Love Shine by Jennifer Ross
G-d loves you. Do you believe that? Many of us are so tainted and so ‘on guard’ due to experiences in this world… we don’t even understand what love is. And we allow these negative experiences to blind our vision as we isolate ourselves and create our own fairytale version of what love should be. An unrealistic and selfish version that separates us from the love of our Father.
When Paul writes to the Corinthians (yes, those famous verses that speak of love) the context is this: If you are walking in the Kingdom and do not have love…all that you do falls short.
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophesies and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give out all my goods and if I deliver my body that I be burned, but I do not have love, I am not profited anything.” 1 Cor: 1-3
Paul then continues, defining the characteristics of love. And even though the Church has managed to bottle these verses up to use for husband and wife…these are the characteristics that we should show towards all…
- Not envious
- Not Vain
- Not puffed up
- Does not behave indecently
- Does not pursue its own things
- Is not easily provoked
- Thinks no evil
- Does not rejoice over wrong but rejoices with the truth
- Quietly covers all things
- Believes all things
- Hopes all things
- Endures all things
- Never fails
The number one commandment is Love! Deut. 6: Hear Israel the Lord our G-d, the LORD is One and you shall love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength…Matthew 5: Yeshua confirms Deuteronomy 6…and then Paul and John and others reiterate in their letters that love is the greatest. When we read the list above, we know that we all fall short. But read the list above and realize that G-d doesn’t fall short. He is faithful and His love is pure.
John writes in his first epistle: “The one who does not love does not know G-d, because G-d is love.” 1 John 4:8
Everything from G-d…EVERYTHING…originates from His love for us. Every command and every statute…every gift…every act of mercy…every blessing and every lesson…stems from love. If we don’t understand… if we are not balanced in the knowledge, understanding and acceptance of love… we cannot grow in the truth of Messiah, nor fulfill our purpose in His Kingdom. The fairytale version of love is not based on knowledge or understanding…it’s based on the flesh…it’s based on what makes us ‘feel good’.
As you read over the lives of the Patriarchs, Moses and the Prophets…as you read over the lives of the apostles and early disciples…how ‘good’ did they feel in the flesh? They endured the flesh while hoping in and expecting the promise of everlasting life with their G-d.
If we can just shed our tainted version of ourselves and of love…and open up to Him and join into the relationship that He has wanted since the beginning…He will allow us to explore the unsearchable depths of Himself. Our relationship with G-d is a love relationship. It’s a LOVE RELATIONSHIP that takes time, dedication, endurance, and humility. He desires this intimate relationship with you…with me…with everyone.
The definition of a relationship means that more than one contributes. What are we doing to reciprocate His love? Loving Him is not an intellectual exercise. Does our day-to-day, minute-by-minute walk reflect His love back to Him? Are we offering Him all of ourselves?
Our actions reveal our true character. Our actions reveal whether or not we are in a love relationship with our Creator, Redeemer, Counselor and King. I just don’t understand how anyone who claims to love Him can…in the same breath…discount the path to righteousness that HE LAID OUT FROM THE BEGINNING! The path that leads us to Him! How can anyone allow themselves to be deceived enough to assume that the path has changed?
“For if we are willfully sinning after receiving the full knowledge of the truth; there remains no more sacrifice concerning sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and zealous fire being about to consume the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26
Proof isn’t in calling yourself a believer. The demons believe. Proof isn’t in being involved with a church or synagogue or ministry of some kind. Proof isn’t in a bumper sticker, piece of jewelry or a bookshelf of Bibles. The proof is in what others see and hear, day to day. It’s in our behavior. It’s in our words and actions towards, and in the presence of, others. If His very nature is to bless us with the best of Himself, we should be letting that truth flow through us so that we can bless others.
Would others around you describe you as someone who loves G-d? Does His love shine through you? Do you walk through this world with the full confidence that whatever comes your way…it’s all right because you love G-d and He loves you? That, my friends, is true freedom. That is why you can trust, why you can stand firm, why you can hope…and why love is the greatest.
A Messianic Rabbi that I heard put life in the simplest of terms: “It’s all about G-d, it’s all about Messiah.” No matter what comes our way in this world, no matter what surpasses our understanding, no matter what trials and tests we encounter IT’S ALL ABOUT G-D…IT’S ALL ABOUT MESSIAH!
“Therefore, girding up the loins of your mind, being sober, perfectly hope on the grace being brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ as obedient children, not in ignorance, fashioning yourselves to your former lusts, but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also to become holy in all conduct because it has been written “Be Holy because I Am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13
Yes, it was written…IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS! (Chapter 11:41) You know, that book that so many self-proclaimed ‘believers’ decide is not relevant anymore. Read the chapter. Read the book! If it wasn’t relevant anymore, why is so much that ‘was written’ repeated and confirmed in the New Testament?
Did you know that when Jewish children begin formal teaching they are taught Leviticus before anything else? They are taught how to live a life of righteousness…a life of sanctity…a holy life pleasing to their Heavenly Father according to His instructions… FIRST!
In Hebrew, the Book of Leviticus is named ‘VaYikra’…’He called’.
When I want to speak to my children, and I call to them, they know that they better stop whatever they are doing and come to me. Sometimes I call to give them a hug… or to tell them that I love them… before I leave the house. Sometimes I call to them to give them information. Sometimes I call to give instructions or chores. And sometimes I call to them because I have found reason to correct them.
If they are obedient and come to me, they are showing me love. Some of you skeptics might be murmuring they come because they don’t want to get in trouble…. Well, what did Paul write in the verse from Hebrews above? “a certain fearful expectation of judgment and zealous fire being about to consume the adversaries.”
G-d loves you…and He has called. He wants to bring you to completeness. And we cannot be complete without drawing near to Him. And we cannot draw near to Him if we are not in a relationship with Him. And we cannot be in a relationship with Him if we are still walking according to the world. Paul, when chastising the Corinthians said: Examine yourself to see whether or not you are in the faith…prove yourself.
Do you love HaShem? Do you love Yeshua? Do you love the Spirit of G-d? Ask yourself again….take your time. Do you LOVE the G-d of Israel and His Son and His Spirit? Adonai echad (the LORD is One). Do you LOVE HIM?
As the LORD asked Moses, regarding the Israelites during the exodus, ”How long will you refuse to keep my commands and instructions?”
Author: Jennifer Ross