We are only able to love because God loves us first. The person who doesn't love, doesn't know God, because God is love (I John 4:19, 7). Everything good begins with God: "For God so loved the world that..." When we try to love others, or even God himself, without first knowing his love, we are majoring in minors and we fall flat on our face.
LEGALISTIC LOVE THAT BEGINS IN SELF ALWAYS FAILS
Yet love is most often taught as starting with us, not with God. "YOU love God with all your heart, mind soul and strength, and then YOU love others as yourself." Anything that begins with us is legalism, and this definitely begins with us. Yes, Jesus, said these words. But don't miss this: he was responding to a TRICK question from a LAWYER about the LAW. We are told this in the text itself (Matt 22:35). Jesus was not preaching the gospel that he came to preach. Instead he was answering a trick rebuttal question from a lawyer.
When we live by law, which begins with us, with self, then we always fail: "There are none righteous, no not one" (Rom 3:10). The law puts a yoke around our neck that none of us can bear (Acts 15:10). Jesus says, "Without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
KEEP YOURSELF IN THE LOVE OF GOD
Jude 1:21 says that we should keep ourselves in the love of God. It is only when we experience God's love each and every morning before our feet even hit the floor, that we are able to even begin to love, and even begin to lie the Christian life as it should be lived. The Christian life is not our responsibility, but our response to his ability. The Christian life is impossible to live without the power of God in us.
Jesus said of himself he could do nothing, but it was the Father who did things through him. Acts 2:22 says that God did miracles, signs and wonders through Jesus. If Jesus totally needed his Father to empower him, how much more do we need the same thing?
Yet, when we live by law, we begin in self and think we can do things in ourselves. We think that what God requires is our love. It is not. What he wants is his love working through us. I call it 'used love.' We first use and experience the love of God ourselves, and then we give it to others. This is how God's love is most powerful.
I Thessalonians 3:12 describes this: we increase in God's love until we blow up like a balloon ready to pop, and then we abound over onto everyone else around us.
We are to stay rooted and grounded in the love of God, so that his love blossoms from us (Eph 3:17). We are to abinde in the love of Jesus (John 15:10). The love of God is the most powerful force a human being can experience.
KNOWING GOD'S LOVE PRODUCES THE POWER OF GOD IN US
The love of God is the center of the New Covenant, which we are to live in and minister (II Cor 3:6, Heb 10:9). When we don't live in this gospel reality, and try to also live by means of the Old Covenant too, the love of God is extinguished in us. Law and love cannot be joint tenants. Where law resides, it will always evict the love of God.
The Old Covenant is the ministry of death and condemnation (II Cor 3:6, 7). The New Covenant is the ministry of abundant life and righteousness (John 10:10, II Cor 3:9).
Mixing the Old with the New is like putting arsenic in your food.
LIVING IN SELF HINDERS EXPERIENCING GOD'S LOVE
Jesus says to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23). We normally try to flaunt ourselves, and live by means of self. It's only when we run into trouble that we ask God to help. We think we can live in self, independently of God, at least most of the time. It's the same lie that Adam and Eve bought into in the Garden of Eden that brought about original sin. It is only by knowing God's love for us that keeps us from living in 'the kingdom of self.'
FAITH WORKS BY LOVE
Other coaching sessions will examine other aspects of the love of God. But Galatians 5:6 says, "Faith works by love." This does not mean our human, conditional, love, but instead means God's divine, unconditional love.
When we live in God's love, then all types of good things come forth from us. Thus Jude says, "Keep yourself in the love of God." Paul says to be rooted and grounded in God's love. When we live in God's love, then we experience his abundance, and his power because we are living in the power of the gospel. The gospel is the power of God (Rom 1:16).
All good things begin and end in the love of God. We must learn to abide in God's love.
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
As The Gospel Life Coach, Roger Himes shows how the gospel is the power of God, enabling us to live life better by accident than we ever could on purpose.
www.RogerHimesLawyerBusinessCoach.com, New coaching videos now being made available: RogerHimesLifeCoach-GospelTransformation.com. Twitter: /TheGospelCoach
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