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3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> True Love - What does it mean to God?

True Love - What does it mean to God? (Teaching)
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3/16/2015 6:57 PM
Minister of Christ Jesus
(Tyrone Alexander)
 
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(The square root of Worldly Love is equal to Soulmates,
but is not equal to True Godly Love.)


What does this equation really mean? First, we need to understand what each element means and then we can put it all together.

The loby-shaped heart under the square root sign represents "fleshy" or worldly notions of love, especially romantic love and fairytale ideals of love.

The next part is "soulmates". Almost everyone knows what a soul mate is - a perfect companion whom you have a deep affinity with, usually a romantic partner or spouse, who complements your own existence and makes you feel whole or fulfilled in life.

A square root in mathematics is a number that when multiplied by itself is its square, like the square root of 4 is 2 because 2 times 2 is 4 or the square root of 16 is 4 because 4 times 4 is 16.

The "square root of Worldly Love" is equal to "Soulmates" refers to how two soulmates multiplied together is basically the square of their love. If you're not good with math, then the equation probably still confuses you. That's ok. All you need to understand is that the popular notion of soulmates is defined by notions of love that are overly skewed toward romantic, fairytale ideals of love.

It sounds like I'm being critical about the world's notion of love and soulmates. I am, but why would I say that when I know soulmates exist? I know this because God pre-destines our lives and characteristics and plans our destinies. He makes all of us and is certainly capable of making a spouse who complements us completely and fulfills our lives - our soulmate. I've heard many stories of married couples who've professed to having that soulmate notion fulfilled. I've even heard of stories that show God's Hand in bringing two people together through inexplicable alignment of circumstances. Obviously, God predestines certain people to be together.

But that isn't the whole picture. God doesn't destine everyone to be married, but even if it is part of His plan, we can mess up our destiny by not following His guidance and end up dating and marrying the wrong people. It ends up bringing a lot of heartache and pain to all parties involved when broken marriages and relationships don't work and harm us in the conflicts we have in them.

God did not make us to be mere animals that live by instinct to breed. He made us to be much more - to conform to His image - apart and higher than the animals (Genesis 1:27), yet we see people devoting much more time and attention than they should to getting a mate, even temporary ones. Don't live by the flesh such as that, but live by the Spirit so that you are transformed more and more into God's image (2 Corinthians 3:18). Seek God and His guidance first. He wishes to provide all our needs and wants, but to gain His best promises we need to focus first on Him, His Kingdom and Righteousness (Matthew 6:33), for to those who delight in the Lord, He gives the desires of their hearts (Psalm 37:4). So instead of blindly going after every other person who appears interesting, seek God's guidance on the matter and on the specific person first. God goes before His chosen and prepares the way for them (Genesis 24:7; Exodus 23:20-23,32:34; Deuteronomy 1:30-33,31:8; Judges 4:14; 1 Chronicles 14:15; Isaiah 45:2,52:12), so the signs will be there or be shown if you seek God's help and advice.

The other erroneous notion about soulmates is that we can truly love more than one person with that soulmate-fulfilled notion of love. How many people have been widowed and then found new love that renewed their lives in the same way as their original spouse? I've heard many stories of love being renewed after a loved-one was lost. Our worldly fulfillment in a spouse can be completed by more than one person.

Something that romantics often gush is that they will love the same person forever with no one else in their hearts or that a love life with one person will extend into eternity. However, Jesus talked about marriage and the afterlife when people asked Him about a woman who married seven brothers, one after the other when she was widowed. They wondered whose wife she'd be in the next life.

Jesus told them they erred in their thinking, because in the next life we are resurrected into new bodies and will be like the angels who do not marry (Matthew 22:24-32, Mark 12:19-27, Luke 20:28-38). The people were thinking with worldly values and notions. They didn't understand how the next life would be very different from the present one.

Reality often is not how we imagine things to be, but still the notion of real soulmates is true, only that it isn't as idealized as popular culture paints it. God can destine us to be with one person or more than one person that fulfills our desire for a perfect mate. However, God didn't mean everyone to be married either.

The fairytale ideal of a soulmate comes from the teaching of a world that over romanticizes love and life. Our natural tendencies to want love and family make us very easily embrace those romantic ideas, but our hearts are easily deceived by things that make us feel good or spark our interest.

