Loving in a Loveless World
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How to experience love in a loveless world!
I was listening to a Message of the Month by Martha from a number of years back that was all about love. The message is called "God's Love" and I pray Martha will make this phenomenal teaching into a booklet soon. It is the richest, most liberating message on love that I've ever heard!
Love's a very sought after commodity. Our pursuit of love (or what we think is love), takes us around about like scampering ants looking for sugar. There's a frantic drive in us all to be loved. We've all experienced the love-seeking that winds up with us in a ditch. Sure the circumstances of this pursuit are varied but the quest is the same: to be loved. Whether we pursued love through achievements like being brilliant or pretty or followed the baser paths of sex and power, there's no difference to the core of our seeking. We want love and we will whore and betray even our own values to gain this elusive goal.
Loving 1 Corinthians 13
When you become a Christian, love is promised. I was taught that love looks like 1 Corinthians 13. The more I could find these attributes in my expression of love, the more I was hitting the love mark. If I wanted to be loving, I needed to be patient, kind, and not envious or boastful. I wasn't to be proud or dishonoring, and I shouldn't be self-seeking or easily angered either. Nor was I to keep no record of wrong nor delight in evil but rather rejoice in the truth. I would always have to protect, trust, hope and persevere. And most of all, I was never to fail to love because LOVE NEVER FAILS. Whoa, high order, huh?!
I wandered about, looking to express my love by this prescription. What I found was that I failed more than I succeeded. What's more, it seemed that others colossally failed me too. I didn't love, nor did I feel loved. This brought on a guilt trip: Was I unloving and just reaping what I'd sowed? If I'd been more loving, then I would be loved, right? Of course this line of thinking meant that love didn't fail, I did! So back to the drawing board with another attempt.
I ran on this treadmill for quite a while, until my hope in love sagged as much as my loveless face. Where was I going wrong? What was missing in my equation? Was I just so unloving and unlovable? Was I misled or did God lie? The world is a loveless place!
What Martha's message so perfectly reflects is what love is and Who loves. If I had just heard the first 5 minutes of this message of the month when I was first born-again, I would have been liberated from a crazy train. Right in the very first track, she provides more clarity on LOVE and 1 Corinthians 13 than all other messages I have heard on this subject combined. Can you imagine the message in total? Here is a tidbit compilation to bless you.
1 Corinthians 13 is not a description of human love. It's a description of God's love and the setting forth of a standard that if you don't meet that, you're not in God's love.
When Jesus confronted the Pharisees, He diagnosed them by one criteria, on one issue and by one standard--LOVE. Jesus diagnosed them not by anything they did or any error of their belief nor any lack of knowledge of God, but He diagnosed them according to love because God is love. Love is not an attribute of His, but rather it is who He is, what He is. When Jesus searches us, He measures you and me the same way He does the Pharisees: by the standard of love.
Liberating! 1 Corinthians 13 is a description of God's Life and Love, not my human striving to be loving. He wants to express His love through me. Read the list again. It's impossible, and it was always intended to be. He is describing His own Love that He wants to show us and express through us. Again, LIBERATING!
Martha references this scripture and comments:
"'If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and do not have love, I become a noisy gong and a clanging symbol.' But to whom is this one a noisy gong and clanging symbol? If you give me the tongues of men and angels, I'll follow you to the oceans, so it's not a clanging symbol to me. I love it. Give me eloquence and I'm vastly impressed. So to whom is this a noisy gong if I speak eloquently and beautifully without love? To God! It's a noisy gong and clanging symbol to God. To man, it isn't."
Martha amazingly sets the stage for all my loving expectations to be on God Himself. She shows the importance of Love as being God Himself and the significance of receiving His life to be Love. This revelation is so vital and I am asking you to pray with me that God will birth it into a booklet. If Love is our requirement than it's a must that we understand these truths. I desire it so badly because I am tired of the many misnomers that waste our striving efforts to be loving, especially in our unloving world.