What Does Love Require? Only to Receive It!
Love does not require anything from us; love is a gift given to us by God; it is something we are to RECEIVE from Him.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you... This I command you, that you love one another." John 15:12-14,17
Love is a funny thing. As it pertains to COST or REQUIREMENT, true love will cost you everything. However, if you are truly willing to "LOVE," it means you are willing to lay down everything for the best interest of others.
"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8
The good news is that as it pertains to our only important debt, Jesus has already paid/covered everything for us.
"having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." Colossians 2:14
Jesus paid for everything, including all the love we would ever need or could ever think of. So regardless of the cost, Jesus already covered our cost, and our bill has been PAID IN FULL!
"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:9-10
In this world, you and I will face many trials and tribulations, no doubt. There is a cost for everything in this world, including the cost "to love others." It will cost us our pride, ego, and "rights," especially our right to be right.
"and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." 1 Peter 2:24
In the case of "love," our debt is paid. Meaning, Jesus has already paid for everything we could ever owe.
"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Matthew 6:12
Can you imagine going to dinner with a big group of friends and at the end, EVERYONE is given the same full price bill for dinner? Let's say the grand dinner bill was $1,037.08. No one would expect each dinner guest would be required to pay the same full bill of $1,037.08, especially if one of the guests stepped up and paid for it all - as Jesus did! One big dinner, one big bill, and Jesus PAID FOR IT ALL!
"For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" Romans 5:10
God has given us His love through the grace of God in Christ, and because of this love, we are eager to love others.
"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
We are compelled to love others, but not out of duty or responsibility, but out of gratefulness.
"and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross... But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—" Colossians 1:20, 22
Because of God's great grace and love for us, we have an automatic desire to show Him gratitude and gratefulness for all we have received; therefore, as we receive the grace we are automatically bursting to GIVE to others as we have received.
"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16
GRACE through Jesus was God's plan all along. Grace was His grand plan from the beginning. We can see Grace throughout the entire Bible, from cover to cover. Jesus, the grace of God, was God's plan of redemption that He put together before He created ANYTHING. If it were not for His love for us, there would be no need for grace. He gave us EVERYTHING in GRACE from BEFORE THE BEGINNING.
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:4-10
We don't deserve His love or His grace or His Mercy. However, Jesus is the Grace of God, and in that Grace, Jesus already laid down His life for us as our living example of love, He showed us the way.
Jesus even made a sacrifice to be a sacrifice for us. His Grace thought of everything.
"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
Jesus' act of sacrifice displayed God's nature; it demonstrated God's unfathomable love for us, the same love and essence and power God used to form man; he also used to form the earth and stars and the worlds too!
"I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God based on faith." Philippians 3:8b-9
Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross. What does that mean exactly? It means that Jesus' love for us is so radical; his one act of love did everything for everyone, at least that is everyone who RECEIVES.
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice of love. But that doesn't mean we have to receive the free gift. We'd be fools not to, but it's still a free choice to receive God's love through Jesus or not.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17"
Today's message was based on Clearview's Guiding Principle #1, which is, "I Will Choose Love" - and it's based on... "There is no fear in Love; but perfect love casteth out fear." 1 John 4:18
Monday's Message: Love God and Your Neighbor Above All Things
Tuesday's Message: Through Grace We Can Love Anyone, Starting With Ourselves
Wednesday's Message: The Purpose of Righteousness - Called as Ambassadors of Reconciliation
Thursday's Message: What Does Love Require - Only to Receive
Friday's Message: Laying Our Life Down as a Living Sacrifice