The Love Of The Father
After my wife had passed, in my personal love, desire, and my own perceived need I hugged my daughters, my sisters-in-law, and extended family with a tremendous affection. This is not just in giving affection, but also meeting my desire for it: I had to ask myself, was I giving to get? Is even this very limited show of affection a lust of the flesh? It is our fleshly or very carnal nature that often obscures the difference between love and lust to the minds of men. Our mind remembers the love or affection to, or from, an individual or thing, and desires to return to it. It is this lust of the flesh that we do not recognize and that often defeats our attempts to grow into the love of the Father;
I John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
There can be no fullness in our love of God, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, if we have kept any love of the world or the lust of the flesh: our vessel will have a mixture unless and until the love of God is in the completeness of all that we have. Your fleshly or carnal mind is against the Spirit and God, and cannot be subject to the law or please God;
Romans 8:5 – 8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
So your fleshly nature will never love God! A synonym for carnal or fleshly is meat; if you are carnally minded you are a meathead! Your flesh really only loves itself, only showing love to others in order to get what it desires. And your fleshly nature then works against your ability to love God in the spiritual. In our flesh we become like the Pharisees, making a show of the things that are right, and … pass over judgment and the love of God (Luke 11:42). We know from I John 4:8, 16 that God is love, so the divine nature is the love of God, and not anything we have with our own perceived love. In our flesh we can never reach the fullness of this love of God, the divine nature, for our flesh cannot and will not be subject to the law. That is why we are exhorted to come out of the lust (flesh) to find the divine nature;
II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
So we must come out of the fleshly nature to find the nature that is given of God! How did we get to this place of failure of flesh and of the love of God? Our God is a multiplier, but satan is a duplicator. Every good thing that God has created the devil will try to duplicate, and makes a counterfeit. So where is the beginning of this counterfeit love? In place of the love of God, the devil gave Eve the evil alternate desire of lust;
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Can you see that all of the things of the world of I John 2:16 were in her lust? She saw that it was … good for food (the lust of the flesh), … pleasant to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and … desired to make one wise (the pride of life). The failures of man, and worldliness, all began with … when the woman saw; which brought her to temptation by her own lust and enticed her: and … when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, (and so she took of the fruit) and then … sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death. (James 1:14, 15) Do you recognize the counterfeit love of the world that the devil gave Eve? If that counterfeit love of the world is in you, where is the love of the Father? Consider I John 2:15 again with the scriptures following;
I John 2:15 – 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The devil tempted Eve and brought worldliness (that lust or love of the world) that has been corrupting, destroying, and defiling ever since Eve was tempted: corrupting and defiling men and women, destroying righteous living, destroying faith, and confusing our understanding. How often today lust is confused for love! We see sexual lust in nearly everything today, and it is teaching our young people to dress provocatively because the ad agencies say “sex sells”. This has resulted in a compounding and increase of the lust. What they receive in return is not even a cheap copy, and will never fully satisfy the longing in their hearts. We must escape the counterfeit of lust and get back to the love of God!
We are living in an extremely corrupt and lustful generation, and it has blurred the lines of righteousness around us. The apostle Paul said … I die daily. (I Corinthians 15:31) If Paul said he died daily, the possibility existed that he might not die to the flesh; as he said in Romans;
Romans 7:19 – 23 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inner man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
So if that war between the flesh and Spirit was with Paul daily, and is continually with us, bringing us captive to sin, how can we possibly overcome? Paul continues on and asks and answers that very same question;
Romans 7:24 – 8:2 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
In Christ Jesus, with a walk in the Spirit, there is chastisement and deliverance if we stray, but no condemnation. Many confuse chastisement with condemnation: condemnation is final judgment, and is beyond the love and mercy of God for us. We should have a continual walk in the Spirit, but know that if we fail we have an advocate;
I John 2:1, 2 MY little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
If you are a man or woman that God would say is after mine own heart you will love Him enough to obey His commandments, but also to receive chastisement and always repent and go forward in Him if or when you fail. How do you think Paul learned to die daily? He had a few failures, but overcame them through the Lord Jesus! If we are comfortable in our lust we will remain in it and continue in the paths of failure and sin. Why were we told of the things that the children of Israel lusted after in the wilderness? The word tells us;
I Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
If we see and diligently consider the example in the lust of the children of Israel then we should be circumspect (Exodus 23:13), and look for the lust for worldly things in our own lives. Ephesians 5:15 also calls us to be and walk circumspectly, but if you will expand and read Ephesians 5:1 – 21 you will find this call to walk in love in verse 2, and to the spiritual warfare against the lust. While it does not have the word circumspect, Colossians 3 considers this warfare as well, and may best describe how to be circumspect;
Colossians 3:1, 2 IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
By lust our affections are so often on the physical people or things of the world, and those things are our passion. When we are blessed and amazed spiritually by a brother or sister, set your affection on the one who gave it, the giver of every good and perfect gift, and not on the individual, and you will be increased in the love of the Father. We must recognize the counterfeit love of lust and escape to find the passion of the fullness of the love of God.
