Sunday, May 25, 2014

Expectations Of Love

I have been thinking this weekend about love and expectations.

"And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?'

And he 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 first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, 'What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?'

They said to him, 'The son of David.'

He said to them, 'How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ' 'The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet' '?

If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?' And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions." - Matthew 22:35-46 ESV

I never saw these two groups of verse together before like I have this morning. Love is a moral obligation. The law and the prophets hang on love as a principle. All people fail to love as they should just as they fail to love God as they should.

At times we all feel unloved. Perhaps we feel that way for good reason. People fall short in this area all the time. People who have genuinely loved us in the past may have moved on in life and perhaps they think of us but there is little evidence that they do.

Nursing homes are filled with such people and that is why it is such a wonderful ministry to be a part of. God wants people to be loved by people.

Jesus basically turned the tables on men of obligation by bringing up David. Why did David call his future descendant 'Lord'. David was not only renowned as a King and a warrior... he was the sweet psalmist of Israel and known for his great love for people. David sought out Saul's descendant for the sole purpose of loving him and rescuing him.

He was showing them that love and honor does not just move up the 'chain of command' (the child is obligated to love Father and mother) because of Messiah it moves down the chain of command also. It surpasses moral obligation. David could love like he did because he loved Christ's coming (the first coming) and recognized who Messiah would be.

In a sense we love in grace because we love the same way David did. We love giving Christ a special place. Therefore our love transcends moral obligation.

This idea shut the Pharisees mouths. They stopped asking Him questions. They could not love that way because it would overturn their system.

Who calls who 'Lord' defines our system of love.

'My kid should love me more.'

'My friend should think of me more.'

'My boss should appreciate me more.'

Yes, We may be right to say these things on all counts.

Grace has moved us into a new system where Jesus is Lord and that can satisfy us on a different level where love is outside of condition. We can love even our enemies... and it is sometimes well meaning but fallen people that are counted as friends that fall into that category. They are enemies by omission not commission. In other words it is not what they do that causes pain but what they don't do. Unlike our more obvious enemies they likely don't do things because of malice but because of a lack of capacity. They are redeemed people that still have an old sin nature.

Let's face it. We don't love others as we should. We often don't meet our own standards of what is right... Jesus is Lord... that is good news... very good news to the broken lonely heart. We also are people that still have a nature that falls short and can not process God's ways.

"Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand." - Romans 14:4 ESV

"The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.' " - Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

Yes, He has. Thank God He has. He has loved us in graciousness. In times past He has used people to express this love to us and in He will likely do that again. Perhaps today He will use us to do it to others if we are willing.


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