Monday, April 24, 2017

"I Don't Love Her Anymore!"

  He was 45 yrs. of age and shared that he was having 'a mid-life crisis.' He and his wife have been married for 23 yrs. and he began relating how their relationship had changed over the years. He felt completely unfulfilled in the marriage! The words came out but they were difficult for him to say. "I just don't love her anymore!" Have you ever been in this mode of thinking? I have heard this many many times over the years in dealing with couples and it is more common than you think. Let's listen to the rest of the conversation:
"I just don't love her anymore! Am I free to move on with my life and be happy?" I asked: "Is she in Christ Jesus?" He responded: "Yes." I stated: "That means she is your sister in Christ as well. Would you love her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her?" (Eph. 5:25) He leaned back in his chair and said: "That's so hard." I asked: "Would you love her as a sister in Christ?" His eyes looked away while he spoke: "Why are you making things more difficult for me?" I replied: "If you don't love her anymore, and you see her as an enemy, would you love her as an enemy and pray for her?" (Matt. 5:44-45) Silence ruled the conversation. Everything became evident that his unhappiness was not her and the marriage but the result of his lacking a relationship with the Lord Jesus! How sin blinds.
  Too many today are speaking they have fallen out of love. Marriages can be difficult but the Lord provides for us a way to overcome if we would apply faith in our lives according to His standard. A child of God concerns themselves with the will of God. God's will is to love on every level. True love isn't an emotional state that comes and goes. True God centered love is a choice we make, a dedication to the best interest of another that sacrifices for them. When we read I Cor. 13, called the love chapter by many, every aspect of love is a verb which means it is an action of choice. Go ahead and read it right now and look closely at what is attached to this idea of love. The lost around us speaks loudly, "If you are unhappy in your marriage, get out of it and find someone you can be happy with. Find your soul-mate!" I've never heard the term soul-mate used in God's word! God speaks for His children to love their mate. It's the identical love that Jesus loved us with in giving His life for us. (Eph. 5:2)
  Why do people fall "out of" love with their mate? Because they fail to practice love in their life! John spoke that the one who does not love does not know God and lives their life in death (I John 3:14). When a couple finds themselves struggling with one another, feelings for one another starts to diminish, what should they do? LOVE as Christ loved. When one chooses to love they will find the love they were missing and the emptiness will be filled with Christ. It's rather simple but very powerful. If one refuses to practice God's love for their mate, their lives will head downward with more struggles and eventually spiritual defeat. One thing we are assured of: "Love never fails!" (I Cor. 13:8) One can't find happiness and fulfillment without following the Lord and choosing to love. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

"A Word About the Love of God"

 Peter speaks of the prophets who prophesied of God's grace to come how they didn't know everything as it was not revealed (I Pet. 1:10-12). In all this coming grace of God the angels stood looking at this  loving grace and the salvation that came with it. To them, it was a sight to behold.
  Maybe it was something like this as God was creating:
     "What's that place you're making?"  God responds, "One day it will be called Judea!"
     "What will go in that mountainous area?" God responds, "That's called Jerusalem!"
   "What's that hill just outside the place you called Jerusalem?" God responds, "That's              called Golgotha! That's the place where I will die to save the human race I created!
      And the angelic voices go silent.
  From creation to the day Jesus Christ died, the whole journey was about traveling toward death. God knew it as He planned it. It's mind-boggling to try to understand. But there was a dedicated love and mercy wrapped up into one Man, the man Christ Jesus. Everything of God was poured into His Son because of His devotion.
  We don't seem to know much about this love. We try to explain it but it's beyond our ability but we do try. Paul said it rightly when he penned, "And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge." (Eph. 3:19) The love of God is beyond our knowing through our senses of how precious it is. If we grasped it, there wouldn't be all this strife, hateful and self-righteous attitudes floating around. We can speak fluently at time about this grace and love and the words can come from us, "I sure love you brother/sister!" Then the very ones we speak we love disagrees with us or we with them and wham, the love we had in our very spiritual moment is gone! God's not like that. The angels are longing to see it.
  If we had some real understanding of how God loves us in Christ, we could gain more of letting Him fill us to His fullness (Eph. 3:19). We would be loving God back and carried away with His purpose even when those disagree with us! When Paul was taken captive by the love of God in Christ, he went to a world spreading the good news where he could and it cost him dearly. In all, Paul, Timothy and Silas could speak: "For the love of Christ controls us..." (II Cor. 5:14) I need to see and understand that better, don't you? We need the love of God compelling us in our daily living and worship, don't we?