Experience the heart felt love of Christ which is beyond knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Lord, You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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Love is a
Spirit

We recently had a prayer request from a young girl that impacted my heart. Her request was for us to pray that her mother would tell her she loved her. I thought how tragic, how sad, and how typical of so many hurting people in the world today. This is especially common in the more modernized countries of the world. It seems that the more developed a nation is the more focused the people become on the cares of this world and the less time they have for love. When visiting some squatters in a Philippine garbage dump I observed that they were surprisingly much happier than very wealthy people in the US were. They did not have much, but they had love, and that is the most important thing of all that we can ever have or achieve.

God has created every human being in His image, which means that we are created to love. We are created to need love and we are created to give love. Most people do not know what love is. As people become more "world focused" they seem to develop a distorted view about what love is.

The Bible tells us that "GOD IS LOVE", and the Bible also says that God is Spirit, that means true Love is a Spirit, the Holy Spirit. But of course there are counterfeit forms of what people call love.

The fruits of the Holy Spirit describe true Love. (Galatians 5:22-25) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. {24} And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. {25} If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. The first fruit of the Spirit is Love and all of the other fruits are characteristics of Love.

Love is more than a feeling, it is more than an experience, it is the manifested presence of God, the glory of God. Remember God is Love, so when you experience true Love you are experiencing God’s glorious presence. Notice the second fruit is joy, love is the ultimate joy that can be experienced. (Psalms 16:11) You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The third fruit listed is peace. Just as fear is a spirit, so also Love is a Spirit of power and peace. (2 Timothy 1:7) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (Ephesians 6:23) Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 13:11) Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

The other six fruits of the Spirit all have to do with actions of Love and the power of Love. All of the fruits of the Spirit are the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, which is the manifestation of God’s love in our own life.

Moses asked God to show him His glory. When God revealed His glory to Moses He also revealed His character, His Love. (Exodus 33:18-19) And he said, "Please, show me Your glory." {19} Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." (Exodus 34:6) And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, The word merciful in verse 6 means, "to be full of compassion". We know that God is Love and that He is full of compassion. This revelation of who God is, also reveals who Love is, and what the glory of God is. The glory of God is the manifestation and revelation of His Love to man.

The Bible is very clear that we are to love God more than our own life and to love people as we love our selves. (Matthew 22:37-40) Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' {38} "This is the first and great commandment. {39} "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' {40} "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Love is the summary of all that God wants from us, and all that God wants us to be. The whole Bible is God’s communication to man to tell us about the God who is Love, and what Love is and is not.

When we love God we will obey His commandments. (1 John 5:3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. When we love God His commandments are not a burden to us they are a joy. This kind of love is not natural, it is not from us, it is a gift from God called the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit in us causes us to not only want to obey God but also to delight in doing so from our very heart. David wrote many times verses such as this, (Psalms 40:8) I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart."

Jesus commands us to live in His love, which is demonstrated by obedience to Him on the outside, and on the inside we are full of joy. (John 15:9-14) "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. {10} "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. {11} "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. {12} "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. {13} "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. {14} "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

There is only one thing that you have which you can give to God that will glorify Him, that is your life. But when you give yourself fully to Him, seeking to know Him and do His will with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength; then He will glorify you. As we come to know and experience the revelation of God’s Love by looking unto Him we are transformed from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Paul tells us that through knowing Christ’s Love that we can be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-21) For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, {15} from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, {16} that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, {17} that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, {18} may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; {19} to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. {20} Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, {21} to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

In verse 19 the passage reads "to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge", which seems to be a contradiction, but there are two different words used in the original Greek. The first word "to know", means an intimate knowing, to perceive, to feel, to experience, the word is even used in the way that a man knows a woman. This is a heart-felt intimate knowledge. The second word "which passes knowledge" means head knowledge, or science. God’s Love is beyond human understanding, it is only spiritually discerned because it is the manifested presence of the Holy Spirit.

In verse 18 the phrase "may be able to comprehend" is interesting, the word comprehend is the Greek word katalambano, which means to take eagerly, seize, possess, apprehend, attain, come upon, find, obtain, perceive, overtake. We are to eagerly seek and possess with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height of knowing the love of Christ which is beyond head-knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

(1 John 4:19) We love Him because He first loved us. Notice in the passage above, Ephesians 3:14-21, the progression of events. First Paul prays that according to the riches of His glory, the glory of God is God’s Love revealed to man. This must take place first because God’s Love must be revealed to us first so that we can love Him. Second is the work of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. Then we are able to receive Christ into our hearts through faith, which grows out of Love. Faith comes from Love, and grows as the heart-knowledge of God’s Love grows.

As we grow in intimate knowledge of the Love of Christ we are filled with all the fullness of God. Because Christ is the greatest revelation of God’s Love, and the greatest manifestation of God’s glory to man. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7) For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. {7} But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:12-19) No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. {13} By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. {14} And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. {15} Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. {16} And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. {17} Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. {18} There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. {19} We love Him because He first loved us. (Mark 12:30) 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.

For many people the world is a dark, lonely, and loveless place. As Christians we have the answers people are longing for. We must let the glory of God’s Love shine through us to bring light, and love to hurting people. (Isaiah 60:1-2) Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. {2} For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. (Matthew 5:14-16) "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. {16} "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Love is the highest calling and the greatest relationship with God. (Colossians 3:14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Ephesians 5:1-2) Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. {2} And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Jude 1:20-21 NKJV) But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, {21} keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 


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