Greater Love

One of the most confusing concepts human beings have to process is the nature of true love.  Often we think we see it because we see actions that love can produce but it is not necessarily love. Take for example feeding the poor or giving yourself to be a martyr for a worthy cause. Remember what Paul said about that? “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”--1Corinthians 13:3

Consider the kind habits of life that any business person must practice in order to gain influence, and promote their products or services: smiles, saying “thank you”, listening attentively etc. . These are actions that spring from true love but they can be performed without it: “The love of influence, and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life, and, frequently, a blameless conversation. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may perform generous actions, acknowledge the present truth, and express humility and affection in an outward manner, yet the motives may be deceptive and impure; the actions that flow from such a heart may be destitute of the savor of life and the fruits of true holiness, being destitute of the principles of pure love.” --Gospel Workers p. 312 

When Adam sinned, selfishness took the place of love and selfishness is now natural to all of us. God’s solution to the problem in the Bible is called “justification by faith”. 

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (see Romans 5:1-5 for more!)

Love does not come by trying harder to love. It is a gift: 

“Love is of God. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. It is found only in the heart where Jesus reigns. "We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19, R.V. In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around.” --Steps to Christ p. 59 

Where this love is, others will notice and will desire what we have found. If we really have it, we can’t help but tell others where we found it: In Jesus!  - Pastor Mike

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