Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)
- TITLE: Love Made Real
By Dave Walker
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We blame our temptation on our fallen nature -- laying the fault at Adam's feet -- but he and Eve had no such excuse. I'm comparing Adam's state before the Fall to mine when I meet Jesus face to face. When I'm always in His presence, will I be tempted to do anything to hurt the One I love so much? It doesn't seem possible!
Unless there's a dynamic to loving that we don't fully understand.
What if an inherent part of the outworking of my love is self-sacrifice? What if, before it is demonstrated in this way, it is not authenticated -- it's merely a warm emotion that delights my heart?
When God seems distant and uncaring, what convinces me of His love? It's not His words; it's what He's done. Jesus died for me. Could that be anything but love?
"This is how we know what love is:" the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved says, by way of definition, "Jesus Christ laid down His life for us." (1John 3:16). Paul joins in the chant "God <u>demonstrates</u> His love for us in this: Christ died for us." (Ro 5:8). Jesus, himself said that there can be no greater love than laying down your life for your friend. (John 15:13)
Perhaps that's the key to the puzzle. Adam and Eve had to have a way to authenticate their love for God by sacrificing their own desires in favour of His. That means they would have to have been given desires that are not in line with God's will. Perhaps it's the same for all of us. It's not just the devil tempting us; it could be that God puts in us, desires which are contrary to His will so that we can make complete, the love we have for Him. He's giving us the opportunity to show that what we say and feel about Him is real.
This raises some interesting thoughts about Jesus' life here on earth. Was He constantly called to demonstrate His love for the Father by sacrificing His own will? Did He ever want to do things that were not the Father's will? Listen to His words:
"I seek not to please myself, but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
"I have come...not to do my will, but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)
If that's the case then, if Love is going to be the Survivor and get the glory, there's someone who needs to be voted off the island. His name is ME! MY selfish desires, MY carnal wants, MY reputation, MY cowardice, must emerge from the voting casket. Unlike the game, though, I cannot be forced to leave by anyone else. As hard as it is to see my light of ambition, self-importance and autonomy snuffed out, it is I that must vote myself off.
The beautiful thing though, is that I vote myself off an island --World's Island -- and into a whole Kingdom.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord" says the psalmist, "is the death of His saints." (Ps 116:15) Our love for Him, expressed in songs of worship, in powerful prose or rhythmic rhyme is actualised as we die to ourselves -- and our Father loves it. He calls it precious.
Jesus, as the bloody sweat dripped from his body, and his whole being convulsed inwardly in dread of what was to come, uttered the most loving words in all of Scripture to His Father. We can offer nothing more profound as an expression of our own love:
"Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done."
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