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My Two Cents:   Randy Munter

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Constrained by Love

"For the love of Christ constraineth us..."  (2 Corinthians 5:14)

Through the question of a cold religious Pharisee, came forth an answer from our Lord so profound as to separate all religious activity from true fellowship with God. "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" To this deep "theological question" Jesus gives this simple answer, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."  (Matthew 22:36-38)

Jesus went on to say that the second was to "love our neighbor as thyself." So important and so powerful are these two commandments that Jesus sealed it with this truth, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." What a statement!

If you want to know why the Church has so little power, it's because she has so little love. She spends millions on her mega churches of comfort and luxury while millions of unreached souls step into a Christ less eternity. She is selfish, but claims to love God. Can you not hear the words of our Lord, "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not."  (Matthew 25:42-43)

Genuine love is self sacrificing, in fact, sacrifice is the key ingredient to true love. The Bible says that "God is Love", but this is not merely a confession of who God is, but a profession of what God is. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son..." God is the sum total of what love is and what love does.

Jesus said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me..."  (John 14:21)  We show our love to God through our obedience (self sacrifice) to Him. "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."  (1 John 4:8)  Love and obedience are inseparable with God.

Love is so much an intricate part of our relationship with God that He continually proves the quality of our love. "...the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."  (Deuteronomy 13:3)  " prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no."  (Deuteronomy 8:2)

This proving is not for God's benefit, He already knows us, but rather for our own benefit. The Hebrew word "proveth" is nacah (naw-saw') which means to "assay." This same word is used for the trying of metals, to test the quality or content of precious metals such as gold and silver. God is going to show you the quality of your love for Him through your life of obedience (self sacrifice), or lack thereof.

Joseph, the son of Jacob was tested by God and found to be of pure gold. "He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him."  (Psalms 105:17-19)  In the end God had a man He could trust.

Joseph endure many trials in God's crucible, but we see the genuine quality of his love for God in the account of Potiphar's wife. The persistence of this Temptrace proved vain when Joseph proclaimed, " then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"   (Genesis 39:9)  Joseph was constrained by his great love for God, he hid the Word within his heart that he might not sin against God. (Psalm 119:11)  Obedience motivated by genuine love.

Many times I have heard the scripture quoted, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."  (Psalms 37:4)  However, it meant nothing more than to use God as a means to fulfill a selfish desire. "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."  (James 4:3)

If a man were truly searching for understanding, he would have read one psalm more and found what was in David's heart when he said, "and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." David proclaimed with a heart filled with love for his creator, "Lord, all my desire is before thee..."  (Psalms 38:9)  With genuine love, our desire becomes His desire and will keep us on the highway of holiness.

If your christian life is not what it should be, ask yourself this question, what is the quality of my love for God? "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves."   (2 Corinthians 13:5)

"For the love of Christ constraineth us..."   (2 Corinthians 5:14)

—  Randy Munter   Editor and Webmaster


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