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Love - The Most Excellent Way

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And now I will show you the most excellent way. -- 1Corinthians 12: 30b


I spent the past few days watching my little brother get married to his beautiful new bride. Months of nervous energy all expended in a whirlwind weekend that was over before you could blink. Families visiting from as far away as Ireland to come witness the blessed nuptials. The hope inside the smiles that never ended this weekend is what we live for in this life. To be loved. To experience love. Poets have tried to capture the essence of true love since we have formed coherent thought. They have failed miserably as the worldly version of love is nowhere near what God intended. Love is a fleeting thing in these end days and as Jesus foretold; the love on many is growing cold. But God is love. Every thing He undertakes for us is born out of His great love for us. Love is the most excellent way and the best way for us to appreciate love as God intended is to see what He has told us about it. First of all there is the depth of the love that God has shown to us all:


"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. -- John 3: 16-17 (NLT)


But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -- Romans 5: 8 (NIV)


The most excellent way begins with the way God intended for His creation to be. We were meant to be in constant fellowship with God. The Bible says that Adam walked with God in the garden. It was the sin of man that separated us from our God but the Lord still wanted that intimate fellowship. He crafted a master plan to sacrifice His only Son to cover our sin debt and reunite us to Himself. If that is not enough to blow your mind, that God would send His only Son to die when we ought to be the one dying, He did this while we were yet still sinners. At the very core, deep down inside, this is what love was meant to be. Sacrificial to the point of selflessness. Not only has Jesus paid our price for our sins, but believing upon Him in faith will result in an immediate restoration of the intimate fellowship with God, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Once saved by God's enormous grace, through faith, we will have the same Spirit of God who raised Christ from the dead living inside of us. Sometimes as Christians we can get things so backwards. We can view eternal life as some far off concept awaiting us if we suffer sufficiently though this life. Nonsense! Jesus said that He came to bring the abundant life now, not later. Our eternal life begins the moment we genuinely accept Jesus into our hearts. The more we relinquish of our self to Him -- the stronger He is inside of us. We can once again walk in the garden with God Himself. The Lord is ever at our right hand. Don't save Him for the really tough times or the really dark valleys. Share the good times and the mountaintops too! Share the decisions you face in life so you can seek His counsel. He wants to be the God of lives, not just our problems. As if this was not enough, the most excellent way also is means adoption:


See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him. -- 1John 3: 1 (NLT)


Love is also supposed to adoptive in nature. There is an expression that even the world embraces which is "you can't choose your family." The meaning therein is that in a world filled with tenuous relationships, the ones that are family are naturally stronger. Love is not meant to be something that you can discard.   Besides being sacrificial to the point of selflessness, God also intended love to be adoptive to the point of permanence. How permanent?


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