An example of this over romanticizing is shown in songs like "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by The Script. God has actually given guidance related to this song that says it is foolish to put all your focus and energy on romance or finding someone who struck your interest, like the man in the song. He waits on a street corner day and night, hoping the girl he likes comes back to where he saw her. He talks about it making no sense, but what else can he do?

Well, a lot of people don't realize God makes true destiny and the destiny we make for ourselves is not the same thing. How are you supposed to know if that attractive person you saw somewhere is meant to be with you? So why should you devote so much effort into something you don't know is God's plan for you?

We can't live life by our hearts alone. God doesn't want us to run about blindly, following our instincts. He wants us to follow Him, so we need God's wisdom and guidance in our lives, so we can avoid all the bad things that come from following "fleshy" ideals. They make us chase after the wrong things and set our eyes on paths that are fruitless at best, and at worst, will harm us in the long run.

Instead, we need to keep our eyes set on God, His guidance and righteousness, so that we don't chase love or other things that will only fade away or even harm us over time. God wants us to focus on things that are more fruitful. However, the world and even many believers don't have their eyes set on what God wants.

That brings us to the last part of the equation. The first part represents how most of the world sees love and relationships, but the end of the equation says that is not God's notion of what True Love is. We already brought up some errors about "true love" being unrealistically skewed toward fairytale ideals, like one eternal soulmate for each person. Real life just doesn't work that way, but the world often idealizes love and makes it a cure all for everything. However, the world's notion of love simply cannot conquer everything or heal all things. We'll see why those fairytale notions of love also don't work in God's Kingdom.

There is more about what God means by Love - His Love for us and our love for Him. The church popularizes God's love for us with New Testament quotes, like, "God is Love" (1 John 4:8) or "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Our lives with Christ often begin in those statements of God's Love for us. That realization of His Love for us opens up a new world of wonder and joy. What greater love for us could there be than for God to come as a man in the flesh, so He could die in our place and take away the eternal penalty for all we've done wrong?

Jesus came to reconcile all of mankind to Himself as God, and the church rightly joys in that. Our being made new and all our sins - past, present and future - being, quote,"forgotten" by God is something to celebrate, but sometimes in our exuberance over new lives with Christ, we forget the whole of God's character and how His Kingdom operates. We cannot remain spiritual infants but continue to mature into people who understand God and His ways more completely.

Too often does the church focus on the love and joy of God's promises and forgets to see how those promises work and that there are still serious consequences to sin in this life, even though we are saved for the next. We can also forget that God does get angry and that He acts as Judge for everyone. Not even the angels are exempt from being punished for sin (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6).

God repays everyone for all they do (Romans 2:6-11; Numbers 14:18; Hebrews 12:4-11; Jeremiah 17:10,21:14,25:14,32:19; Proverbs 24:12; Ezekiel 3:20,33:12-13,18,20; 1 Thessalonians 4:6), and in fact believers are given worse penalties when we sin because we should know better (Hebrews 10:2-31, James 3:1, Luke 12:48). That is the greater condemnation the apostle James talks about in the New Testament (James 3:1).

Serious consequences or curses for sin are not to be overlooked when we talk about God and His Kingdom, but the overly romantic views and teaching of the popular church often have people misled about God's Love. I've heard people say that it doesn't make sense that we could be cursed when we are saved with God and blessed in Him, and sometimes people don't think that a God who loves us could bring disasters, curses, or that He could get so angry that He would bring us calamities and misery.

However, those kinds of viewpoints show how errant and skewed teaching has blinded people with Love. We must remember God is Judge and punishes everyone for their sins. We have to see that curses are simply judgment or the penalty for our sin, so it is certainly possible that God's Chosen and Blessed People can be cursed.

God also brings both the good and the bad (1 Samuel 2: 6-7, Isaiah 45:7, Lamentations 3:38), so we need to be able to recognize why God does that or allows bad things to happen to us, so we can correct ourselves. To help us see better how God's Kingdom works, we need to understand how the cause and effect of breaking God's laws and covenants bring us curses. Breaking God's laws and commands is what sin is, after all, so without His definition we would not know what sin is (1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20,4:15,7:7).

