What is love

Posted by peter - July 31st, 2011

LOVE. GCL No. 352 / Aug. 2008 / 15 (Extract from “My Father and Your Father” by Bill Landon).

By Owen Hughes. QUOTE;

What is love? Love is not an emotion but is, in the purest sense, a commitment, or a decision. Loving is an act of the will. This must be so because true love transcends our emotional and intellectual vacillations. The main difference between love and the emotions it evokes, is that love persists: “It (love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1Cor.13:7NIV). If you study Paul’s famous discourse on love in 1Corinthians 13 you can see that love as the Bible uses the word is something more than an emotion. When we see love as an emotional state this does great mischief to our view of God the Father. It is from the misunderstanding of love as an emotion that we see God as changeable and unpredictable. If we see our relationship with the Father based on His emotional response to us we are set up to live in anxiety. It is in the uncertainty of emotionalism that we are ripe for being led astray in our view of God by mistaken institutional church teaching.

The mistaken view of love as an emotion makes it very believable that we have to earn our place in the Father’s house every day. Love and its counterpart – hate – are provokers of emotions, but these are attachments or side-effects of love and hate and are not love or hate itself. In this way, both love and hate are decisions. Because these two states are acts of the will, they can persist for long periods. Depending on where we focus our love and hate, these leadings or provokers of emotions will come from either Satan (loving evil and hating good) or God (loving good and hating evil). The Bible shows us that the leading of emotional response comes from the human spirit and not from the soul. The soul is the seat of our emotions. But consider: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal.5:22&23NIV). If love is to be a fruit of the Spirit it must have its beginnings in our spirit. To live in love is to totally commit oneself to the Father. But, not to any man’s interpretation of the Father, or to the church doctrine, but to the Father Himself – personally and intimately. Love is not self-seeking.

It is out of His perfect love that God is “other-centred.” This is why God delights to give His children all good things. This giving is first manifested as an intimate and personal giving – meaning the giving of oneself. Because the Father’s life is the only source in the universe of this kind of love, we can say that without the Father we cannot love anyone except ourselves. This is why relationships apart from God are tenuous at best. This is not an indictment against anyone. This is merely the reality of creation. No one, apart from God, has the goodness to love unselfishly. Only the love of God can lead us to sacrifice for another’s sake without resentment or ulterior motive. If we are to allow the Father’s life and love to operate out of us in an unencumbered way we must accept the unconditional nature of that life and love. Any other view of the Father’s life and love is impure. I simply cannot overstate the importance of letting God give you this view. Without the acceptance of the true nature of God’s love you cannot go on with God! “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,” (Col.2:2).

To know Christ is to know the Father’s love and life. All the fullness of God is the love of God that first quickens our human spirit with His life. From our spirit the love of God first illuminates our minds and renews our thinking and understanding. In this process we are grown up to be the people the Father created us to be. This is not a theoretical process but an actual change. By our accepting this work and this understanding we are processed into the people God intended that we be.

This is the out working of the greatest miracle a life can experience after the birthing – the changing of a life by the knowledge of who it is that God created you to be. END EXTRACT. COMMENT: Bob Mumford tells of his lesson in unconditional love: one day whilst driving on a rural road Bob noticed a dead squirrel lying on the side of the road. He stopped the car, went across to the squirrel and picked it up. The squirrel was not dead; there was discernable movement as he held it in his hands. Bob, overwhelmed with love for this poor little defenceless creature, wondered what he could do for it in its pain and discomfort. Suddenly the squirrel turned around and bit him. Immediately he threw it to the ground and in a temper said you ungrateful creature, don’t you know I was loving you and trying to help you? It was then that a still, small voice said, unconditional love is to love irrespective of the response. Your love for that squirrel was conditional. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. (1Cor.13/4-8 NIV). ?


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