1 John 4:7-11 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” NASB
The Law stirs up sin, but Grace applies the healing balm of the Gospel. Humanity stood steeped in sin and The Law came. What many missed is that The Law was continually pointing to LOVE! Man, would look at The Law and Commandments and say, “That is a wonderful idea. I wish I could do that.”
Mankind has, in many ways, acknowledged that a Society of Love is needed but man’s heart resists and rejects that idea. The root is that we want the rest of the world to demonstrate Love but allow us to continue in our selfishness. That produces incredible despair in the heart of man.
Let me offer something that might sound controversial, Jesus came as the first true human, who walked on this planet and lived God’s kind of Love! That is the very reason that religion was always so angry with Him. The political powers of that Day did not care about Jesus, He meant nothing to them. The people who were threatened by Him, those who were violently angry with Him were the Religious.
The best that religion could produce were the Pharisees. Tragically, they would fit in well in too many churches in our day. They were scandalized by Jesus because the Love of God is scandalous to Good Religion. After all, it loves the worst and the bad. It loves people that, other human beings have given up on. If you will recall, Jesus sat and ate with prostitutes. Not to partake of their sin but to love them as people. He went to the sinners, the tax collectors, and those considered the dregs of society.
Jesus Loved Everyone! It often upsets legalists when I say, “The first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine.” Imagine that! What in the world was He doing at a party where there was drinking? He is the Messiah; shouldn’t He have been at a prayer meeting not at some worldly event? The Religious got together in their self-righteous societies and said, “He eats & drinks with SINNERS!” He embraces people who are not like us! Does that sound familiar?
That happens today. I remember back in my early years of ministry there was much ‘clothesline preaching.’ There were sayings that were meant to poke fun at the over-stressing of the outward like, “I don’t drink, I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls that do.”
Tragically, too often, we draw our circles and say, “We are other. Those not of us are less than we are. We are holy.” The Pharisees would not even talk to the Samaritans, because a Samaritan could never be saved, nor could prostitutes or tax collectors. It was a very exclusive society and, in their minds, if a Tax Collector began to confess his sins today, he’d be dead before he could possibly finish confessing.
I find it very interesting that Jesus drew out some of His best friends from among the Tax Collectors. He went to Samaria and even sat down in public with a woman – GOD FORBID! The Religion of the Legalist may come disguised as Love, but it does not fit or follow the rules of Love. Manmade religion is horrified by God’s Love because it only knows how to love like a good human being. It wants the best people in its membership and Love destroys that! Jesus was their thorn in the flesh, and they crucified Him. Little did they know that in crucifying Him, He was dying for them. They didn’t even know enough to say, THANK YOU!
Just before Jesus died to take away the sin of the world, he made some incredible statements that are critical for our understanding. He said, “Except a corn of wheat fall to the ground and die, it abides alone. But if it drops into the ground and dies, it brings forth much fruit.” What a simple but powerful illustration!
We know exactly what it means. If you only have one grain of wheat and plant it, the Law of Harvest comes into play and it springs forth producing many more than the original seed. The fruit is exactly like the original. I know you see it. Jesus was saying, “There is only one of Me. No one has ever lived God’s love before Me. I am going to fall to the ground and die. If I do not there will never be but one of Me. BUT, if I do, then I’ll bring forth much fruit.” There are and have been millions like Him and that is the desire of God for mankind.
Jesus came to forgive us of our sin. That is the handle on the door of the kingdom. He came to produce persons who Love as He Loves! In the Law of Harvest, the original brings forth after its kind. Millions just like Jesus! We are the New Creation that God brought forth after His kind. He brought forth Lovers who Love Like Jesus!
The fascinating thing is that the disciples heard things like this but did not understand until after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit began to teach them. They were fascinated with the Power and missed the most important Love. But Love is the Greater Work! It is greater than miracles! If we can love as Jesus loved, then we won’t have to worry about keeping the Law it will become second nature to us and an outflow of Love. If we love like Jesus loves we won’t need a law that says, “Thou shalt not kill or steal, etc.” Love, not only does not kill, it lays down its life for its enemies.
What the world needs now is Love, Sweet Love! God, bless you as you embrace the Love of God being shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit.