Reclaiming Biblical Love
A primary reason the Lord called us as a congregation to declare 2017 as the “Year of Love” has to do with the fact that in our culture “Love” has been reduced to meaning virtually nothing…
If we are to believe many voices in the culture—including many in the church, “Love” can only be expressed by granting license to any behavior or identity or action. While the Bible terms this “licentiousness,” the culture counters that to love each other we must pretend that nothing is abnormal, nothing is excluded, nothing is sinful…
…And nothing could be further away from the fierce, transforming, correcting, healing, restoring, removing Love of God present in and presented through Messiah Jesus!
When loving my own children, “Love” often looked like a kiss and a hug, a word of encouragement, or a pat on the back; but equally, “Love” sometimes looked like a spanking, or time-out, or a grounding. To “Love” my kids only in affirmation would have made them intolerable self-centered brats incapable of living well or loving others; to “Love” my kids only in correction would have made them fearful and battered control-freaks or perpetual victims…
…To “Love” them with correction AND affirmation allowed them to grow to be functioning adults who know how to attach to God and to other humans—to be able to both offer and receive real love…!
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11).
Our Father offers us the GOOD, GOOD gifts of REAL LOVE!
- He loves sinners, but hates sinful behavior (See Jude 23).
- Father disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6).
- Father’s discipline leads to repentance (see Rev. 3:19).
- He calls us to both affirm and correct our children in balanced, real love (Eph. 6:4).
- Papa’s correcting love produces the fruit of righteousness (see Heb. 12:11)
- His Love “covers a multitude of sins,” but it does not encourage them! (see 1 Peter 4)
I believe the Father is calling us as a congregation to maneuver a “road less traveled.” He is calling us to awaken the souls of the lost around us not with a cheap love diluted with licentiousness, but rather a Costly Love that:
Confronts as well as comforts; disciplines as well as disciples; sanctifies as well as saves; renews and restores—but also rebukes.
In other words, a Love that is both Hot with the fires of healing and conviction and Cold with the refreshments of invitation and acceptance, but NEVER a LUKEWARM “love” that neither heals the broken nor invites the outcast…! (See Revelation 3:14-22)