“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” - 1 John 4:7 (KJV)
We closed last week’s blog with the action point of purposing to remember, “True love looks to give first as oppose to gratify.” This must be a deliberate and devoted discipline for all of God's people. Maintaining this mindset will allow us to lock on to a lofty look at love and thereby guard us from being gripped by a grabber mentality with respect to love.
One of the most powerful and captivating mediums that is constantly contributing to a confusing and condescending view of love is the music industry. This industry uses its influence to maintain mastery over its misguided minions and propagate an unbiblical, feeling-based concept of love. While our world is saturated with songs that have been written about every topic that topples the mind, the most heavily featured topic in musical lyrics is being in love. This topic is given prominence in a wide range of music styles: from the sultry and swooning '50s ballads to current catchy contemporary club bangers which club your conscience into submission. Regardless of the decade the lyrics direct us to a roller coaster ride ripped with peaks and valleys of being in love. Of course, these songs promote the culture’s way of being in love versus Christ’s way of being in love orAmerica’s style as opposed to the Almighty’s style.
Earlier in February of this year, Billboard Music Charts listed what were considered to be the top 50 hits with the word “love” in their title. This canopy of songs covers all seven decades of the Hot 100’s history, extending from 1958's “To Know Him Is to Love Him” by the Teddy Bears to 2011's “We Found Love” by Rihanna. But I took the liberty to list the only two songs that were listed as the number one song for an incredible 14 weeks! They were "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston and “I’ll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men. In my humble opinion, both of these songs keep you flat and grounded on earth as opposed to being fulfilled and flying in the heights of heaven. Houston's song embraces an echo of a memory that she endeavors to remember while the Boyz II Men song majors on what motivates boys and misguided men maximize in their marriages. In stark contrast, read and hear what the heart of scripture, representing the heart and mind of God, has to say.
“Charity suffereth long, and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (KJV)
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” - 1 Corinthians 13:8 (KJV)
As these scriptures indicate, love that soars with God is inseparable from sacrifice!
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” – 1 John 3:16 (KJV)
The man that is has been identified in scripture as the disciple that Jesus loved, the Apostle John, clarifies and captures for us what perfect and unpolluted love looks like. This is God’s love for us. This type of love is possible because we are clear and completely coherent of the course of action that the Lord Jesus Christ carried out on our behalf!! “He laid down his life for us.” The Master’s monumental movement of love should also move us to lay down our lives for each other. Question: Is laying your life down a natural act or a supernatural act? What does it look like to lay one’s life down? A key word that will show us the way is sacrifice. You see, Dearly Loved of God, true love is inseparable from sacrifice. There is a four letter word in the following references that dynamically drives this point home:
““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John3:16 (KJV)
“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” -Galatians 1:4 (KJV)
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” - Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)
“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” - 1 Timothy 2:6 (KJV)
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” - Titus2:14 (KJV)
The word “gave” gives us a tool to keep our love in a lofty position. Biblically-based love:
Victorious in difficulty
Not a Sermon But a Thought,