Why is the fullness of the love of God so important? The love of God will bring us to complete obedience to His words and commandments. I awoke one day to hear We cannot let the warfare determine or dictate our actions. With the warfare active between the carnal mind and Spirit, we will perceive that temptations are choices or options. With any love of the world or our flesh remaining it will allow our minds to justify our chosen actions, rather than to simply hear and obey the commandments of God. You are not loving God with all your mind if you allow your mind to find alternative choices or options. If you let the love of God determine your actions you will simply obey;
John 14:23, 24 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
If we fully love God it will become as simple as hear and obey. Please also see from the above verses that the depth of your love of God has a cause and effect with the King and the kingdom being within you: If a man love me, he will keep … and my Father will love … and we will come … and make our abode. There is also cause and effect with receiving the Spirit;
John 14:15, 16 If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost will … teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance (John 14:26). All these promises can also bring us to the cause and effect of us abiding in His love, and having fullness of joy;
John 15:10, 11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This love and joy that are His, are as a blessed well springing up inside of us! What will it feel like when it reaches the full level of rivers of living water flowing out of us? We cannot reach that place until we can recognize and remove the fleshly hindrances that occupy our daily walk. People need to be able to then see, and perceive, the differences between the love of God and the lust of the world: Is this in being moved and doing, not just in saying it or in emotion? The emotion of love is the most visible, but the action, provision, and constancy of love received is the most life changing. In Colossians 3:5 we are commanded to Mortify … inordinate affection. The love of God is not changing in intensity with high highs and low lows, but is constant and unchanging! God is love (I John 4:8) and I am the Lord, I change not (Malachi 3:6), so the love of God does not change. Jesus Christ the same yesterday and to-day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8) If Jesus is unchanging, and the love of God is constant and unchanging, we must seek the place of having unchanging love to be like Him. How can we ever come to know this unchanging love? Jesus was taken through great stress, fear, trial, and spiritual warfare, preparing Him for suffering, in His prayers in the garden;
Luke 22:41 – 44 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Most have read and thought the scripture said that He was in agony, but the scripture actually says … being in an agony. The Greek word in the Strong’s, number 74, is agonia and means; a struggle (properly, the state), i.e. (figuratively) anguish. If we are in great pain we say we are in agony, but Jesus was in an agony, a great struggle; spiritual warfare. Through temptation, fear, and persecution the devil sought to change who Jesus was, is, and always will be. Jesus always prepared for the warfare ahead. While Jesus was in this struggle it says he prayed more earnestly. This warfare was so great that verse 43 says … there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. Know that God will also strengthen you if you earnestly seek Him in this struggle. Jesus was in great spiritual pressure and had a very narrow path before Him, through great physical and spiritual pain and suffering, to the cross. Jesus was seeking the will of God, the purpose of God, and the way of God, for His life, so we can better understand the truth of what Jeremiah came to know;
Jeremiah 10:23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Our way is not after the rudiments of the world, or the flesh: it is not in the natural, but in the spiritual! The Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect example, for if Jesus did not have His way in Him, and sought God for His will and way, know that it is not in any of us. If you are walking in your own path with your own mind, you cannot find your God purposed and intended way (the Lord Jesus is the way). Continuing on, and considering further the spiritual path of the Lord Jesus;
Hebrews 5:7 – 10 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
