It is my desire for each one of you, that the realization of love’s completeness in you will increasingly burst through all boundaries, and that every sphere of your relationship with others will be greatly impacted by your intimate acquaintance with love. I urge you to examine this agape-love with the utmost scrutiny, just like when a diamond is viewed in the full sunlight to prove its flawless perfection. I dare you to take love to its ultimate conclusion! There is no offense in love, as evidenced in Jesus Christ who is the light of day.
You know, we always talk, as Christians, the need we have to love one another and love people. Yet, most of us have real issues with that! It becomes work! I have to love – but Paul is praying here that the church at Philippi will come to the realization of Love’s completeness in them!
When we receive Jesus in our lives, LOVE comes to live in us – it is the truth of Redemption! God comes and lives in our lives! God IS love! We need to wake up to love’s completeness in us, and allow that love to burst through all the boundaries and the walls we have built to insulate ourselves! If we would come to see this, what a huge impact it would have on our lives!
Probably one of the most famous love quotations from the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. For the sake of space, I won’t quote it all here – but you are familiar with it, I’m sure. Paul talks about the manifestation of living in God – God is love – and when we live in Him, that expression is what love is. Love is – not love does. I used to read this passage thinking, this is what I must DO to love…not realizing that this is what I am because I am in HIM – and HE IS LOVE!
How does our daily lives change with this revelation? First, we stop trying! This morning we read a devotional by Pastor Joseph Prince – in it he shared about a church member who struggled with smoking. He asked for prayer, and Pastor Prince told him, “He can do it, you cannot do it.” The man agreed, and said, but if you pray for me, I will try harder to do it, and maybe with God’s help, I can. Pastor Prince said again, “He can, you cannot.” He said it a number of times – until finally the man saw it. Later the man testified that every time he lit a cigarette, he would say, “He can do it, I cannot do it.” After a short time, he no longer desired to smoke. When we realize that Love lives in me, even when I may not act very loving, I say, “God is love and God is in me…His love manifests in my life, not by my doing, but just because it is my new DNA.”
I agree with Paul – “I dare you to take love to its ultimate conclusion!” It will revolutionize your life!