Love – The Dividing Line Between Life and Death
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
When I was young I used to wonder sometime why the old folks didn’t seem as concerned about the state of things in the world and were always saying things to counter the angst of the moment. When we, even as young adults would be fretting and anxious about one thing or another, whether political, social, emotional or even relational; when people treated us unjustly or denied us the rights other people had, my Mom would say things like, “You live long enough you’ll see it all.” “No need gettin’ yourself all worked up over that. Just leave them to God, He’ll take care of them with just what they deserve.“
As an adult, and now as a minister of the Word of God, I understand the wisdom of those words more and more. I also realize that God has shown us an even better and more Christ-like way to live in a world that is growing in many ways increasingly more evil and driven by the spirit of darkness and sin.
On the one side are those of us who call on Christ as our true and only Savior and Lord. On the other hand are those who reject Him and all that He stands for because they have been deceived and have had their hearts seared over so that they cannot hear His call to repentance, forgiveness and new life in Christ. Darkness surrounds them and their words and actions are consistent with the one they serve. Jesus put it this way when dealing with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law and the Jews who believed on Him, but did not receive His Words as truth.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” John 8:31-51
There are two offspring of different fathers living on the earth, the children of light who are God’s, the body of Christ, the Church, and the children of darkness who are the Devil’s, the children of sin and evil.
We were all born into the kingdom of darkness, but through faith in Jesus Christ we have been reborn into the Kingdom of light. Those who are in the world apart from faith in the Jesus Christ are subject to their spiritual father, the Devil who is the liar, the prince of the power of the air.
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience…” Ephesians 2:2
All that is of Jesus is light and life and all that is of the Devil is darkness and death. The line separating us as human beings is love. We who walk in Christ walk in love and life. They who are full of hate and rage, of evil and destruction of lying and deceit walk in darkness, in death and fear.
“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.” 1 John 4:18
We may all look the same, but we are motivated by profoundly different forces, either by love which leads to life or fear that leads to death. As the sons of God we are motivated only by love. And through that love we live and overcome the evil works of darkness. By that same love we live before men to point the way to life for those who walk in darkness.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Our lives are to be so lived and motivated by love that all that we do and say sets us apart from the world because in us is seen and heard THE LOVE OF GOD. That love is full of grace and compassion, of forgiveness and long-suffering, of faithfulness and kindness, not judgment or condemnation. That love is generous and gives not demanding anything in return.
Fear and death are common to those in and of the world. Their lives motivated by fear and death are characterized by lies, anger, violence and destruction. The most passionate among them are convinced of their righteousness in their own eyes so they will not see that they are poor, wretched naked and blind.
“Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelation 3:17-18
There is still hope for the lost and we have the message of that hope. As we see the world growing more evil daily let us not be weary in well doing nor be dissuaded from living the life and light of Jesus before all men. Some may reject us but many will see the light and run to it in us and by the grace of God we will be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us.
This is the message of love to them.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while theark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” 1 Peter 3:15-4:2
Our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ and our confidence in Him, in His love will never fail because Love never fails.
So, don’t let the “noise” of this world’s darkness get you down. God will take care of the Devil and all his children. We will live in love and by grace win as many as we can to life in our Lord Jesus Christ.