While Jesus was unchanging through His path; the walk of great suffering and a very narrow path to the cross took Him to perfection: in the days of his flesh Jesus did not want to go to the cross, but the love of the Father and obedience took Him to perfection, and He authored eternal salvation for you and me, if we obey Him. In the natural, homogenizing a substance takes it through very high pressure and low volume (a very narrow path) in order to make the end result uniform. Milk is our most known example of this, with the cream rising to the top in raw milk, but milk remaining in uniform consistency after homogenization. For each natural occurrence a spiritual parallel can usually be seen if we look for it, and this comparison to homogenizing was made with the path of Jesus. In sharing what God had been giving me on spiritual homogenizing, a friend noted that the great pressure Jesus went through brought Him to the place that … his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground, and noted that occurrence could easily be seen as a natural manifestation of spiritual “homogenization”. Until we are spiritually homogenized we will not fully find our way, or be fully prepared for the strong meat of the word God wants to bring you to. There can be no unity of the Spirit in anything carnal, so we must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust to have the fullness of the love of the Father. Know that you are being brought to His will and His way as you face the difficulties of life and seek Him. We find in the Word of God the provision of, and for, our path, but consider the end result if we are diligent;
II Timothy 3:16, 17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The four elements of profitability of the Word that are in II Timothy 3:16 are what can bring the man of God to perfection: embrace them, seek them, and allow God to use them to bring you to the walk of being throughly furnished. The scripture is often misread and quoted as thoroughly, and not throughly, and many do not understand the difference. You can stir raw milk thoroughly and mix the cream back in the milk, but over time it will still separate again. Can you recall this occurring in you spiritually, where you are spiritually strong and bold at times, and weak at other times spiritually? If milk is homogenized it is throughly, and it is throughout, entire, and complete with no need to mix it again. That is how God desires to equip the man or woman of God. In all of the trials, in the temptations, in the travail, even in the stress of attack from the enemy to the point of persecution (II Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.), God wants to bring us to the place of evenness, consistency, and constancy of His love. If we are spiritually homogenized we will reach the place of loving all the same to be in His image and have His mind: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5). We hear this scripture frequently, and are often left to our own thought of what the mind of Jesus is, but the prior verses establish this mind;
Philippians 2:1 – 4 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
This lowliness or humbleness of mind and constancy of love will bring you to fellowship of the Spirit and to action in esteeming others: it is homogenized and always, readily, available for God to use, and let it flow out of you. This like-mindedness or constancy is in the love of the Father and in obedience to God. Barbara said don’t hug me or tell me you love me, but show me: God wants us to show him we love Him by obedience to His commandments. How often our hearts are led by our flesh;
Mark 7:6, 7 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
This prophecy can be found at Isaiah 29:13, and then establishes that the result was that wisdom and understanding would be hidden from them. That God knoweth the hearts can be found in a number of scriptures including Acts 15:8 and Romans 8:27, but Jesus described it so well in Luke’s gospel;
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Can you recognize any justification of self in your heart? Are you choosing to hold onto your lust and the things of the flesh? Do you still choose to have things as the world esteems or values them? In the love of the Father and the mind of Christ our fleshly values will be replaced with what He esteems. Brother Don Shoots said in a sermon that God had told him, I won’t let you hold on to anything but me, and Brother Shoots said he did not like that. In our very limited understanding we perceive this “hold on to” as the physical attachment or grasping of life, and do not understand the Spirit and nature of the “holding”. God is calling us to only hold on to Him, escaping the corruption of lust, and receive His love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.
In my own life it seemed God had placed me on a path of loneliness after Barbara passed and He had commanded me to wait, and not seek a wife. To obey His command I purposed to distance myself from the single ladies and only be associated with the married nurses who took care of Monica. This exclusion in itself is an issue we will return to later. There were then individuals who God used in their compassion to sustain and strengthen me, and their affection was a great comfort. He also used them to build me in His path, but He then took them out of my daily life. When God moved the last, a great, very dear, and only friend, to some distance I despaired of the loneliness, longed for affection, and began to have a pity party until God showed me that the love and affection for those wonderful people was preventing me from seeking Him to the fullest. My comfort and satisfaction with living with the personal affection for, and from, those blessed individuals had resulted in a complacency to seeking the love and fellowship of God in a greater depth. By grace He had kept me, and by grace He was now bringing me through greater steps. I must therefore embrace the loneliness that it might bring the fullness of the love of the Father.
