The Love of God Produces 1. Relationship With God, 2. Power of the Mind, 3. True Spirituality
We don’t understand the power of the love of God in us. FIRST, it eliminates or at least reduces fear in our lives, which is a major contributor to failure in anything we attempt in life (I John 4:18).
SECOND, the love of God is what produces faith in us, producing success in anything we undertake in life (Gal 5:6).
THIRD, the love of God produces deeper, intimate relationship with him, thus giving us power of the mind, transforming our minds to operate in gospel truth (Rom 12:2). This naturally produces true spirituality, and even spiritual healing if needed because of past abuse, neglect, failure, problems, etc.
Isn’t this pretty good for a daily starting point in life, isn’t it?
Seeing the Power of the Love of God at Work
I knew about the love of God long before I personally knew the love of God.
As a fairly new lawyer in the 1980’s, I had a remarkable client. He was facing divorce, bankruptcy of his business, litigation, and personal sickness. Some folks commit suicide in his situation. He had every right to be depressed.
Yet he was telling me about God’s grace, and about how much God loved him.
I thought he was ‘Looney Tunes.’ I thought, “Oh yea, right. This is evidence of God’s displeasure and judgment – not his love for you.” At the time I did not understand the love of God. To me, God’s love was all based on me — on my kingdom of self: (1) on what I did good, and (2) on what I didn’t do bad.
This is not true, but it is true that, “Children live what they learn.” This applies to you and to me— to all of us.
Living By Law Thwarts Living In Love
Most of us live legal lives – infused with principles and precepts we live by. Law and love are mutually exclusive. The more law and rules there are in any family, the less there is a firm foundation of love. Love cannot be based on law, because law always points out of bad side, while love always points out our good side.
This is also true with divine love. If God’s love is based on his law, it is not love. It is the love of God that constrains us, not the law of God (II Cor 5:14).
Humans of any age respond better to love than to laws and rules. The original Hebrews under Moses only had 10 commandments to live under, but they all failed. The ancient Hebrews had about 700 laws to live by, and they all failed (Rom 3:10, Acts 15:10). Adam and Eve only had ONE rule to abide by: “Don’t eat fruit from this one tree.” We all know they failed.
Here’s my lawyer’s take on this: mankind cannot live by law successfully!
Seeing the Seed, the Root and the Fruit
It’s good to understand how God’s love works. When we do, then we can more readily receive it and apply it.
See this: fruit in our life is automatic, whether it’s good fruit or bad fruit.
We all grow fruit — some good, and some bad. What it depends on is the SEED that is sown into us, because it is seed that grows roots. Jesus says if good seed is planted, we grow good roots, and no good root produces bad fruit (Matt 7:18). But the converse is also true: bad seed grows bad roots and bad fruit.
But note this: the fruit is automatic — depending on the seed planted in us. This is the theory behind, ‘Children live what they learn.’ This is what lies behind the proverb: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This is what lies behind Paul’s words, “What we believe is what we speak.”
Here’s the key: what we receive into us comes out of us. This is the subject of ‘The Parable of the Sower’ which we’ll talk about at a later time. But we must understand this parable or we won’t understand much else (Mk 4:13).
The Love of God Brings Out True Spirituality
II Corinthians talks of two ministries:
(1) the ministry of condemnation, and
(2) the ministry of righteousness.
If children learn condemnation and guilt, they respond differently than if they live in praise and honor (which is righteousness).
The problem is most of society, and most churches produce condemnation and guilt. We live by the humanistic golden rule: “Do good, and you get promoted — do bad, and you get fired.” This starts in childhood: “Do good and get rewarded – do bad and get spanked.”
This naturally includes the love of God. We are God’s children. If we learn our Father’s love, we are healthy and living in gospel truth. If we don’t know his love, we are unhealthy. It’s easy theology.
Paul says we should first receive the love of God ourselves, and then release it, or let it abound over from us to others (II Thes 3:12). This is the way it works. This is why Jesus says that his ‘new command’ is that we first know his love and then love others the same way he does us (John 13:34-35, 15:9).
No wonder Jesus says his way is easy. Like the seed, the root and the fruit like the Parable of the Sower says, all we do is receive… and then what we receive takes over and does the rest. Thus Jesus says to continue in the love of God – and Paul says to keep yourself in the love of God, and to be rooted and grounded in it. What a powerful, healthy way to live, or to receive spiritual healing.