In Romans 12: 9-13, Paul writes a laundry list of what love is to BEE. Shakespeare wrote in the play Hamlet, “To be or not to be.” Paul wrote the same thing by saying you either have love or you don’t. He starts off in verse nine with a huge statement that shares what love is to BE. He says, “don’t let love be FAKE or hypocritical.” If we think about it, if we don’t get this first one right the others are dead. In other words, you don’t just love as an exercise, but it is who you are. It’s not what you do, but who you are or “who you be!” We throw the love word around like a hot potato game and eventually it loses it’s true reality in our impressions. Since impressions change with circumstance and time, so does that kind of love. That kind of love is a result of something much deeper and troubled on the inside. If that kind of love comes from a fake or weak love expression, then it will not last. But……if it comes from who you are, then that is a whole different story. You may say, “Woh, David, you are starting to get that starry, deep look in your eyes. Don’t make it too difficult to understand.” Just in case I’m being too cryptic, let me explain. We are in a constant changing world and our individual pursuits are geared and affected by the things around us. If we aren’t anchored in pure truth and action, then we will get adrift and lose our way. That drifting also gets us off the course Christ intends for us. Realize, the basic premise for all Christ did in reaching out to each of us is one thing, LOVE! He didn’t only show love. He is love!! Get it? When we receive Christ there is one main foundational thing He equips each of us to do, LOVE. Guess how we can do that? Well, when we receive the Holy Spirit He changes us at the core of who we are, and the first injection we get is LOVE! Yes, love is no longer something we do, but who we are. Have you ever had a bee sting you? When a bee stings you it injects you with it’s venom and guess what? It leaves the stinger in there. To treat it you need to remove the stinger and then put antiseptic and medicine on it, but the poison is still inside. Your body will quickly go to work to deny the poison hurting you anymore than possible and then you will get over the sting and move on. The body fights the poison from the injection. Are you starting to get it? Christ’s injection of love at salvation (among other things) invades who we are and we will either give in to it’s affect or start fighting it in order to subdue it and make it palatable. Point of fact: If you totally surrender to Christ, then His injected characteristics will take over your whole being and you will BE a Christ like person at your core. If you fight it with your present circumstances, past personality quirks, and weak commitment at the core (take out the stinger) you will have a tough transition from lost to saved. It will be immediately tough to transition to this new life. It’s what we have for years called “making Jesus Lord.” By the way, He is Lord. Because of our lack of total surrender beyond “getting saved” we lose that moment of total surrender and we proceed to DO Christian things and not BEE a Christ like person at our core. Whew!! That was deep, but not really. To cut to the chase on the love thing is basically to say, “Realize how important your initial salvation experience is and know what you are BEcoming and continue to let it happen. Just realize it all starts with LOVE!!!
The rest of the verses line up behind this whole love thing and become life characteristics of us at our core. Here’s the laundry list:
1. Run for dear life from evil
2. Hold on for dear life to good
3. Be good friends who love dearly
4. Practice playing second fiddle
5. Don’t burn out.
6. Be alert servants of the Master
7. Be cheerfully expectant
8. Don’t quit in hard time; pray harder
9. Help needy Christians
10. Be inventive in hospitality
You’ve figured it out haven’t you? If you BEE love at your core, these other things will happen and keep happening and keep happening. By the way, if our churches would get stung with this kind of pure truth and realize the strength of it, the gates of hell would not be able to prevail against it. But in our present condition we are ripe for the picking. Read these four verses and really study them and see how they stack up in your life and then allow God to do some real changing at your core. Let Him sting you again and this time let go and let God, and the process will be much more fulfilling. Just be prepared; you will look different after the experience. Different goooood. Not different bad…….. Come on BEE, sting me now and let God make some sweet honey in my life. It’s much sweeter than my taste right now…
The Pilgrimage continues….