Fully received His love will be all encompassing, fully meeting our every need for love and affection. To receive fully we must enter into His love, and escape the need and desires of the lust of the flesh. Only if and when our heart is fully and always to Him will we be unmoved or unswayed by persons or things the enemy uses to tempt or distract us. That is why the first commandment is what it is: your victory is in your love for God! It is not a demand, but a promise! If we can have a heart after God’s heart, and receive the grace to attain the fullness of love for Him, it will resolve all other issues. And yet we hear the first commandment as only a requirement or rule. If we do not find this stedfastness of heart, the flesh will work against the Spirit, and continue to prevent or reduce the flow of the rivers of living water that are the Spirit. This love of God is part of the divine nature and will bring us to receive the promises of God. It will thus equip us to always be giving, instead of also needing to receive from the world. It is the blessing of God; … It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) Can you understand and receive that that nature or desire to give is the mind of Christ?
There is also great importance of our love for God in relation to the depth of our faith. Our love of God will bring us to not only obey His commandments, but to have greater faith, and overcome the world in victory;
I John 5:3, 4 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Have you considered the phrase For whatsoever is born of God in these verses? Your love of God and your obedience to His commands births you in Him and establishes you in faith! After Jesus gave the parable of the unjust judge, in Luke 18:8 it says, Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Where is our faith? We know from Romans 12:3 that … God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. So we each have been given a measure of faith, and we each determine our own activation or use of that faith. We also know from Galatians 5:6 that faith … worketh by love. We have considered this scripture repeatedly, so where is our faith? Our faith is not being fully activated because we are living and walking and trying to use that faith with the counterfeit love of lust! How often we mistake the necessary love, or limit it due to the mixture of the lust of the flesh. Fullness of faith will only come in fullness of His love, allow yourself to be fully born of God! His love is then expanded by the Holy Ghost;
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us,
When we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our faith is activated and strengthened by that true, pure love, then the Spirit can flow out of us as rivers of living water. We have continued to seek for the Spirit to flow in this way, and we say we are waiting for God, yet the delay and problem is ours, we have not fully escaped the corruption of lust!
Once we have finally found the fullness of the love of God, there is then a need to be vigilant to remain in the love of God, as evidenced by Jude’s exhortation;
Jude 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
The love of God will not stray with us into the counterfeit if or when we do, so we must keep ourselves in His love. Let this give greater understanding of Paul’s declaration that I die daily, there will be a need to be vigilant and obedient continually. Purpose to be an individual after God’s own heart, that you may abide in His blessing and keeping love and grace! If we begin to know and recognize the counterfeit, how can the enemy deceive us and take us out of the love of God? He will use every means in this warfare to stop you from operating in the love of God, whether it be temptation, fear, confusion, shame, or deceit.
A very special married friend has shared the numerous poor decisions she has made in life that led her into sin and that plunged her to greater depths of sin. As the enemy had done with me in my own past, he had also done with her. In fact, as provided by Romans 3:10, … There is none righteous, no, not one. That is the past of each one of us until we find the Lord Jesus. She now is again following Jesus and has a hunger and thirst for Him, and for the great calling, anointing, and path that He has for her. She is a lady gifted by God with great compassion, a wonderful smile, and now has the light of Jesus radiating from her and her eyes. In knowing her now it is impossible to attribute to her the failures that she has described, because she is so wonderfully delightful. As I considered this, a still small voice, in love and with no chiding or scolding, spoke to me, You are coveting another man’s wife. In my immediate appall, and my desire to justify, I got out only two words No, God! and I thought that I have not lusted after her, since we think of Jesus saying … whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her … Immediately sanity caught up and I said you know everything God (… all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13), and you know me better than I do God, show me. To find how it is possible I searched the scriptures; the one above from Matthew 5:28, and on the commandment not to covet;
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
