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The Intentionality of Love
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The fact that we cannot earn God's love reveals the purity of His love.
There are no hoops to jump through, no commandments to keep, no goodness on our part that causes Him to love us. It cannot be earned. His love for us is the result of His nature. God is love (see 1John 4:16). He extends His love without looking for the return. In other words, God does not love us in order to gain our love. Think about it, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The Father gave His Son out of love, knowing that there would be those who would reject Him.
While we are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, He did not give the commandment to force us to love Him. At the same time the Father did not force His love on us. The commandment was intended to benefit us. Joy is the result of obedience, and love obeys by nature. Love serves well. Everything the Father does or commands is actually based on love. By definition, AGAPE (the God type of love) takes joy in the recipient for the recipient's sake alone. Everything God does is for our benefit, whether we believe it or not. 1John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. When you know and believe God loves you, you will be secure in the relationship. We have to know and believe, so we can receive it through and through. Not just know it mentally, but believe it with our heart. You then have freedom to enjoy the relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
If you want people to feel secure in their relationship with you, you have to love them unconditionally. If someone has to earn your love, or they have to perform to get your love, your love is not pure. If you are inconsistent with love, no one will feel secure in the relationship with you.
Pure love does not require emotional cues to act. In other words, love acts regardless of the emotion of the moment. In some cases, it restrains the emotions from erupting inappropriately. People sometimes say things like, “If you love me, you'll feel like doing it for me.” Love does not require the “feel-like-its.” For example, because parents love their babies, they will get up out of bed in the middle of the night to feed them. Chances are they did not feel like getting out of bed, but they did. How many feel like changing messy diapers? For those who may be out of touch with gratitude for your parents, remember they did things for you, even when they didn't feel like it. Love sacrifices. Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Because of the Father's love, He sought reconciliation with us, while not inputing our trespasses against us (see 2Corinthians 5:18-19). Love will cover a multitude of sins. It gets beyond who is right; rather, it wants what is right. God is a holy and just God Who is always right. Though He would be perfectly justified in judging us and holding our sins against us, He chose mercy. He extends grace to those who humble themselves and repent. Nonetheless, the Father forces no one to repent, therefore, those who continue to reject Him will face a just judgment because He is holy. Keep in mind that He prefers reconciliation over judgment, but He allows everyone to decide for his or her self. He could have forced everyone to bow, but He didn't. He wants relationship. The time will come when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.
If you have to be right, your are not walking in love. Love extends the hand of reconciliation without justifying itself. Love is always right. Please understand there are times to confront someone who offended you, but it must always be filtered through love. Speaking the truth in love will at times hold people accountable for their actions. Nonetheless, the idea is not to call them on the carpet; rather, to call them up to their position. “I don't see you as a person who does such things. I see you as a son of God who walks righteously. You're better than this.” The intention is still to raise another up out of failure.
The bottom line is love is intentional toward others.
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