Love

Deuteronomy 30:6: And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (ESV)

rose-402093_640The heart is a delicate part of the human being, and by that we are not talking about the physical heart, but the metaphysical one, the core of our being, our personality. It is the place from where the rhythm of our lives flows.

The bible says we should guard our heart with all diligence because out of it flows the issue of life (Proverbs 4:23). The point is, you cannot control what flows from your heart, but you can control what flows to it, in the influences you subject it to.

Paul warned that evil influences corrupt good manners (1Corinthians 15:33). And he was talking to believers. He was saying though you are now regenerated, you are not beyond being influenced by your environment. So deliberately put yourself in the right environment, to get the right results in your life. The onus is on you to be around people who bring out the best in you, who emphasize your divinity and do not have an agenda of corrupting you.

The reason God warned the children of Israel against fraternising with the other nations was to protect them from corruption. The foreign nations practice all kinds of idol/demon worship and they could easily draw the children of God, the Israelites, into the web of sin and rebellion against God through that. They will, following the lead of the pagan nation, ascribe the works of God to false gods. And instead of loving God wholly, they will be distracted from his worship.

In the focus verse, a circumcised heart is one that can love God. A circumcised heart is sensitive, but the fool says in his heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1), and because there is no love of God, which leads to obedience in his heart, and so he does abominable things. But loving God is not just an idea, it causes us to be aware of what he wants per time because we are in a love relationship with him and do not want to hurt him.

The love of God in us causes us to connect with his power, for it to manifest through us. A leprous man said to Jesus: if you will, you can make me clean. Jesus had compassion on him, touched him and he was immediately cleansed, as the power of God flowed through him (Mark 1:39-41).

Standing before the grave of Lazarus, he felt compassion (John 11). And he wept, not in a sense of hopelessness, but in identification with the pain of those involved. He then said: Lazarus come forth and the one who was dead for four days, rose from the dead. He connects with the love of God (and therefore with the power of God) for the people because he himself manifests the love of God, in a lifestyle of obedience to him.

Because God is love, we have to stand in love to connect with him. John was unequivocal in his first where he said that without expressing love we are not expressing God.

He that is walking in love walks in God and no matter the expression of benevolence if it is not emanating from the heart of love, it is nothing. That was what Paul wrote to the Corinth, encouraging them to them the higher way which is the way of love (1Corinthians 13). He said even if he gives his body to be burnt, and have no love, he is nothing, even if he is capable of the all inspired speeches he is nothing more than a clanging cymbal without love. Love gives positive spiritual content to our actions, it puts God in our action because God is love.

When he looks at us, it is with the eyes of love and we are the apple of his eyes (Zechariah 2:8). The sun rising, the rain falling, are expressions of his love and care for humanity.

John said that the one who does not love cannot say that he knows God. That is why with the coming of the Holy Spirit in us, the love of God was shed abroad in our heart (Romans 5:5).

Jesus wrote to a church in the book of Revelation that they have lost their first love and so need to return do the first works (Revelation 2:4-5).

We are all at risk of losing our first love. We are therefore charged not to love the world nor the things in the world, otherwise the love of the father is not in us (1John 2:15-17).

We are to watch out lest the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and the lust of the eyes creep in us, dominating our lives. In that case we need to repent. To discover what you love, check how you spent your time. You also need to check what you sacrifice for. The love of God for the world is measured in how much he sacrificed for it (John 3:16). He gave his only begotten son.

Loving others is not about what you can take from them but what you can give to them. Even time is about sacrifice. You give up something to spend time to pursue God as an expression of love for him. When you pray you are sacrificing other associations to fellowship with God in the spirit, it is leaving the physical and mental relationships to emphasise your spiritual aspect (Matthew 6:6).

Commitment is a measure of love. Since God is love, that means he is committed to you and I. That is why Paul said that when we comprehend the height, depth, length and breadth of the love of God we will be filled with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-21), we will walk in full divine consciousness which makes living the life of God to the fullest extent possible.

We need everything blocking our full realisation of the love of God removed, any stronghold, high thing that opposes the knowledge of the love of God should be pulled down (2Corinthians 10:1-4), so that the full knowledge of Christ can be manifest in us, so that increasingly we will know him even as we are known.

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