Saturday, June 9, 2012



About 1000 years before Jesus was born, King David reigned in Jerusalem. He had several wives and he had children by those several wives so that many of his children were half brothers and sisters. Even though they were all David’s children, many were born to different mothers.

One of the virgin daughters of King David was named Tamar. It came about one day that her half brother, Amnon, became obsessed with her beauty and kindness. Tamar was all that Amnon could think about. He thought about her so much in fact that he became depressed because he felt there was no way he could ever fulfill his desire to be with her.

One of Amnon’s closest friends noticed his depression and questioned him to find the reason. Upon hearing the cause, Amnon’s friend devised a plan for Amnon to be alone with Tamar. He told Amnon to fake sickness and request of the King that Tamar be called to his home to prepare food for him during his sickness. The plan worked … King David sent Tamar to Amnon’s house.

When Tamar finished preparing food in Amnon’s kitchen, he commanded everyone else to leave his home and then told her to bring the food into his bedroom so he could rest while eating from her hand. When she came close to feed him, Amnon took hold of Tamar and despite her pleading, he forced himself upon her.

The story takes a more terrible turn here. You see, Amnon did not truly love Tamar, he had allowed lusts to masquerade as love, but now the mask was off.

2 Samuel 13:15  Then Amnon hated Tamar exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Arise, be gone!"

Lust is the only love the world has to offer. Lust is a fleeting, unfulfilling, poor imitation of God’s love. To get a better understanding of the difference between the world’s love and God’s love, turn with me to:

1 John 3 NKJV
1 ¶  Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Let’s hold right here for a moment and “look at”, or rather as the scripture says - “behold”, - just what kind of love the Father has given us. What manner of love is this? What makes Godly love different from some other types of love we may be more familiar with?

1 John 3:1 says that God has given us a special kind of love so that we might love like He loves and therefore be recognized as His children. This truth is confirmed throughout scripture.

John 13:35  "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

The love with which God’s children love is something the world cannot figure out –  they don’t understand this kind of love, because they don’t know God – that is why they don’t understand us –

We love things others don’t love in ways they can’t love.

In fact – not only do those who are baptized in and driven by the spirit of this world not understand Christians but, because we are not like them – they don’t like us.

John 15:19  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

While we may be hated, we are commanded to love – even love those who hate us, love our enemies … bless and do good to them out of a pure heart of love … not because they love us back, but because God loves them.

John 15
17  These things I command you, that you love one another.
25  … They hated Me without a cause.

Sounds a little strong doesn’t it … Nonetheless …  John 15:17 commands us to love one another and verse 25 gives us to understand that if the world hates us, we should make sure that like Christ, they hate us without a cause. How can anyone love someone who hates them??? That’s the kind of love God is talking about, this love which He has bestowed on His children.

Let’s briefly look at Three Attributes of Love
        *There are of course, many more …

Jeremiah 31:3  The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.”

1.  Love is everlasting
           Lust is fleeting
           The world does not know everlasting love – lust is the world’s love
           God’s love is meant to last … God intended it to be that way
       God does not want us to love what will not last.

1 John 2
15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17  And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God will endure forever.

God wants us to love that which will last with an everlasting love.

1 Timothy 6:17 encourages us to not love or place our trust in or be obsessed with money and other fleeting things in this world, things which are here today and gone tomorrow – rather this verse directs us to trust God who richly gives us all those things to enjoy, not to love and chase after, but to enjoy.

God wants us to enjoy our life and have things but He does not want things to have us. God wants us to save our love for things which last – we’ll see why in a moment.

2.  Love covers
                Imperfections and Transgressions

Proverbs 10:12  Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

Love covers – but love does not really care what it covers … it just covers. Love covers things which should be covered and at times things which should not be covered. Such as the case with a man we read about in:

Judges 16:4 ¶  And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

If we read the story of Samson we find that his love for Delilah blinded him. Certainly he did end up having his eyes put out with a hot iron rod, but I submit to you that he was blind long before the Philistines destroyed his physical eyesight … Samson was blinded by love.

Samson’s love covered all of Delilah’s imperfections and transgressions … and … By The Way – Delilah’s love for herself also covered Delilah’s imperfections and transgressions! Why? Because, love is designed with a single purpose – to cover … it will even cover us when we love ourselves.

Thank God it covers – without that ability, God might see me how I really am instead of how He sees me through the loving eye of a merciful Father.

However, God knows what to love and what not to love … I on the other hand, have to trust Him to tell me how to do the same. If not, I could begin to love something or someone I should not … and how would I know??? Love is so good at covering, it might be hard to know the difference on my own. Well, thank God we are not on our own – but – more about that later!

So, Love is everlasting and Love covers … the third attribute of love which we will discover today is:

3.  Love gives

Love is measured by what is given, not by what is received. The world measures love by what is received – God measures love by what is given … and love gives – first, last and always - In fact, love will require a gift, the greatest gift, yourself. As a minimum, love demands you give yourself.

John 3:16 God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.

I realize I have had us on hold at 1 John 3:1 for a while … now let’s get back there and pick up where we left off …

2  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
3  And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

God’s love is a pure love … as well, we can love with a purified love, a love which the Father has given us so that we might appear like Him.

How can you know if you are loving or if you are being loved with the Love of God … or is it the Lusts of this world?

Three Simple Tests
1.   The Spirit
2.   The Word
3.   The Counsel of Godly Friends

Love reveals nothing about the person who is loved but much about the person who is loving.

Thou shalt not sin, not even in the name of Love!