Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Compelling Love

Love makes people do crazy things. It makes us take risks because the pay-off is like nothing else in our human experience. I receive so much pleasure hearing/reading stories about how couples get together. Steadfast and abiding love is awesome but new love is exhilarating. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done because you found love?

2 Corinthians 5:14a, For Christ’s love compels us.

We are crazy for love – not to attract love but because we are already in love. The love of God towards us is already ours and it’s secure. We love because he first loved us. The first aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is love. The fruit of the Spirit is the product of a love relationship, and yet, the fruit is...more love.

Why do we need more love?

I love my Man and when my Boy was born, my love for my Man didn’t diminish, as if there was a finite amount of love to go around. No, my ability to love expanded to include my Boy. For families with more children, there is always enough love as each new child is born.

When Jesus was questioned what the greatest commandment was, and he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with you all your soul and with all your strength.” Then he said, the second command was similar, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37,39). A love relationship between God and ourselves is first, because from it flows the ability to love [truly love] others.

The book of Song of Solomon is a love story. Reading it feels like voyeurism because it’s an intimate exchange between lovers. The invitation when reading the book is to place yourself in the story, and Jesus is our lover (uncomfortable yet?). A full expression of love and intimacy is demonstrated before the lover is sent away (to carry on the mission).

Many times we get that backwards. We try to work up our love and service for others, as a way of turning the heart and face of God towards us. The truth is, serving for love leads to burnout but the fruit of the Spirit is love. It is a love being poured out on a generation that desperately needs to know God loves them; he uses us to do it. Service is part of a love relationship with God but it always comes after abiding love with Jesus. Then we are filled anew with more love to spend hilariously on others.  

Love is the foundation and it’s the first fruit because without love, we are but a resounding gong or clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1).

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