Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Real Love

The first real mention of love isn't found until Genesis 19:19. Lot has received the angelic message that Sodom and Gomorrah are going to be destroyed. His response to God is, “Now behold, Your servant has found favor in Your sight, and You have magnified Your lovingkindness, which You have shown me by saving my life” (NAS).

The second usage shows some similarity, in that “love” shows up in a time of crisis. In Genesis 22:2, God says to Abraham, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (NIV).

Sure are a lot of questions brought up by these two verses. God has created the universe and everything in it. The man and the woman were placed in the garden of Eden. They were in fellowship with God. Skip forward to the flood. God saves Noah and his family in order to repopulate the earth. Skip forward again. God reveals Himself to Abram, sends him out of his homeland to a “promised” land, and makes a covenant with him. Yet nowhere in any of that do we hear an “I love you”? Seriously?

When we finally get to our first two passages on love, what do we see? Hearts, flowers, candy, and a warm, ooshy-gooshy feeling? Nope. We see actions. Oh, did you notice that God isn't the One talking about His love? But apparently He's showing it. Lot recognized it immediately when God saved him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham recognized it when – after being told to sacrifice his only son – God saved his son, Isaac, from certain death.

So why are we always focusing so much on how we feel when we talk about love? “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7, NIV).

We are no different than Lot or Abraham. It is in the time of our greatest crisis that God has – not talked about love, but – shown us His love. Real love is about what God did. “Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you, Lord, for making me whole. Thank you, Lord, for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and free!”

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