How's Your Love Life?
As we consider true love, it’s interesting that we have to study some ways that God hates. He’s not hateful, but He certainly hates.
It is impossible to truly love w/ out hating. The Dr. that loves to bring health hates disease. The firefighter that loves to save people hates fire.
Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:
God is love. It was love that motivated Him to allow Jesus to die for us. He is love...and yet he hates!
He loves homosexuals, but hates that sin. And I believe He loves Chic-Fil-A!
Proverbs says He hates murder, lying, pride, strife. Malachi says God hates divorce. He hates such things because He loves people!
v. 9 conviction
v. 10 affection
v. 11 enthusiasm
Allow me to introduce to you two imaginary Christians: Both are saved, but each is living the Christian life entirely differently from one another...they are opposites.
Though saved, he has an unhealthy love life w/ Jesus. He always has a smile and shakes hands, but something doesn't ring true. He is totally interested in himself. His attitude is, what's in it for me? He's never served much in church or been on visitation. He complains about things, but never part of the solution. He has no devotions...no walk w/ God. He rarely opens his Bible and prays only over food...if he doesn't forget to.
He also smiles and greets you, and it seems real. He is excited about the things of God, and has a real walk w/ God. He is always trying to be a blessing to others in the church he serves in.
What's the difference? It's their love life.
v. 9 Love = agape. [not eros or phileo] Agape love is totally unselfish. It is sacrificial and self giving. Greek literature hardly ever uses this word. It is so uncommon in worldly literature because it was in their culture a sign of weakness. After all, it's a dog eat dog world...you've got to look out for #1...it's every man for himself!
Agape love is the supreme virtue of a true believer. [& of God!] It is what Christianity is all about. It is the keynote of the Christian. After Jesus washed the disciples' feet [a task reserved for lowly slaves] he said, here's a new commandment...love one another, and that's how the world will know you are my followers!
Dissimulation = hypocrisy. [mask wearer] Many Christians just play the part. I'm playing the good guy, not the bad guy. White hat, not black. Smiley face, not frowny.
How's Your Love Life?
Qualities of a healthy spiritual love life:
v. 9 Hate evil and love good = conviction. [love God, hate sin, serve others!]
The true test of spiritual love is not if you can raise your hands during a praise chorus...it is the choice of a holy walk w/ God!
Real love is not wishy washy emotionalism. It's not letting people do what the please. Real love draws lines and has some convictions about right and wrong.
Real love has some conviction. Don't allow yourself to become so desensitized by this world that you stop hating sin. We are bombarded by sinful images all around us in this media generation.
The only real safeguard against sin is that we continue to be shocked by it!
ill.--frog in a kettle. Throw him into hot water and he will jump out. But put him in luke warm water and start turning up the heat and he'll remain and stay there until he dies.
ill.--TVGuardian blocks cuss words. Christians recommend movies to us saying there's no cursing, and then we as a family count how many bleeps along the way...usually twenty or more. It's not that those Christians were lying, it is that they truly no longer hear those words!
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil:
The Bible says to run from evil. Corinth was sin city.
1 Corinthians 6:18
1 Timothy 6:10-11
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
How's your love life? Have some conviction.
v. 10 When your love life is right, it will show up in the way you treat others. Preferring one another means making them more important than yourself! It's the opposite of selfishness.
ill.--on Facebook, people reveal what is most important to them. They talk about themselves, God, or others.
Real love shows up with kindness and a positive outlook. Complaining is just self centeredness.
Why settle for being a complainer when with just a little extra effort you could be a downright grouch?! It doesn't take any talent to criticize. Any old buzzard can find a carcase!
ill.--lady in church was so negative, everyone agreed not to invite her to the church picnic. She caught wind of it and was really angry. They felt convicted and went to her to apologize. "We would like you to come." She replied, "It's too late...I've already prayed for rain!"
You wonder how some people can stand to live with themselves.
It can be a tough few minutes being in the presence of a person w/ no love in their life, but imagine BEING them. Think of all the time they spend w/ that person looking back at them from the mirror!
Conviction is your position. Affection is your disposition. We need the balance of getting both right. If your love life is right, it will affect your disposition.
Love is action. It makes you do things. It leads you to serve. The happiest person is the giver.
ill.--a person gets a case of stinkin' thinkin' and turns against his church, the pastor, a policy, etc. He decides to leave the church. I've noticed that usually when that happens we don't have to contact ministry leaders about filling the hole, because they weren't doing anything. We were already missing them in a lot of services, and almost without fail they didn't participate in offerings. The bad thing is that Satan takes opportunity in this and the guy takes others with him, and many of them are innocent, were involved in the ministry, and just get caught up in the wake of one who didn't obey v. 10.
If you are self absorbed it will make you bitter rather than better.
ill.--Senior saints can sometimes get the reputation of being cantankerous. Well it's not true if your love life is right...you'll get better with age, not bitter. We've got some of the sweetest seniors on the planet and love made the difference.
v. 11 It's God's business he's talking about. The church seems polarized today. You're either excited about God or not...no middle ground. I don't understand how some can sit in church looking like they just had a bowl of persimmons for breakfast!
I think it's hard to have too much enthusiasm [en theos = in God = enthusiasm!]
ill.--a bee stinger is only 1/16th of an inch long...the rest of what you feel is enthusiasm! And you may not feel like you've got a lot to offer, but you can be enthusiastic and fervent in spirit! Zeal for God is da bomb!
ill.--our teens come back from camp with zeal and enthusiasm, and I say what happens at camp shouldn't stay at camp! But I get the feeling some adults are saying, oh let 'em be, they'll get over it soon enough.
Well I made the same decision they did, and it has been nearly 40 years, and I still have not gotten over it!
How's your love life?
ill.--a little girl told her mommy about her dollies: I love them and love them, but they never love me back. Does God feel that way?
ill.--orphanage worker saw orphan girl put something in the hollow of a tree. She went out later and it was a note: To anyone who finds this...I love you!
2,000 years ago God put His own Son on a tree, and the real sign written there said the same. People walk by and don't even notice, but God points to that tree and says, to anyone who finds this, I love you! Will you love me back?
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