering from a mental illness ... and shun any future contact with the person.

"But as many
as received him,
to them
gave he POWER
to become the sons of God,
even to them
that believe on his name:"

-John 1:12

Those who have genuinely received Christ ... are the same ones who have the POWER ... POWER to become the sons of God ... and POWER to love the brethren first and foremost ... and then to love everyone else ... with the supernatural love ... only this POWER ... Holy Spirit of God ... can provide.

But ... to give love is only the first part of this transaction.

Can we really profess to know Christ ... while refusing to also ... receive love or receive a Word from the brethren?

An unbiblical hierarchical structure that separates the "clergy" from the "laity" ... granting access to the precious Word of God only to those with diplomas on their wall ... is an attack against genuine believers as well as against the Word itself.

Jesus said:

"And whosoever 
shall not receive you, 
nor hear your words
when ye depart 
out of that house or city, 
shake off the dust of your feet.

Verily I say unto you, 
It shall be more tolerable 
for the land of 
Sodom and Gomorrha 
in the day of judgment, 
than for that city."

Were these Words written exclusively to the disciples for that time in history ... or ... is there possibly something of value here that can also be applied to all genuine believers today?

Unless we are rejecting something the Word of God actually labels as "evil" ... to reject ... to not receive ... the Word and love of the brethren ... becomes a severe matter on judgment day ... So we need to be found ready ... worthy ... and supernaturally engaged in loving the brethren and sharing God's Word ... as well as receiving the love of the brethren and the Word they may be bringing to us ... while we wait.

We should expect hatred and rejection from the world ... but not from professing Christians ... The response will reveal the "genuine-ness."

"Marvel not, my brethren, 
if the world hate you.

We know that 
we have passed 
from death unto life, 
because we love the brethren. 
He that loveth not his brother 
abideth in death.
[is an unbeliever]

Whosoever hateth 
[rejects..does not receive] 
his brother 
is a murderer
and ye know 
that no murderer 
hath eternal life 
abiding in him."

This may seem too extreme an application ... especially after sitting for years under "authorities" that never preach on discerning false brethren ... Ever wonder why?  :-)

Hating does not usually begin with wanting to nail Someone to a cross ... it usually shows up first in the heart as rejection of the Truth ... and not receiving the Words spoken ... then morphs into not caring whether someone lives or dies ... then actually becoming instrumental in their death.

"Neither pray I for these alone, 
but for them also 
which shall believe on me 
through their word;

That they all may be one
as thou, Father, art in me, 
and I in thee, 
that they also may be one in us: 
that the world may believe 
that thou hast sent me."

. . .Are we really ready to see Jesus?

. . .Are we giving and receiving
      Supernatural love?

* * * * * 

    ... Lots More ... about Love:

    ... about  Unity/Love for Brethren:

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