Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4: Defining Love {31 Devotions in 31 Days}

"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:39

Many of the negative emotions we are bound to usually stem from a desire. This desire is either to be loved to or to show love. It could be a young adolescent daydreaming about prince charming, a housewife secretly wanting her marriage to go emotionally deeper or a mother's heart aching as she raises her children. While none of these situations are wrong, often times they provoke the wrong emotions. These can be guilt, shame, lust, depression, anxiety and so on. These are the emotions we are trying to cut ties from. These are the emotions that we are seeking deliverance from. These emotions that haunt our nights and consume our days...stealing our joy and happiness. That's what this challenge is trying to accomplish. To break the chains and set us free, for good.

When the word "love" comes up, it can spark many different definitions for different people. Memories and thoughts will flood our minds, which in turn showcases what we think love is and what love is not. In order to find the proper definition, we must go to the One who has defined love: The Lord Jesus Christ. For it is His demonstration of love that defines what it is in the greatest measure and who He is in the greatest depth.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
1 Timothy 3:16

When we are in a relationship, the most important thing is knowing that person's name. It is second nature for us to call the names of our friends and family who we see often or have an association with. We don't have to think twice. It is engrained into our minds and when we see that person, that name will come into our thoughts. It is the greatest identification system ever created.

However, when we think of God, there is confusion as to what to call Him. What is God's name? When we hear of God, we usually hear of three main titles but we rarely hear of God having an actual name. These titles are the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (or Spirit).

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
Ephesians 4:4-6

The Bible tells us that God is one, not three separate beings. Though God is the Father, and He is the Son and He is the Holy Ghost, He still needs to have One name. And that name is Jesus Christ!
Think of it like this. As a lady, you are someone's daughter. You may also be someone's sister and someone else's cousin. Those are three different titles: daughter, sister and cousin. Does that mean you are three different people? Absolutely not!
Those are your titles but they are under one name: yours! Your name may be Mary, for example, but you can be Mary the daughter, Mary the sister or Mary the cousin, depending on what you are doing and where you are. 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Our great big God made Himself known to His creation by becoming a man and sacrificing His blood for us at Calvary. Our Father loves us so much, that He was willing to put limitations on Himself in order to be the pure Lamb, so that we have an opportunity to be cleansed of sin. How amazing is that?! God is the source of true love because He IS love! Love was defined at Calvary and can still be found when we humble ourselves and submit to Him. 

"Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God."
Isaiah 43:10-12

"Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."
John 8:54-58

"And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
Exodus 3:13-14

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:1-4

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Great I AM! He was that spiritual Rock in Moses' day and He is still that spiritual Rock for us. His love knows no boundaries, no time frames, no limitations. Even though God took on physical limitations as a man, it never changed His Identity, Character or Person. He was always One and His Name was always the same. He was and is the Deity who thoroughly loves His children.

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

This world has truly perverted and distorted the real definition of love. Love is not wrapped in a hot night of passion. Love is not googly eyes from across the room. That is lust and human emotion. True love is defined at Calvary, where the Lord Jesus Christ died to cleanse you and I from sin, which includes unhealthy emotional bondage. Love is action and God demonstrated that in the highest form.

Now is the time to put aside our own thoughts, mindsets and desires to better understand the love of God. In order for us to love others, we must first love God and to do that, we must know Him. It will be through this knowledge that His truth will spring forth and consume the darkness that it holding us. The Bible says in Him is no darkness at all and that whom He sets free, will be free indeed!

Father, You are truly magnificent. Your power is infinite and Your abilities are astounding. I'm thankful for Your Plan and that it included salvation for us. We desire to know true love, in You. Lord Jesus, please show us who You really are, that we may understand the depth of Calvary. So that we may be washed clean from false teaching and idolatry. That we can receive a real revelation and be transformed. Thank You for becoming a man, for humbling Yourself and being obedient to the cross. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Who do you love in your life (besides God)?
If love is action, how do you show it?
Tomorrow's Devotion Topic: Our Expectations
For a full list of daily devotional topics & more information about 31 Devotion in 31 Days: Breaking The Chains, go here to read the original post.



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