The Key to Growing into a Loving Person

September 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

1 John 4:16a, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.”

John 17:23, “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

Modern man’s concept of love is largely defined and formed by Hollywood and Madison Avenue. If this premise is true, then every mention of the word “love” is filtered through this mindset. Thus, when the typical American is told that God is love or that God loves them, they picture God as being a warm, sentimental, slushy, emotional Being that tolerates everything, wishes everyone well, and never punishes anyone. They assume that if God loves them then a “get-off-easy” “everything-is-going-to-be-all-right” type of relationship must exist between God and themselves. Because of this distorted understanding of the meaning of the word “love”, we must allow God’s Word and not Hollywood or Webster’s Dictionary to define its meaning.

We must understand that the God we behold is the God we become like. If we want to experience the maximum pleasure of life, then we must have as the object of our love the greatest, most worthy Treasure — the Three-in-One God of the Bible. If we are to be delivered from our self-centered, self-destructive living, into a life of joy, peace, pleasure, purpose, and power, then we must become God-centered in our thinking, in our talking, in our training, and in all our traits.

What does Scripture mean when it speaks of God’s love?

“God’s love is an exercise of his goodness towards individual sinners whereby, having identified Himself with their welfare, He has given His Son to be their Savior, and now brings them to know and enjoy Him in a covenant relation”(J.I. Packer).

“God’s love is that essence of life that gives without regard to cost to meet the actual needs of another, asking nothing in return” (Dudley Hall).

“Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others” (John Piper).

God’s love is indescribable, inexhaustible, incomparable, limitless, overflowing, intensely personal, all-surpassing, all-understanding, always higher, always deeper, forever faithful, forever honoring, forever protecting, more than satisfying, more than wonderful, altogether strong, altogether tender, ever-longing, ever-delighting, and ever-lasting!

Believing the Depth of God’s Love for You is the Key to Growing into a Loving Person.

Love is Enjoyed Most Gloriously When it is Trusted Most Completely — 1 John.4:16a,believed the love that God has for us.”; Faith believes that all God promised to be for me in Jesus, He will be!

Love is Exercised Most Freely When it is Assured Most Confidently. Puritan John Owens wrote, “The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to Him, is not to believe that he loves you.”

Believing What God Says about our Home in Him and His in Us Provides Eternal Security — John 15:9 – The Message, “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love.”

When God sits on the love-seat in the living room of your heart and looks at you, what does He see? He sees us in Christ as Christ and loves us in Christ as much as He loves Christ! As He now is in Heaven, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”) We are in His name, in His plans, in His power, in His dignity, in His authority, in His grace. He has enlivened us, enthroned us, and environed us in grace, peace, love and power.

What does God think about when He thinks of you? When God opens His mouth to speak of you, what does He say? He rejoices in you and sings over you with inexpressible joy! Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

 Can you imagine, God is rejoicing over you, to do you good with all His heart and with all His soul! (Jeremiah 32:41, “And I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.”) Do you believe this? Can you feel the wonder of this today? That God is rejoicing over you with loud singing? God wants to remove all doubt, hesitancy and excuses for not believing His love for you.

Dr. Sam Storms said, “Not only does He love you, now and forever, but He is delighted to do so. He is ecstatic in His affection for you. His joy over you is almost too much to bear. He sings and shouts with uninhibited happiness … over you!”

The key to believing the love that God has for us is seeing it revealed in the word of Scripture. John 17:20, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;”

What pleases God more than anything else? The prophetic word spoken to widow Marjory Kempe in 1667 remains ancient but ever new and true: “More pleasing to me than all your prayers, works and penances is that you would BELIEVE THAT I LOVE YOU!”

Believing What God Says about our Home in Him and His in Us Provides True Identity, Internal Beauty, and Progressive Maturity!

The basis of our identity is of utmost importance. Most people try to answer the question of their identity by what they do for a living, where they go to school, how lovely their family is, what they own, etc.

The truth is if you think you’re a nobody, you’ll be forever trying to prove that you are a somebody. If you think you are nothing, you’ll be forever trying to prove that you are something. But if you come to understand that as a child of God, you have been chosen as a nothing, and nobody, who has become everything to the most important Somebody in this Universe — Jesus — then you can get down and do the little and lowly task of a slave without feeling that you’re being treated as trash. My identity is not found in my job assignment or in the assessment of other persons, but in the forever acceptance and approval that I have with the Father, as He sees me in Christ as Christ, and loves me in Christ as Christ.

If you could have interviewed John, the disciple of Jesus, and asked, “Who are you? What is your primary identity? You would not here him reply, “Why I am a handpicked disciple and apostle of Jesus Christ. I traveled in the elite circle with Peter and James. I’m an evangelist and pastor of one of the great churches of the New Testament — the church at Ephesus. I’m also the author of the books of John and Revelation, as well as having three personal letters published in the Bible. Listen to how he identified himself: John 13:23, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” John 20:2, “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said unto them”; John 21:7, “Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Peter;” John 21:20, “Then Peter, turning about, sees the disciple whom Jesus loved following;” He declares his identity is found in knowing that he is the “disciple whom Jesus loved!”

Pay close attention: “Define yourself radically as one beloved of God. God’s love for you and His choice of you constitutes your worth. The basis of my personal worth isn’t in my possessions, my talents, my relationships with significant others in my life, my reputation or the esteem of others, not kudos of appreciation from parents and kids, not applause and appreciation and everyone telling what you are to them. You must stand anchored in God, before whom you stand naked, with nothing to offer him but my own wicked, deceitful heart — this God, my Father tells me “You are my son, my beloved one. You are worth Jesus to me because that’s how much I paid for you!”

Henry Scougal declared that, “The worth of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love.” For this reason, we must understand that the God we behold is the God we become like. If we want to experience the maximum pleasure of life, then we must have as the object of our love the greatest, most worthy Treasure — the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

 When the child of God looks into the mirror of the Word of God and sees the Son of God, they are changed by the Spirit of God into the image of God for the glory of God.

Herb Hodges observes: “Whatever we ever-longingly and ever-lovingly look at we will become ever-lastingly like. Whatever gets your attention most frequently and most favorably will fix your character most firmly.” 

Ephesians 3:17-19, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrases the above verse to say: “Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her with dazzling silk, radiant with holiness.”

Love is the greatest change agent in the world. Love will do what law can never accomplish! A parent can lay down the law and make a boy take a bath. But let the first love of his life enter and he’s rub a dub in the tub, and asking for the cologne and the clean clothes.

Believing What God Says about His love for us in Christ is an Identity- Maker, a Destiny-Caller, and a Maturity-Developer.

Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so!

  My Zimbio

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