“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only-begotten (unique) Son… ” (John 3:16 AMPLIFIED).
“PUTTING FIRST THINGS FIRST”
Before presenting the evidences of SINCERE LOVE, I wanted to quote from Dr. Creflo A. Dollar’s book “Love, Live and Enjoy Life—UNCOVER THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF GOD’S LOVE”.
Chapter 2, Page 17—
“Can a lack of love stop you from receiving results from God? Can Satan hinder your faith by attacking your ability to love? Can you be labeled a liar for saying you love God when you don’t love others? Can you prevent God’s blessings from manifesting in your life because of your unwillingness to love?”
“LOVE IS MORE THAN AN EMOTION; IT’S A FORCE”
When love is in operation, it will rearrange things and change people and circumstances. The “force of love is like dynamite; it’s powerful and explosive in it’s working”.
Now if you are reading this, perhaps you might be in remembrance of a time past, when you thought you were so in love with someone, you couldn’t sleep at nights. Not only that, you couldn’t sleep, you couldn’t eat either. And when you were around that person, you did things that were…lets just say, dumb or down-right silly, you couldn’t even control your emotions when around the girl or guy. It conditon is called by psychologist, “Emotional Love”.
A definition for the word EMOTION: “Feelings on the inside caused by pain or pleasure that moves you in a direction.” So if you were out walking with your sweetie, down a secluded beach one afternoon and found a stick washed up on the wet sand, you might have picked-up the stick and drew a big heart. It was an emotional moment for the both of you. It was “feelings on the inside that moved you in a direction”. Was it sincere love or was it emotional love? It might have been both!
THE TWO LAWS THAT GOVERN LIFE
We all know too well about man’s laws in our society. Dianne and I bought two bicycles last year, hopefully to incite us to exercise more. The law says that you are to wear a bicycle helmet while riding; so I purchased the “special” helmet to fit my head (I have an extremely large head). I was submitting myself to the Law. Now Dianne, a bit more rebellious when it comes to man’s laws. Especially regarding seat belts and “wearing a bicycle helmets.
A LAW is defined as “an established principle”. There are also Spiritual Laws written down for us in the Bible. We can either pay attention to them or be rebellious and ignore them. In either case they are still applicable in our lives.
“For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being], has freed me from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
The LAW OF SIN AND DEATH —> SELFISHNESS—> FEAR
The LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE —> JESUS —> LOVE
SINCERE LOVE IS…
“[Let your] love be sincere–a real thing” (Romans 12:9).
Romans 12:9 says that we shouldn’t let our love toward others be phony. Selfishness always breeds hypocrisy; being two-faced. Self-centeredness (selfishness) pays devotion to our interests. You care only for self; that’s called “self-love”.
Love in the Greek language has different definitions as the English language contains various meanings also. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words describes “Agape” (n.) and “agapao” (v.); Used in the N.T. to describe the attitude of God toward His Son, John 17:26; the human race, generally, John 3:16; Romans 5:8; and to such as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, particularly, John 14:21; to convey His will to His children concerning their attitude on toward another, John 13:34, and toward all men, 1 Thess. 3:12; 1 Cor. 16:14; 2 Pet. 1:7; to express the essential nature of god 1 John 4:8.”
“AGAPE” love will always try to do things unnatural.
“But I say to you who are listening now to Me (in order to heed, make it a practice to) LOVE your enemies; treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred. Invoke a blessing upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you–who revile, reproach, disparage and high-handedly misuse you” (Luke 6:27, 28 Amplified).
Human love always wants to love the lovely; it’s conditional; it’s based on how I feel and how I think. Human love is justified by our pride, which again comes from “selfishness”.
“Agape” love tells us that if we have enemies; someone who opposes you, is hostile towards you, get a piece of paper and write down their names. Then if you send out Christmas cards every year, put them on top of your list.
Tina Turner made a hit song in 1984 which was based on her life before she divorced her abusive husband Ike Turner. It came with the title, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
I’ve been taking a new direction But I have to say
I’ve been thinking about my own protection
It scares me to feel this way
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a sweet old-fashioned notion
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken.
4- CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US
1. God’s LOVE for us is unconditional.
2. God’s LOVE for us is “one–sided“; Initiated LOVE.
3. God’s LOVE for us is “free love“; you don’t need a mask.
4. God’s “AGAPE” LOVE for us is “other” centered; not “self” centered.
“WHAT IS THIS LOVE OF GOD?”
I gave you the words of reaction in Tina Turner’s hit song, regarding the “world’s” viewpoint on love. BUT is there a song that reflects “what is this love of God”? I found several song lyrics that reflect on God’s sincere love. Here’s just one of those songs:
“LOVE WAS WHEN”
Love was when God became a man
Down where I could see love that reached to me
Love was God dying for my sin
And so trapped was I, my whole world caved in
Love was when Jesus rose to walk with me
Lovingly He brought a new life that’s free
Love was God on He would try
To reach and love one such as I.
“I give you a new commandment, that you should love one another; just as I loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another–if you keep on showing love among yourselves” (John 13:34, 35).
If you want to walk in Agape love (God’s type of “loving”), a death has to occur! Dying to “self”. Humanity in general hasn’t developed Agape love; God’s love for others. Sincere love is wisdom, power, anointing; love is the thing the devil is trying to get you out of.
The Law of “selfishness” expresses “self-preservation” where the Law of LOVE expresses “others”. We have been trained by society, by our own experiences in emotional love; a sort of “You slap me, I’ll, I’ll…” We have been living in disobedience. How will the world, as we know it, see that we are sincere about our faith as Christians? According to John 13…”if you love one another–if you keep…” on keeping on loving among ourselves. They will see us in a whole different light. What a testimony!
LOVE NEEDS TO BE DEVELOPED—Next in the 2-Part series of “SINCERE LOVE: “What’s LOVE Got To Do With It”