February 2016 Teaching Letter - The Love Walk
The Love Walk
Ephesians 5:2, ”And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a sweet smelling aroma.” The love talked about here is the divine, agape love of Christ. John 15:9, ”As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue (abide) in my love.” The agape love of God is totally unselfish, totally un-self-concerned. The royal law of love is the law by which the kingdom of God now operates. Galatians 5:6, ”For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith that works by love.” The Amplified reads, “faith activated, energized, and expressed and working through love.” The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus spoken of in Romans 8:2, is the royal law of love.
The kingdom of God operates by the royal law of love. The kingdom of Satan operates by lust. What’s in it for me? It is all about me. Some Christians love with a superficial man-made soulish love. How do I know this? Well, the number one problem in the Christian church today is offense. 1 Corinthians 13:5 (Amplified)”Love is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not touchy or fretful or resentful, it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.)” We need to guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23, ”Guard or keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.” Hebrews 12:14-15, ”Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man will see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
Just one resentful, bitter person can defile a whole group of people.
James 4:1-3, 11-12
Verse 1 From where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come from your lusts that war in your members?
Verse 2 You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not.
Verse 3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.
Verse 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.
Verse 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judges another?
Most Christians have not had evil done to them in local churches. No one has scandalized them (the true meaning of offense) in causing them to sin. They just let their feelings get the best of them, and were offended by something somebody said or did, or didn’t say, or did or didn’t do, and became resentful. And rather than be mature and walk in love, they left, and many sowed
discord before they left, while they left, and after they left. God’s divine love never gets offended because it is not focused on self, but on Jesus and the best of others. So, when you do your best to love others, and it does not come back to you, then you are not offended. If you get out of character, you go to your brother and make it right. If you are perceived to say or do something wrong, you still go to your brother and make it right.
You are going to have to receive God’s love to give it. I re-emphasize this all the time: it is not a matter of my love for God, but God’s love for me. God’s love for me determines my love for people. People that hold others in contempt for their performance do not have a revelation of God’s love for themselves. Romans 5:6-8,”For yet when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Galatians 2:20, ”….who loved me and gave himself for me.” Ephesians 5:2, ”And walk in love as Christ also has loved us and gave himself for us.”
Jesus’ love is our standard. John 15:12, ”This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” With this in mind, the love walk is totally unselfish and is always sincere. Matthew 22:39, ”Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is love under the law. Romans 12:9, ”Let love be without hypocrisy.” Some would say, ”But some people are hard to love.” No, they may do things we don’t like, or have personalities that are different than what we prefer, but it is not difficult to love people, especially the brethren. Remember, we are loving with God’s love, not our own or love out of the soul.
1 Thessalonians 3:12, ”And may the Lord make you to increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you.” The Lord wants to love with His love through us. Let him do it. Yield to His love. Hebrews 13:1, ”Let brotherly love continue.” James 2:8, ”If you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well.” John 15:12-13, ’This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 1 Peter 1:22, ”Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” 1 John 4:7, ”Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
Motivation determines what we do. What is the motive that determines what we do? Why do we do what we do? Why do we pray? Why do we want to know God? Why do we read the Word and do the Word? Why do we preach to the unsaved and reach out to the lost, the hurting, and the dying of this world? Why do we go on missions? Why do we come to church? Why do we give our money? Why don’t we do any of these things? There is one reason for doing them, and one reason for not doing them. 1 John 2:9-11; 3:10-23; 4:7-21. Read these passages. They all answer these questions, and they all point to God’s love.