Nuggets of Wisdom – LOVE
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
We’ve been looking at the Wisdom of Love in Truth being the bridge that links us from knowing and loving God so we can move to knowing and loving ourselves and others (we’ll get that specifically in the next couple of weeks).
Let’s continue to explore what real Love is according to God in Christ as the Author and Authority. We’ve looked at how Jesus felt relationally, mentally and emotionally, as well as socially up to this point. We even took a glimpse at how he felt physically but I want to dive a bit deeper into the physical pain that He endured. These all play into our fleshly concepts and living out of love and relationships. Unfortunately we define love in line with our feelings and then respond accordingly…so it is a rollercoaster as we can never rely on our flesh and feelings.
God never intended for us to see, know and live out love simply by our feelings. He certainly gave us feelings and emotions and we naturally (in our flesh) respond to many things according to these. However, as I pray we are uncovering in these devotions, Love is so much more and so much deeper.
Our next question to get a better understanding regarding Jesus Love for us is this: How do you think He felt physically after being flogged (viciously whipped – look up the definition), physically beaten, his hair and beard pulled out and then had a crown of thorns placed on his head before finally being nailed to a Cross (John 19:1-30)?
We all know the answer to this but we must give thought to the Truth once again that if love is simply a feeling, as The Author and One who defines it (He is Love), then His response would have been to choose to call the 12 legions of angels (Matthew 26:53) and be removed from the situation…because it didn’t feel good in any way, therefore it couldn’t be love. He had a choice and that choice was out of love, not based on feelings and in spite of the pain.
Even in the worst of pain (social, relational, mental, emotional and physical) He gave us the best definition and example of love…ever, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). That was not just for His disciples who’d abandoned Him, the crowd that cried, “Crucify Him,” and not just for the Pilate and the soldiers that mocked, mistreated and actually carried out the Crucifixion…it was for you and me…for our sins that nailed Him to that Cross. We are all guilty!
His response was Love, to endure all the pain, rejection and suffering because of His Love (commitment) to His Father’s will and to our salvation…Praise The Lord (PTL)! It was that very blood that was shed in all that torture and pain that allows us to be forgiven and free in Him. That’s Love!
Have you received His Love…received Him as Savior and Lord? That’s why He endured it all because He Loved His Father and it was His plan to show the only Love for us that could save you and me.
We have one more circumstance and emotion to consider as we ponder what True Love, God’s Love or Agape is.
How do you think Jesus felt spiritually when He was betrayed, denied, abandoned, mocked, humiliated, tortured and crucified? Surely He still could rely on the presence of His Father in Heaven?!?
No, He had to endure this alone because He, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might become His righteousness and by faith be united in loving relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:21)! PTL!
Let me ask one more time, how do you think He felt spiritually when He was fulfilling The Father’s will and laying down His life as the ultimate and only sacrifice that could save us? Here’s a clue…”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) Love as a feeling, as we’ve seen over the last few days, would have said, “Enough, Father, I’m calling on the angels to take me out of here,” and walked away. But True Love remains, True Love stays, and so True Love remained on that Cross until the very end…”It is finished.” (John 19:30)
In the darkest hour in all of history and Eternity, when all else was lost and every feeling was horrific, He showed us not only what Love was and is but that it never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)!
Do you know Him? Do you know this kind of Love that stays the course even when everything else is against it? That stays committed to the very end…that never fails?
Because He, in Love and as Love, showed us what it truly means to Love, you can know Him and know Love! I pray you do and if so learn to give it back to Him and to share it with others (more on this in future posts and podcasts).
Let me ask what love means to you? How have you lived it out in your life, relationships…marriage, family, church family, friends, acquaintances, even enemies?
God’s Love and His defining it and modeling it for us in Christ never changes.
Regardless of the circumstances in your life, the way others treat you, whether they meet your expectations and give you what you want or not, and how your relationships turn out, the reality is that Love is not affected by any of these. It is not emotion-based. It is not circumstance-based. It is not expectation-based. It is choosing to commit because we desire the best for others, regardless of what they do in response, just as Christ did for us (Romans 5:6-8).
God gives us clear commands and order of priorities in those commands that we must heed if we are going to walk in Love with Him and build relationships of Love with others (Mark 12:29-31).
I must repeat this…He took the nails and became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) for our sins but it was love that actually kept Him on that Cross so that we could be saved and made righteous before God!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – How much time and effort…commitment…do you spend in getting to know and love God? It is the most important relationship in your life and the basis for every other relationship.
Love and Lordship…Action Item – repeat the same questions from last week
- Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- Journal what you’ve learned about love in this post.
- Journal how this kind of True Love can change your life and relationships.
- Apply what you’re learning in every relationship…with God, spouse, children, friendships, even with enemies.
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