Greetings MOL Family!
Do you know that Jesus love you?
The Love of Christ
Let us turn to Ephesians, the 3rd chapter. This is a part of Paul’s wonderful prayer for the saints. We will begin with the 17th verse:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. – Ephesians 3:17-19
What does God want us to know, that is, understand? The love of Christ. If we understand that love, we will be filled with what? All the fullness of God. That’s right. To know God is to love Him. And to really know love is to understand God, for “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Therefore, all God’s plans are to help us to know and understand what love is, and to experience it to the full.
God has sought to reveal Himself in many ways: Through His Word, He tells us of His love; through the things of nature, He displays His loving interest in us; He gives us food, clothing; and then He works through friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, to reveal love to us.
Does anybody love you? Yes. Where did that love come from? Why, it came from God. It’s the reflection of the great Sun of Righteousness. Of all the ways that God has seen fit to reveal His love, I want to study with you this wonderful way of revealing love through human hearts:
“Through … the deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He has sought to reveal Himself to us.” – Steps to Christ, pg. 10
So, that love between parents and children, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors is God’s effort to reveal His love to us. Say, if that is so, shouldn’t I be careful how I treat everybody? Because my great purpose in living is that I may be a channel to reveal God’s love to others. Is that right? That’s true. Let’s notice this statement in Ministry of Healing:
The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth. – Ministry of Healing, pg. 356
This is talking about marriage. This is the chapter on the builders of the home. On this page, we are told that:
Christ honored the marriage relation by making it a symbol of the union between Him and His redeemed ones. He is the Bridegroom; the bride is the church. – Ibid
This union between man and woman in marriage is the most tender and sacred tie of love. And this says:
It was designed to be a blessing to mankind. – Ibid
Is it always a blessing? Oh, no. There is nothing, perhaps, that brings greater sorrow than this union between man and woman, just as there is nothing human that can bring greater joy. Think of the divorce courts. Were you ever present in a divorce court? Is it a happy experience? No. Tragedy, sorrow, broken homes. [One out of every two] marriages ends in the divorce courts today. And think of the tens of thousands that never go to divorce that are disillusioned.
Every day, hundreds of illegitimate children are being born. Look at that little unwed mother as she holds that baby. Is that the beautiful way? Poor little thing, coming into life in that way. Is that love? Well, that’s probably what she and the baby’s father called it. And today, most of the young people who get married have, before they get married, already experimented with, and entered into, more or less, of the physical intimacies that belong entirely within the marriage circle. The high schools and even the junior high schools of the world are filled with a freedom, a license, a familiarity between boys and girls that is making this world like Sodom and Gomorrah.
In a way I wish we didn’t have to face these facts, I mean I wish we didn’t have to talk about them. I wish we could spend all our time just thinking about the beautiful. But even when we go out into the woods, up the mountains, we have to have our eyes open for rattlesnakes. Is that true? Yes. If all we do is look for rattlesnakes, that’s too bad. But if all we do is think about flowers and birds, and get bitten, that’s too bad, isn’t it? Yes.
But I will tell you this, my dear friends. God has made arrangements so that not one of our young people needs to feel the sting of this serpent of life. He has made full arrangements that we may stay in the way, the beautiful way. But, we cannot do that unless we recognize that this force of love, this particular kind of love, that God has arranged between man and woman is a powerful force, one of the most powerful in human experience – powerful for blessing, powerful for burning. The sad thing today is that most people are getting
burned rather than blessed through this great power.
Fire is a power. Control it, direct it, and it makes steam which can turn the wheels of industry or turn these dynamos which can generate electricity and spread power over a continent. But that power of fire or that power of electricity must be controlled and directed, or else that power which is great to bless, becomes great to destroy. Am I correct?
And that’s the way it is, my dear friends, with this mysterious and wonderful attraction between man and woman which is called love. Oh, what a word “love.” How many different things it stands for. How many different pictures that word brings to different minds.
Let’s turn to the Author of love, the One who made man, and see how to relate ourselves to this wonderful power, that we may walk the beautiful way instead of getting into the ditch.
Deuteronomy 6:5. Will you turn to that please? Here is the key. You remember Jesus quoted it as the first and great commandment:
Thou shalt love …
The LORD thy God with …
… all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. – Deuteronomy 6:5
Well, if you give God all your love, how much would there be left for anybody else? None at all, my friends. None at all. The only way to love God is to love Him with all your love. Well, you say, how will we ever love anybody else? The only way a Christian is supposed to love anyone is to use the love that he has given to God as God directs.
We give our money to God, not merely our tithe, but all of it. (It’s His anyway, isn’t it?) But, when we have returned our tithe, friends, how do we spend the other 90%? As He directs, correct? It is all His. We pay the tithe as a sign that we are stewards – that it all belongs to Him; we are just dispersing it.
That is the way with love, which is infinitely more precious than money. Give it all to God, and then He will say, “Very well, you have given it all to Me, now I am going to direct you as to who you love, and how you love, when you love, and how much, and all the rest.” That simplifies this whole subject, my dear friends. It is the key to it; there is no other key.
In a sense, we are to love everybody in the world, but only in a sense. We are to love every human being as we look at them as God’s property to be redeemed. But, ah, my friends, there are many, many things about love that don’t belong to the world at large. There are closer ties of love in the church, much closer, and closer still in the family. But closer than all, and different from all the rest, is this sacred tie between man and woman. And He, the Author of love, says that this kind of love, and this expression of love, is to be reserved for just one man and one woman joined together. That is what marriage is.
Join us next week, for part 2 on the beautiful subject of God’s love for you and me! Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.