GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

We as humans have a love that is perverted, selfish and selective.  Christ came with a gospel correcting the love that man knew.  Our love was not what God had intended for man.  It wasn’t until Christ revealed the nature of God did we understand the true meaning of love.

Sin is a type of perverted love.  How could we love God with all of our strength, mind and soul if the only love we knew is what can I expect in return?  What’s in it for me?  This is not the kind of love God wants and especially not the love He has for us.

We are told to live a holy life.  This cannot be done without love. The two are inseparable.  Living a holy life is the perfecting of love.  Christianity is our love to God and to others.

I Corinthians 13:1 – 8 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.   Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

There is nothing more important than unconditional love.  You can have the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts, but if you do not have love you will not have the ability to exercise God’s gifts or the Spirit’s fruits.  God’s love is directed outwardly toward others and this love is not toward ourselves.  Unless we overcome our own desires and instincts we cannot give unconditional love.  Therefore, we must develop the mind of Christ in order to consistently love God as He loves us and for us to love others.

Love is having patience with people but not necessarily with normal events of life.  Love is being kind in dealing with people.   A Christian who is unkind lacks love.  Positive responses normally come when we are kind and thoughtful toward others. Love does not envy.  Envy can mean that we want what others have badly enough to do almost anything to get it.  Envy can mean that if we can’t have it we do not want them to have it either.  Most everyone would like to be wealthy, well known and accepted.  How we accept others good fortunes is indicative of our true love.  A person with love will not boast.  We realize how unworthy we are, were it not for Christ’s death and resurrection.  Love keeps us humble and it never offends.  There is a difference between confidence and pride.  Love does not allow our egos to become inflated.  Great leaders do not think of their importance.  Love does not become rude and self-seeking.  Christians are to be tactful and polite.  Love for others allows us to control our tempers.  Anger many times results from a bruised ego.  When we become exasperated with others we must not lose our tempers.  We must not allow situations to defeat us.  Love forgives and holds no grudges.  We must never be pleased with the misfortunes of others.  Love looks for the good in people.  Christian love never hides the truth.  Truth must always win out.  Love is trusting and takes God at His word.  We must look for the good in other people.  Love always hopes.  The worst thing a Christian can have is a negative attitude.  Prior to Christ the Israelites feared God.  Fear can cause people to do irrational things.  Christ came that we may overcome fear by giving us hope.  Love is reaching out to others.  It stops indifference, isolationism and pride that hinder relationships and exclusiveness.  Love is central to a Christian’s faith and lifestyle.  Christian perfection is a perfection of love.  Christ said if everyone had unconditional love there would be no need for laws.

A number of months ago I believe I heard Dr Charles Stanley say once He could feel God’s love it changed his life.  I have prayed that I too might feel that love and that I might return it to God and others.  The answers to my prayers seem to say: You do not need a sign.  Your faith is sufficient.  You understand what unconditional love requires.  But I keep on praying!

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