Thursday, October 27, 2011

Love & Convenience by John Belt

John BeltLove is the most important thing of all. If we don't have love, then what do we actually have? Therefore it is important to actually know what love is and what it looks like. Jesus is the ultimate example of love, doing everything for the Father's pleasure, loving without compromising truth and laying down His life for others to know His love.

Love Misunderstood
Love can be such a misunderstood term in the Body of Christ. People define it in ways that really fall short of the true meaning. With this, many times love is often expected from another party rather than from the party making notes on another's shortcomings. Without controversy, love is love without compromising to the heart and will of God. Without God in the center no true love can exist. Love is not people-pleasing but is rooted in the pleasure of God. 

All we have to do is look at the example of Jesus to see what love looks like. Jesus was not a sales person. He did not present things in such a way, many times, that would cause people to say, "What a nice guy." Jesus was not concerned about being nice, His only desire was to please the Father. In pleasing the Father, He made people mad, sad and glad. There was not a common result. It varied depending on the condition of a person's heart and desire to know the truth. Love without truth is not love. It is nothing more than a people-pleasing spirit. People of the world use this falsely defined version of love that does not require God.

Not About Our Preferences
One thing for sure about love is that it is not about us. It is not about our selfish desires or our own personal preferences. This does not mean that all of our desires are bad. It is just when our desires are not running parallel to God's heart that it smells more of us than Him. Most of the time love is not convenient. It runs a cross course through what we want to do, our comforts and pleasures. It is when we are able to lay down that selfish aspect of our lives that we can find the true love of God. With all things being for the pleasure of God, love is sacrifice. We see Jesus laying down His life, forsaking the glory and pleasures of a much higher life, that we might experience that life as well.

Value and Sacrifice
Love thinks of others. Love learns to view things from the angle of another's perspective in order to bring help and support. When we truly love we also see how valuable we are. Our lives take on value because there is a price to laying down your life. By hearing the heart of God, seeing the need and responding in love, our value increases because there is a demand for our lives. It is this kind of love that overcomes, never fails. If we don't see ourselves as valuable, then we don't see the importance of our lives being involved in God's plan. In other words, you can just go on doing your own thing because there is no need for you.

In contrast, if there is a use for your life and God says, "I've called you to lay down your life in this," it means something. God has placed a value on your life and sacrifice. It is when we discover the true meaning of how God defines love in sacrifice that we see how valuable He is to us, and how valuable we are to Him.
His overflow be yours!

John Belt
Live In His Presence Ministries