Posted: 09/21/2011 at 7:08pm
The Fullness of Love
By Ron McGatlin
The folly of a “happy” life of secular self-centered pleasure seeking and powerless religious pretention is a godless fantasy that becomes a shallow, empty, and meaningless existence. Existence in this world without the fullness of God and His kind of love is not really life. It is an experience in continuous disorder and death.
Man-centered living has led to vanity of soul and spiritual weakness for most of the world’s population, including many Christians. As a result of massive continued godless humanistic living, a strong spirit of poverty and lack is already griping much of the world, and is rapidly encroaching upon all the nations of the world.
Painful and difficult circumstances are removing the comfort of the self-serving pleasure-seeking independent lifestyles of recent times. The systems of life employed in our passing secular and religious ways of life are breaking down and will not continue to provide the temporary comfort and pleasure that they have in the past.
The painful end of life as it has been is the beginning of the kingdom of God life on earth.
Or perhaps it should be said that the beginning of the kingdom of God life on earth is the end of life as it has been.
"We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." ~ Paul
As the reality of God’s kingdom lifestyle of unconditional sacrificial love fills our hearts, a much deeper and eternally significant life is transforming us into sons of God. The life of Christ is being formed in us by the Spirit of Holy God, the Holy Spirit of God.
The predominant characteristic and evidence of the Holy Spirit filling our lives with the life of Christ is an abundance of “agape,” unconditional sacrificial love, which produces a self-sacrificial life unto God. God’s kind of love in us always produces a life of unconditional sacrificial love that leads to willing obedience to God and the reality of His presence and power with us.
Charles E. Newbold, Jr., in Chapter 17 of his book, “Stepping into the Circle,” writes the following about “agape”:
“The original Greek idea expressed in the word agape is unknown before the New Testament. However, it is given particular meaning by its use in the New Testament. Jesus with His own life and in selflessly dying for us gave unmistakable meaning to agape. “But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8. Jesus Himself said, “Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. We cannot miss this aspect of Jesus’ sacrifice of His own life, that He would love us that much, and that the Father would love us that much. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16.”
“Agape,” then, in its truest sense has to do with sacrificial living. It can be understood as the unconditional, sacrificial surrender of self – the giving up of something of self that is in the best interests of another person, even unto death. One dictionary defined agape as “selfless love.” I would broaden even that to say, “selfless living.”
Christ Jesus willingly submitted to become the unconditional sacrifice of love for the redemption of mankind and the world. The fullness of love and life is in Christ Jesus.
The God kind of love is always giving. We sacrificially give to what we really love. We expend the substance of our lives day-by-day and moment-by-moment for what we love.
True love is an all-consuming passion from God and for God. God’s love in us by the Spirit causes us to become living sacrifices unto God as we become conformed to the life of Christ. The nature and life of Christ is formed in us as our lives become one with God. Our old life passes away and the life we live now is the life of Christ in us.
There is also false love.
False love is a consuming passion for anything other than God or in place of God. The things of the world and the pleasures of natural life, the created things that God has made, can become false loves, other gods. Natural man without God is conformed to this world by his natural mindset of pride and lust for the things of the world.
The unconditional sacrificial love of God constrains us as we abide in intimate relationship with God by living and walking in His Spirit. We do not fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life as we live and walk in the Spirit.
We can recognize our false loves for false gods by what or who we sacrifice to – what we give our time, effort, and other resources to or for. If we have false loves, we will give of our lives to them instead of to the true God. What we spend on them is taken away from the true God.
False gods have a hook in them. They usually feed some inner need within us that should have been met in God. False love develops as we turn to a false god to meet a need. Having that need or desire met by a false god can grow into a dependency on or an addiction to the false god that then creates its own intense needs and desires in us. Another word for strong desire is lust. The more we give to a false God the more the demand grows and the more we must give it. The god of self is always behind false love for false gods.
Almost anything in this world can become a false god. Many things that are good with proper use can become false gods that consume our lives when abused. Years of life are lost, families are destroyed, health is broken, and fortunes are wasted, and on and on go the vast sacrifices made through false love for false gods. The kingdom of God in our lives on earth is wasted. The whole world suffers as godless poverty results from turning away from our one true God to the many self-made and demonic false gods.
A few of the false gods that multitudes of people have replaced the true God with are things like false religions, wealth, social or political status, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sexual promiscuity or perversions, pornography, romance, over-eating, electronic games or toys, TV, sports, gambling, sorcery, entertainment, and others. Anything we give of our substance to that is apart from the leading of God in our practical daily lives may be a false god for us.
The reign of the false kingdoms of darkness ruling over this world must come to an end. The true kingdom of God is coming forth on earth. The kingdom of Christ Jesus ruled with unconditional sacrificial love bringing forth the power and wisdom of God within His many sons must come forth on earth. The kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdoms of our God.
It is happening now in you and me and every maturing son of God. Eventually an army of maturing sons must carry the unconditional sacrificial love of God in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit to every corner of the globe – to every village, town, and tribe. Now is the beginning season of redemption of this world from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God. All that is not of God must be exposed as darkness. Therefore, the darkness is becoming even deeper as the light of God is arising upon God’s people.
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness is covering the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD is arising over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. ~ Isaiah
The deep darkness has to do with the failure of the false systems of man that were inspired by the powers of darkness. The apocalyptic and cataclysmic events are bringing down the old fallen-world systems to make room for the kingdom rule of Christ. Christ in His many sons by the Holy Spirit will replenish the earth with the rule of unconditional sacrificial love of God. The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God.
Come quickly Lord Jesus in the fullness of love in Your many sons. Lift up Your people to rule and reign with You as mature sons of God. Father, Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – You alone or worthy of all of our worship, of all of the substance of our lives. Kingdom of God come, will of God be done. Let all the earth be filled with Your glory. Amen!
Keep on pursuing Love. Love never fails
and His kingdom never ends.
Edited by Ron McGatlin on 09/21/2011 at 7:12pm