2006-07-03 - Isn't Love Divine?
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment; that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere & without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory & praise of God. (Nelson's NKJV Study Bible Phil.1:9-11)
Living a life of divine love to the glory and praise of God is an awesome task. It requires so much more than most of us think. It requires first and foremost, I believe, to put aside your feelings and emotions. What?!..you say? Isn't that what love is about? Yes, it is about those things, but I believe that it is far more than that. Feelings and emotions aren't the only things involved in love. It is my opinion that God, Himself, is telling us there is so much more concerning love that we remain ignorant of. If God would place such a great emphasis on love, then surely its meaning must be profound.
Corinthians backs this up, by teaching us to abide in faith, hope, and love, & then reminds us that the greatest of these is love. God wants us to "abound more & more" in knowledge and all discernment" concerning love. Therefore in order to grow & not remain in a state of ignorance on this subject, we must make the seeking of knowledge - God's knowledge - our goal. Remember, Philippians has told us to use our head & to abound in knowledge. Knowledge¹ is defined as ..."an acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; familiarity as with a particular subject; familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report: a knowledge of human nature; fact or state of knowing; clear & certain mental apprehension." 1
Having "a knowledge of human nature" really grabbed my attention. I believe it is essential to understand human nature and our natural tendencies, actions, & reactions to love. How do we behave, how would we define it? Certainly not the way Philippians has. Love is actually defined as "a strong or passionate affection for a person of the opposite sex; sexual passion or desire, or it's gratification; an object of love or affection; a sweetheart; a personification of sexual affection as Eros or Cupid; strong predilection (a partiality) or liking for anything; the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God." 2
To be in love is defined as "feeling deep affection or passion. And Passion is defined as any kind of feeling or emotion, especially when of a compelling force; strong amorous feeling or desire; passionate sexual love; an instant or experiencing of it; a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; violent anger." 3
And at the bottom of all of this the definition continues: "...state or fact of being acted upon or affected by something external (opposed to action); the sufferings of Christ on the cross, or his sufferings subsequent to the Last Supper; the gospel narrative of the sufferings of Christ as in Mark 14-15 & parallel passages in the other gospels; a musical setting of it; a pictorial representation of Christ's sufferings. The archaic meaning is the sufferings of a martyr; & finally from the Latin passio suffering. 4
As you can clearly see, the humanistic tendencies are in far contrast with the spiritual aspects of love and passion. Passio suffering ..profound, yes?
1 The American College Dictionary, printed in 1968
Father, our desire is to serve & glorify you with every part of us, including our hearts and minds. Give us a passion for Your knowledge and wisdom concerning divine love. It is possible for us to react with divine love and passion. We know this is true, because YOU change us from the inside out with YOUR SPIRIT and Your knowledge. Father, we thank You in advance for teaching us why and how love is the greatest, and more profound than we can yet imagine. In Jesus' precious, glorious name, AMEN!
Comments or Questions?