Series : Relationships; Love

Sunday am 9 September 2018 – Riaan Sinden

2 Tim. 3:1-5 (Amp); (Matt. 8:20); Rom. 8:28; (John 16:15); 1 Cor. 12:4-12, 27-31; (1 Cor. 13); John 3:16; Matt. 22:34-40; (1 John 4:20-21); Rom. 13:8-10; Matt. 5:17, 43-48 (Msg & Amp); (Jas. 1:19); Mark 3:24; Ps. 133 (Passion); John 10:10; Matt. 5:23-24

This word is all about the relationships we have with one another as sons.  It is easy to love God but it is not always easy to love one another because we see things from different angles.

But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith] (2 Tim. 3:1-5). We are not waiting for the last days; we are not waiting for something to happen. We are living in a society completely without morals. There is a great responsibility on us as sons to get this thing right. 

In this new season, as much as we love one another and love the word of God; as much as we get revelation week after week, there is an end product we need to see. When God delivers a word into this earth it is for one reason only – to bring the Body of Christ into alignment with what has already been done. The enemy has his own plan and that is to bring division. If we allow it we are putting the whole plan of God onto the back-burner. One tactic the enemy uses is he imitates what God is doing (like the wheat and the tares) but a much easier tactic the enemy uses is to sow division.

By speaking the Word to one another we extract the identity of Christ out of one another until everyone comes to that oneness and unity in Christ. It is only in a unified Body that the Head can find a place to rest (Matt. 8:20).  It is in that oneness that heaven and earth meet. The enemy wants to prevent that. The enemy does not agree that we as humans are a perfect choice. He does not believe that we can house everything that is in God.

The good news is that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). Satan cannot destroy the plans of God but he can postpone them and the way to postpone them is to bring division. God is bringing bone-to-bone connections and ultimately He is bringing us to the standard of His Son. God is building His Church and we are participators, we are not just looking on. 

We all have different roles to play but we are the same Body (1 Cor. 12:4-12, 27-30). We sometimes find fault with the way somebody else does their part and we want to push the person to the side (like amputating a limb). We sometimes feel more important than another person. If we do not come to oneness, we are pushing everything to the side. The oneness we can have with Christ, and the meeting of heaven and earth are postponed. But earnestly desire the greater gifts.  And I show you a still more excellent way(1 Cor. 12:31). There is something else we need to take hold of here. There is a more excellent way of doing things. In our relationships as a body, there is something we need to get right; there is something we cannot do without. In the next chapter, he starts talking about love; what it is and what it is not. Love is the ingredient, the component that we need to add to our relationships to make them work (1 Cor. 13).

Even though we do not see eye to eye; even though we do not understand what another person is trying to do, if we have a relationship of love, then it will bear all (1 Cor. 13:7). It should be the most natural thing to do to love like that. God so loved this world that He gave His own Son (John 3:16). 

When Jesus was asked which the great commandment of the Law was, Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Matt. 22:37-39). The second commandment goes hand in hand with the first commandment. You cannot have the one without the other. Jesus was asked only one question, but Jesus explained, On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:40). So every law that was given to Moses and every prophecy ever made have to do with love – love for God and love for your neighbour. How can you say you love God and hate your brother? If you say that, then there is no truth in you (1 John 4:20-21). We are not under the law anymore, but what is the law? It is about relationships. Not committing adultery has to do with relationships. “You shall not murder” has to do with relationships. Not stealing, not coveting is all to do with relationships. Love is the fulfilment of the law (Rom. 13:8-10). If our relationships are based on this principle of love, we will make room for one another. It does not matter in how many areas we differ and how many disagreements we have, we will find that one thing that we agree on, just because of love. There is only one way to fulfil the law, and that is by love. Jesus did not come to destroy the law and the prophets but to fulfil it (Matt. 5:17). Jesus came to demonstrate the love of God to us and in that reconciled all men to God. We are supposed to make the difference, to be the example and the standard (Matthew 5:43-48). You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect (Vs. 48 – Amp). Love is not just a feeling we get, nor just a verb in your sentence; love is a Person. God is love (1 John 4:8). When we grow up, we grow up into that identity of who we are in God. There is a maturity required to have this relationship that we have in Christ. We can build as much as we want, but if there is no love, we are building in vain, because love is the thing that binds everything. We have to have this foundation very clear.

Maturity is walking in love with those who persecute you. It is not easy! People put up walls because they have been hurt. But love is the driving force making us go the extra mile. The only way to win somebody over is through love. It may take a day, it may take several years, but eventually, love will melt even the hardest heart. We sometimes get caught up in all the other variants of love, which are all false, but there is only one true love and that is the love God has for us; we find our identity in that love.

The enemy will try to bring separation and division and then we do not walk in agreement. The tongue has hurt the most people because it does not destroy the body, but it destroys the soul, the spirit. Sometimes we do not watch what we say; we are so quick to speak, but do not be quick to speak; be quick to listen, be slow to speak (James 1:19). 

Any kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:24). If we as a kingdom community do not live in unity and oneness, we are like a pile of rubble, it is not standing. From the realm of sweet harmony, the unity of brothers dwelling together, in that God will release the eternal blessing, life forevermore (Ps. 133 – Passion). It is in the oneness and unity of our relationships, in mutual respect that God will release His eternal blessing. It is a promise of life forever. Jesus gave everything so that we could have everlasting life (John 3:16; John 10:10). Everlasting life is only available in the unity that is in Christ and through the love of Christ. We cannot have an abundant life if we do not walk in love.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matt. 5:23-24). If there is a break in a relationship and something that needs to be restored, you need to go and be reconciled. You need to come to that place where the Body can work together in oneness. This word is about bringing the Body of Christ into alignment. This is serious. Do not wait for a small understanding to become so big that you cannot even remember how it started. Even if you are not at fault, go and make things right in order for you to walk in the abundance of life God has in store for you. If we, as children of God, do not live a life of love, then people will become lovers of self and become self-centred. People will become lovers of money instead of lovers of God because the standard is missing. People will become more abusive and children will become more disobedient to parents. It is time for the Church to come to maturity and address a hurting world that has become callous and inhuman, intemperate, and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce haters of good. It is only the sons of the kingdom of God that have the power to transform a hurting world from lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusement into lovers of God. Love is the answer. We need to ask the Lord to fill us anew with His love daily. “Lord, let me see people the way you see them. Let me experience the hurt of people the way you experience it”. We need to go home and work on this.