Winter is passed

What on Earth have we done with the Teachings of Jesus? ~ Love God ~

Turning our attention now from the top ten topics that Jesus taught on to the subject Jesus said was the most important. Love God with all our hearts, minds and souls. This may not be something that has always felt natural. Especially if we have not had an example of a good father in our lives. But to unpack who God is and what He has done for us, will unlock the doors of our hearts to sing.

Where do we start?  For God has no beginning. He is from everlasting to everlasting. How can we describe Him?  For He is indescribable. How can we measure His love for us?  For it is unmeasurable. Our finite brains cannot fathom Him. But we try. We try to put Him in a box and kid ourselves and others that we have this all worked out. But we understand so very, very little. So little that it is hardly a drop in the Ocean.

In this world where we are pressured into having everything sorted, settled, figured out – the Kingdom of God is beyond all our vain imaginations. The key to understanding is to humble ourselves. We cannot kid God that we have all this worked out, or that somehow we know more than others.  There is so much to the love of God it will take our whole lifetime and beyond to even start to comprehend it.

There are thought to be seven different types of love.

1. Eros – a romantic love fundamentally a blind process of striving for survival and reproduction.

2. Philia – a friendship kind of love with mutual benefit for companionship, dependability and trust.

3. Storge – a familial love. A fondness born out of familiarity or dependability.

4. Ludus – uncommitted love where the focus is on fun with no strings attached.

5. Pragma – a practical love founded on reason or duty with longer-term interests.

6. Philautia – self-love. Which can be unhealthy or healthy.

7. But the best and ultimate form of love is Agape. The love God pours out on us. An unconditional love defined as the most selfless concern for the welfare of others. Agape builds and maintains every aspect of our lives to shield, sustain and enrich us.

No one can ever love and support us like God can. No one else has sacrificed their own Son for us.

In the free download can you can obtain here – I looked into every reference of the love of God for us as presented in the Bible.  We would do well to meditate on them so we truly take to heart just how much He loves us.  It would stand us in good stead to understand more of the height, depth and width of it.  We would be able to trust that He alone is able to meet our every need.

Agape Love

Here are a few of the descriptions as spoken of in the Word of God: GOD’s LOVE IS… unfailing, abounding, great, endures forever, follows us, is from of old, is wonderous, reaches to the heavens, protects us, directs us, brings us victory, better than life, is faithful, goes before Him, will never be taken away, fills the earth, rich, will be with us, atones for sin, keeps us from the pit of destruction, redeems us, is everlasting, has been poured out into our hearts.

By understanding how much God loves us, we in return can pour our love back to Him.

Henry says

All the law is fulfilled in one word, and that is, love. See Rom. 13:10. All obedience begins in the affections, and nothing in religion is done right, that is not done in love… Man is a creature cut out for love; therefore the law of love is written in the heart. Love is the rest and satisfaction of the soul; if we walk in this good old way, we shall find rest.

The love of God is the first and great commandment of all.  God, being infinitely good, originally, and eternally, is to be loved in the first place, and nothing loved beside him. Love is the first and great thing that God demands from us, and therefore the first and great thing that we should devote to him.

The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other God; which implies that we must have Him for our God and engage our love to Him. Those that made the sun and moon their gods, loved them, Jer. 8:2; Jdg. 18:24. To love God as ours is to love Him because He is ours, our Creator, our Owner, and our Ruler, and to conduct ourselves to Him as ours, with obedience to Him, and dependence on Him.

To love Him with all our heart, and soul, and mind. Some distinguish these as the will, affections, and understanding. Our love of God must be a sincere love, and not in word and tongue only, as theirs is who say they love Him, but their hearts are not with Him. It must be a strong love, we must love Him in the most intense degree; as we must praise Him, so we must love Him, with all that is within us, Ps. 103:1. It must be a singular and superlative love, we must love Him more than anything else. The heart must be united to love God, in opposition to a divided heart. Obedience to this first commandment is the spring of obedience to all the rest; which is then only acceptable, when it flows from love.

Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

When we understand more of the nature of God and how much He loves us.. how can we keep from loving Him with all our hearts, soul and mind?

Have you lost your first love?
(Rev 2:4)

We will always remember the best 
        and brightest of hours;
When first we saw the Lord.
He took our burden and we received 
        the promise.
Oh how we worshipped and adored!
 
We rejoiced in full salvation, 
        and went on our way in peace.
Even the stones on the ground smiled.
There was springtime in the soul, 
        the winter was past
God and man reconciled.
 
Then the flowers appeared in 
        the garden of our heart;
From the soil, hope, love, peace and 
        patience sprung.
We rejoiced with thanksgiving at 
        the birds.
Was it a new song they sung?
 
We said ‘Lord I am wholly Yours;
All I am, and all I have, 
        I devote to You’.
You bought me with Your blood –
Let me spend my life doing the 
        things You would have me do.
 
With a devotedness to Jesus
Our new-found love burned 
        with a holy flame.
“Is it the same now?” our Saviour asks,
“Is it truly the same?”
 
Can He say “you have lost your first love.
You now sing a different song”.
Maybe you have done little 
        for your Master’s glory
Your winter has lasted too long.
 
You have become cold as ice.
Operating it seems with limited powers,
When you should feel a Summer’s warmth
And bloom with sacred flowers.
 
Lord, You have so richly blessed us.
From Your great throne above.
Pour down Your love, revive us now,
That we may return to our first love.
 
By the late Andrew Feakin
(passed away 16th March 2019)

Prayer: Father, forgive me for where my love has grown cold. I confess the winter of my love toward You. Father warm the embers of my heart. May I burn with passion for You and do much for Your Glory. In the name of Christ. Amen.

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