I Cor. 13:4 – 8 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails ...
At the University of Southern California, a new Assistant Professor nervous and frayed began to teach his very first class. He stumbled through a greeting and attempted to begin a lecture on the material. He was unable to do so clearly. Looking across the large lecture room filled with students produced a sense of panic.
Then he noticed a young woman with clear eyes, attentive, warm smile and animated expression seemingly inviting him to continue. Sitting in the fifth row would say, Oh, yes or nodding while writing notes. She emanated comfort and reassurance, increasing confidence of the professor with each word.
He began speaking directly to her with confidence, then shifted attention throughout the room. Students were taking notes and engaged in the material presented. As the class concluded, the young woman brought a neophyte professor, through teaching his first class at U.S.C.
He scanned the role to learn her name. Liani. Reading her papers over the weeks, they were filled with sensitivity, creativity, and a humor. He asked all students to come during the first half of the semester to speak personally at his office, to better know them. He waited with expectation of time to meet Liani. Wanting to express appreciation for saving and encouraging his first day of instructing classes. Also, to urge her to continue developing the care and awareness she possessed.
Liani never appeared. Five weeks into the semester, she had missed two weeks of class. Asking classmates who sat beside her, if they knew why. In shock, he learned they did not even know her name. He went to the dean of women, to inquire of Liani. She replied, I so sorry I thought you had been told. Liani, drove to the cliffs over looking the Pacific Ocean. Shocking people picnicking, through intently walking to the cliffs to jump to her death.
Calling her mother to express his condolences, he sensed a love for her. Liani apparently did not. She was twenty-two years old.
We are all so much together, yet we are all dying of loneliness. – Albert Schweitzer
(Attribution: © Guideposts Published 1984, The Girl in the Fifth Row).
Over the past serval weeks I have considered before the Lord, why contemporary Christian singer Keith Green and voice to the church body in the early 1980's expressed great frustration with Christians. Also remembering a Rich Mullins statement, God created highlighters so we could mark passages in the bible we liked, while ignoring ones we didn't.
The song Keith wrote which I used to have much trouble with but no longer, contained this lyric:
You speak of my grace and love so sweet, how you thrive on milk but reject my meat. And I can't help weeping at how it will be if you keep on ignoring my word.
I for one believe God's meat is His love. Writing in God's Milk and God's Meat, I believe the issue is simple. Put off the flesh and Walk in the Spirit (i.e. – your life is lived through walking in Christ's love.) I believe Keith and many people's issue, is we talk a lot about God's love, while living very little.
I do not believe this is a faith versus work matter. Rather faith walked out in God's Spirit. Love in the English language has been melded into one word. Though used for very different meanings. Most today revolve around one of the four Greek words for love, Eros. Erotic or romantic love involving passion. In two or three parts, I would like to examine the four loves used in the Greek language. Their meanings and attributes in comparison to the single word in English.
Then examine two things the Holy Spirit through Paul writes, expresses God's love in Christ. Inspect the next seven qualities in the scripture of what love is not. Finally, look at the remaining six items love does by our Redeemers work on the cross and resurrected life.
I Cor. 13: 13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice by Keith Green – Copyright Respective Owners
Oh, Lord You're Beautiful - Copyright Respective Owners – all rights reserved – for entertainment purposes only
I for one believe God's meat is His love. Writing in God's Milk and God's Meat, I believe the issue is simple. Put off the flesh and Walk in the Spirit (i.e. your life is lived through walking in Christ's love.) I believe Keith and many people's issue, is we talk a lot about God's love, while living very little.
Well put and thanks for Keith Green, who when I was introduced to his music, I was in theological college and his music help me to remain close to the presence of the HS
I also believe God's meat is His love which He did not merely talk about... He proved it and nowhere is this proof more evident than at the Cross.
Les, it hurts me whenever I have heard Christians behave as if talking about the love of God is "fluff". They want to talk about His power, His glory, His righteousness, His judgement and rightfully so but when it comes to His love, well, it's like it is some sort of powder puff, nothing more than fluff and trivial beside the more "important" things.
How can this be? How can we possibly ever dare to diminish the love of God? Don't we understand why despite all the grief we would bring upon Him and upon ourselves why God created us anyways? Don't we realize that though rejected by man, though unworthy of salvation, though sinners deserving of death and eternal separation from God, Christ died for us simply because God loves us?
The love of God is not a "powder puff". It is, indeed, powerful and I am so glad it is!
Great message Les, thank you for sharing.
Yours in Christ,