In finding the Strong’s definition for covet in this verse (number H2530, chamad) it says simply to delight in. Some of the other words it is translated to in the King James Bible include desire, and lust, but these are greater extremes of the coveting. There is nothing fleshly or sensual in or about a house or livestock, but it is simply having a “grass is greener on the other side of the fence” mind. To covet begins with the simple sight of the eyes, mis-attributing of the glory, and to delight in. We consider to delight in to be a minor thing, but it could allow the enemy to put you on the slippery slope to the greater failures, and out of the love of God. I felt immediate chastisement and repented, and God continued loving, blessing, and keeping me. Understand that her part was obedience, but that it is the Lord Jesus Christ abiding in her that is showing, and shining, and working, and blessing from within her, and give Him the glory! If we will hear and obey, the grace of God will keep you in His love, as He did for me! But consider further that delighting in God is the love of the Father! I almost allowed the enemy to convince me that I could not love my friend as I do, but God let me know that to delight in was the issue. We need to then glory in God, and recognize in our life and the lives of others the giver of the blessings;
Jeremiah 9:23, 24 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
God must be our first and foremost love, so to glory or delight in the recipient, and to attribute the blessing, the keeping, and the anointing that are on an individual, to the individual and not to the God who gave them is spiritual adultery! The glory is all his and God does not share it (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11). Glory in God for what He has given the individual! I pondered on how to describe this dear friend, and came to realize that I have never had a similar friend. Scripture records, however, that there is … a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) The Lord Jesus is that friend that sticketh closer than a brother. So let not the friend glory in the friendship! I also realized that it is because of the zeal, hunger, and thirst that she has for the things of God: but that is the Lord Jesus, the friend that sticketh closer than a brother, that is living and shining within her! Because of her obedience God is exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in her earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. I am delighting in them because God delights in these things, and in her! It is similar to what I have come to understand regarding compassion, that you will begin to see, feel, and recognize that same compassion operating in others, it is all fellowship of the Spirit! This is the love of the Father! It is just finding how to love the invisible God through the visible manifestations.
It is only the grace of God that allows an individual to find Him, or that prevents us from greater failure if we will hear and obey. Paul said … by the grace of God I am what I am (I Corinthians 15:10). If grace was necessary for Paul, then it is by the grace of God and it is for the glory of God that any other individual is working for God. It is only the obedience and not the calling; it is only the yieldedness and not the blessing; it is only the boldness and not the anointing; that is attributed to them: the calling, the work, the blessing, the anointing, is all God’s: and it all works by the love of the Father.
You may feel like you are having to give something or someone up to love God to the fullest, but the late Brother B. H. Clendennen properly noted that if he loved God fully he could love his wife of 62 years even more than he did. The love of the Father does not take away, but adds to the fullness of your love! Glory in God for what He has given the individual! It is only the grace of God that allows an individual to find Him, or that prevents us from greater failure if we will hear and obey.
We have seen from I John 5:3 that to obey the commandments of God is … the love of God, and that His commandments are not grievous. The very first commandment is the love of the Father;
Mark 12:29 – 31 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
We discussed above that the first commandment is not a demand, but a promise, and that our victory is in our love for God! If we have a heart after God’s heart, and fully receive His grace for the fullness of love for Him, it will solve all. Yet we only hear the first commandment as a requirement or rule. This commandment can leave us trying to determine from within ourselves when we have reached the depth or fullness of this love of God. Perhaps that is why Jesus gave a new commandment;
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
This is His commandment to us, to love others as He loved us, and if we love Him we will obey His commandments! Even this new commandment could leave us trying to define the depth of how much Jesus loved the disciples. Jesus did not leave the depth of His love for us to determine;
John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Jesus said that as the Father had loved Him was how He loved them, and we are to have that same love for one another. So the truth is that the love of the Father is the love of the Father! It comes from the Father as it is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost! It is not a searching within ourselves to find this love, but seeking and receiving this love from Him! James said … ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 4:2) God will not take the lust, and give His love until you desire and ask. If we will hunger and thirst for His love, and desire and diligently seek God for it, God is a rewarder, and will pour it in, and then pour it out of us as we overcome and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. If we escape the counterfeit, then Jesus, by His grace and truth, will pour into and out of us the love of the Father! That true, full, active, love will increase our faith, remove doubt and fear, defeat temptations, and openly display the fruit of the Spirit in our lives! But we then need to also consider the purpose of hope!