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Real Love

1 John 4:9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

The word "love" is tossed around a lot today and even in the Christian community we hear the words Love Ya tossed out like a tossed salad. What I mean is it is used in so many different contexts and I believe marginalized at best. When we look at "real love" we see Jesus and that pretty much fills the bill right then and there. Jesus is the beginning, the middle, and the end of love, or basically complete love. His love is unconditional and at it's core is found in the heart of God. John 3:16 says 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God's demonstration of love is real love and that love continues through His Son, Jesus.

We have romanticized love, fantasized love, and in the process left out the perfect element in love, and that is Jesus. When we love like Jesus loves we love all people and we love them as they are and offer them, Jesus, for who they can be in Him. If you ever pray for a desire to lead others to Christ you will almost every time come by to how you "feel" about a person. Jesus said, "love your enemies and do good to those who hate you." As an example Jesus says this in verse 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

Jesus then qualifies what He just said in the next verse 32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Then Jesus says what is totally against conventional wisdom in verse 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

As you can see, this kind of love is beyond our human abilities, and it must come from the Holy Spirit in our lives. But I refer back to 2 Peter 1:3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. With Christ we can do this! We can experience "real love" if we will let the Lord take control of our thinking and our reasoning, and in turn the result will be "real love" seen in our actions and our words. I need this and I want this, and God promises it. So today I receive it. DO YOU! I hope so. We are able to live beyond ourselves when the Holy Spirit takes control. Give Him your all and experience Real Love.

The Pilgrimage Continues.

David Warren

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