God is love. ~ 1 John 4:16 KJV
Many people know this scripture but lately I have been meditating on what it means in this world today. God never changes and therefore the Lord Jesus never changes also. People change and we are supposed to as we are conformed to the image of Christ. There are so many conflicts within the body of Christ regarding the love of God. So I wanted to write this in the hopes of showing a side of Jesus you may not have seen.
…Thou shalt love the love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. ~ Matthew 22:37 KJV
…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. ~ Matthew 22:39 KJV
Christians know how to recite these scriptures but we must KNOW the only true God and his son whom the Father sent. (John 17:3) Knowing God begins with an intimate relationship. As you spend time with the Lord you know His likes and dislikes and you begin to imitate him in speech and actions.
In Jesus’ time when he went about preaching the Word of God he met with resistance and was called a blasphemer or was told he had a demon in him by the Pharisees and Sadducees. These were the religious people of his time. “Religious” means that they followed doctrines of men and made up extra rules (so to speak) that was difficult for other believers to follow. The bible is timeless because we can see that the things which occurred in his time can still be seen in the world we live in today. The church teaches new converts such things as – women cannot wear make-up, can’t cut their hair, can’t dance, or men have to wear a suit and tie to go to church and many other does and don’ts.
But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. ~ John 2:24-25 KJV
Jesus performed many miracles and multitudes were following him because they only wanted what he could provide for them. God the Father wants everyone saved but unfortunately not all will be saved because they don’t love God. Many Christians say they love the Lord but they really only want what he can give. They don’t seek him for a personal relationship and they only call on him when they need something.
In an instance noted in the bible, he lost a lot of disciples because they got offended by what he said in regards to eating his flesh and drinking his blood. (John 6:53-66) Today Christians still get offended by his teachings and his followers. They always say we need to love our brothers/sisters or one another but they don’t fully understand what the Lord was teaching. Jesus said:
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:44 KJV
Does that mean God the Father is selective? Absolutely not! People are the variable! IF they accept his drawing they WILL be loved back. I say this because He already loved everyone first because He started the love relationship with us. There are people in the world that want to destroy the people of God. I won’t only mention “Christians” because there are people who are not of the Christian faith that love God too. They may have grown up in another culture or through passed down traditions were taught different teachings but their heart loves God. Many are even converting to Christianity because Jesus revealed himself to them. Everyone who is drawn to love Jesus and accepts him will experience eternal life. (John 17:3 KJV) There is only one path and it is through accepting Jesus. Anything else is a perversion of the truth. It’s that simple!
God is love and we should love others but everyone can’t be loved. Jesus did not love the religious people of his time. Shocking to read, isn’t it? Not because he didn’t want to but because they were unteachable and did not love God the Father. They rejected God’s love. He called them hypocrites and vipers! So when we look at present times it seems it isn’t any different again. Without love (or God) in your heart, you cannot love but Jesus died for them anyway. Jesus was obedient to God’s love for them when he accepted to die on the cross.
And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. ~ John 5:38 KJV
But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. ~ John 5:42 KJV
…If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. ~ John 14:23 KJV
These are His words. IF someone loves Jesus, they will remember his teachings and God will love him and then they come to make their home in our hearts. We have to guard our hearts and be careful in whom we love too. I believe this is where many Christians fail to see the connection. We need to love but we cannot love everyone exposing our heart either. Today we are seeing tolerance mistaken for love.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23 KJV
Jesus spoke this to his disciples:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples. If ye have love one to another. ~ John 13:34-35 KJV
Was Jesus referring to loving other fellow Christians as he loved us? I believe this could be where the church misunderstands. Not everyone is Jesus’ disciple, right? He was speaking specifically for them to show love among themselves and because of this love people in the world (non-believers) will see they are disciples of Jesus. Many times today people who are not believers are not sure who are Christians or not because of their lack of love. The church is definitely divided because we are not loving each other like we should. I mean Christians loving other Christians. When we do people who are not believers will want what we have. We will have love one for another. When we think as one that is when the miraculous happens because we are in unity.
Love also means you tell the truth. You help others by helping them be free of what holds them in addictions, sexual perversions or hate etc. The truth does not always feel good at first but it’s good for you. We will loose friends or family because their views are different but we can pray for them to see the Light (Jesus) and to know and experience him. We can also pray for our enemies. That is loving them and it also keeps our hearts free of any ill will towards them when they reject us with harsh words or actions. Praying for them does not mean “joining them” in their agendas. Just as there were people who did not want to learn about Jesus back in the first century there are those today who still do not want to be enlightened to the truth. Jesus told his disciples to shake the dust off their feet and move on. They couldn’t force them to accept him or his teachings because they did not want the gift.
And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them. ~ Luke 9:5 KJV
Our challenges today are the same that Jesus and the disciples dealt with. We have “Pharisees and Sadducees”, (people who practice religious traditions), and still hinder or come against the truth. They continue to be vipers that spew out venom and partner with the devil in killing the sheep. We need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
We can be wise by seeing the overall picture of cultures and religions whose aim is to destroy God’s promised people and Jesus’ followers. There will be a huge battle and unfortunately those who misunderstand the commandment of “love one another” will be destroyed first. They allowed the enemy of God to come and dwell among them because they were well meaning but not wise.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. ~ Romans 16:17-19 KJV
See then that ye walk circumspectly, (meaning careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences) not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. ~ Ephesians 5:15-17. KJV
Beloved, we are living in evil times and we need to keep our eyes open. Be vigilant! Know that your enemy is circling you waiting for the moment to devour you. So be wise and don’t let your enemy set up camp next to you using “kind or good words” to deceive you.