The above title, is of course taken from the Tina Turner song classic, “What’s love got to do with it?” The lyrics continue, “”What’s love but a second–hand emotion?” If the world really looks at LOVE in that frame of mind, they have a total disconnect to the TRUTH.
In my last two posts, I have been doing detective work about LOVE in covenant relationships. Love between a man and woman, Love of a Father for His Son, and Love between our Father and His people. “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16 Amplified version.
I pointed out in my investigation in Genesis 22, the “principle of first mention“. That’s when a word or concept occurs for the first time in the Bible, usually in the Book of Genesis, the context in which it occurs sets the pattern for its primary usage and development all through the rest of Scripture. In I John 4:8, it says God Himself is LOVE. With that principle in mind, I want to search out an aspect of The Covenant Promises discovery; what it means to LOVE GOD.
The Commitment Of Love
In Matthew 22, we see where the Pharisees ask Jesus a question. Now there is a difference between “asking a question” and “questioning” someone. In this case, the Pharisees were questioning Jesus, trying to test and place Him in a trap. They were not actually trying to get a answer, that would be “asking a question.”
Verse 36, “Teacher, which kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light–which are heavy?]” Verse 37, “And He replied to him, You shall LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL you mind (intellect).” Then Jesus continues stating His case in Verse 39, “And a second is like it: You shall LOVE your neighbor as [you do] yourself.” Jesus is answering the “questioning” based on that “principle of first mention”. He uses God’s Word from Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18.
The word to “LOVE” in Matthew 22:37, 39, comes from the Greek verb agapao (agape is the noun). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary says, “LOVE can be known only from the actions it prompts. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son.(I John 4:9, 10). But obviously the love of complacency, or affection…It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, C.f. Deut. 7:7,8.” LOVE is a commandment from God and not a “suggestion”. God doesn’t want us to love Him with “emotional love“, He wants a love commitment. When you choose God’s will or His Word for you life, it now becomes God’s responsibility. LOVE God first, then you can love your neighbor and yourself.
Self Gets In The Way Of LOVE
John 12:24 says, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just a grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.”
According to that verse in John 12, if “self” is in the way of you “loving” God or your neighbor, then you must die to “self” if you are going to see any fruit. You might be thinking, “BUT that is hard to do sometimes” . Yeah, it definitely is but, God didn’t think that about us, “it’s hard to love you sometimes too”. His love for us is unconditional love (Agapao). That “dying to self” principle continues in II Corinthians 4:10-11:
“Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies. For we who live are constantly [experiencing] being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be evidenced through our flesh which is liable to death.”
That “dying to self” principle or separation of self isn’t a once and for all condition. I personally have to deal with this everyday. An example of this came up while writing my blog. The issue of the family getting together for “Resurrection Sunday”. Your houses, my house; “I had Christmas at my house, so someone else should have Easter at their house”. God’s Spirit spoke, “Mel, where is the LOVE? I can see plenty of SELF”. When I find myself denying this attitude of love, I have to renew my mind and my life with God’s Word (Romans 12:1-2). We should always line up our emotions, our decisions and our actions with God’s Word; everyday! We have to “OBEY” the Word, to “TRUST” in His Power to perform His will for our lives. LOVING others rest on my abilityand my happiness. Remember that old hymn we use to sing in church” “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
A couple of weeks ago, Dianne was putting up a new curtain rod over the bedroom window. She has been enjoying decorating with wall paper and a new light fixture. After she had attached the curtain panels at each end of the rod and started hanging everything above the window, one end slip off the brace and a curtain rod and panel slipped to the floor. There had to be a biblical principle demonstrated in that disappointing example, and there was one. Everything hangs from the “Rod of Love“. If the “Law of Answered Prayer” isn’t working or the “Law of Prosperity” isn’t working, check your LOVE connection. What’s first in your life? Is it the will of God above your own happiness? To LOVE God with an attitude of covenant relationship is to lose “self”. That covenant principle works in marriage and your family also; it answers, “What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?” And by the way, The Word Detective is arranging a family gathering this Sunday.
God’s Anointing of LOVE
We hear the word “anoint” or “anointed” thrown around in religious circles, but was does it actually mean? In the Hebrew language, the word for “anoint” is masah; “to anoint, smear, consecrate“. Usually oil is involved. When unleavened bread is “tempered with oil” in Exodus 29:2, it is basically equivalent to our act of smearing butter on our toast in the morning. When God’s anointing of LOVE is placed on us as believers, He is “smearing” LOVE all over you; His super, spread over your natural making you “supernatural”. And that anointing on you and I is for His service. It’s not for me, but for others. The gifts of the Spirit isn’t for you, it is for others. You can’t be blessed unless you’re a blessing to someone else. That’s what LOVE has to do with it; SELF has been set aside in relationship.