Sometimes, though, we don't know what we do wrong, but that doesn't mean God overlooks our sin. God has the Jews atone for sins they do not know they commit in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 5:14-19), and likewise, our Grace in Christ covers sin that we don't know we do, but we have to remember that Grace in Christ atones for our sins eternally, for the next life. It doesn't negate the penalties of sin in this life.

That makes it very important for us to know what sin really is and keep from doing it. This means we must also teach properly about God's laws and covenants, and understand how they work. Without that knowledge, we blindly go about life breaking God's laws, and worse, neglect to teach our children and families how to avoid sin so that curses do not fall on us.

Knowing God's laws and covenants also means knowing how to get the blessings of His promises by walking in the terms for their fulfillment, because that's how God's conditional covenants work - He gives conditions or terms for the promise(s) of the covenant to be fulfilled. If we fulfill the conditions, then we get the promises. But if we don't know how God's promises are fulfilled, then how are we to be blessed with those promises?

This is why becoming a good teacher in Christ is so important. Teaching in error by misconstruing the truth, like overemphasizing love, or by omitting the full truth, like ignoring how law and covenant work, brings death, because very important aspects about God and His Kingdom are overlooked. How can we as a People of God honor Him if we don't truly know how to "seek His Kingdom and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33)?

There is no shortage of passion for God in the church, but like faith without action is dead (James 2:17,20,26), passion without knowledge can also be fruitless. Passion is not enough, because God said, "My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). He meant the knowledge of how His Kingdom, laws and covenants work, and what sin really is. Without that knowledge, His People will continue to suffer from sin they don't even know they do.

You can start to see why the world's romantic notion of love and God's Love doesn't line up with reality. When God said He would "remember our sins no more" under the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12, 10:17), He meant that our sins would be forgotten in the next life. He didn't mean the consequences of sin in this life would be completely taken away.

So when we strive to live righteous lives with Christ, we need to balance passion with what God says is True Love for Him. The apostle John states it clearly, "In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands" (1 John 5:3). Jesus even said the same thing in John 14:15, "If you love Me, keep My commands." Therefore, it is faithful obedience to God's commands that is considered love for Him.

Why is that so important? It brings Life instead of death when we know how to obey God, keep from sin, and get the blessings of walking in covenants that promise renewal, blessings and even eternal life.

God even coded this truth in the Old Testament where the very first use of the word "love" is in Genesis 22:2. It's even coded in the verse number, which are three two's, 2-2-2, meaning True Love or Full Love since any number in triplicate means a complete amplification, and the number two means love (see The Meaning of Numbers).

That verse is where God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, which he did try to do obediently. God is showing here in the first use of the word "love" in the Bible and the meaning of the verse number to demonstrate what True Love for God really is - to obey His commands. God didn't really want Isaac killed, but was testing Abraham, and he was found righteous in his following through with God's command.

God stopped Abraham before he could sacrifice Isaac and said, "Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son" (Genesis 22:12).

That response tells us what is a good and healthy way of looking at God - to fear Him, so that we obey His commands and keep from sin. God doesn't want us to sin because it harms not just ourselves but other people. He wants us to think seriously about what we do and keep from sinning. It can even harm our families, because God said He punishes our children and descendents for what we wrong (generational curses: Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9, Jeremiah 32:18).

It may not make sense to us that God would punish children for their parents' sin, but it shows how serious He is about sin and how much He wants us to consider things when we're tempted to do wrong. We could bring the consequences of our sin on our children and descendents. If you don't think that is true, then look at how many children suffer and die prematurely from cancer and other bad curses. Do you think the children did anything to deserve those horrible things?

We must look to our own behavior first. Judge ourselves, learn the truth about God's laws and covenants as they are now under Christ. Then correct ourselves so that we can live as a completely blessed People of God. We can only get there if we understand what True Love means to God and separate that from the world's ideas of love. They are not equal, which reveals the full meaning of the equation - the world's notion of love, which is based more on passion, is not the same as God's notion of Love, which is based on faithful obedience.

Continue learning about God's Ways and Kingdom in "Marching From Behind The Veil"...







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