Yesterday, as part of our churches 'Epiphany' message series, I had the privilege to speak a message on radical love. If you wish to hear the whole thing, you can find it here (though I warn you, there is a few visual illustrations that you may not catch).
The title of that message was inspired by Switchfoot's new single: LOVE ALONE IS WORTH THE FIGHT. It solidified the main point I wanted to drive home. What I love about the the title 'Love Alone Is Worth The Fight' is It beckons the question: Why is Love Alone Worth The Fight?
I could come at this from so many angles which would probably span into a mini blog series in itself, but let me simply give a few thoughts. I will break this into three posts, which this will be the first.
I shouldn't have to say this, but of course this will barely scratch the surface of this topic, and probably will be somewhat unbalanced. But, this is about provoking thought and driving home a point, so feel free to interact and ask question. So here we go...
1. Love is Arguably the Most Powerful Force in the Universe
You may be surprised by this, but the opposite of Love is not Hate. Hate is simply a byproduct of something worse: fear. We see this in the fear of what is different, the fear of change, the fear of of things we don't understand, fear of the unknown.
Fear is a very powerful force in itself, and in many retrospects can drive change. But in the end it never lasts and doesn't produce the result we wish to see in our lives. When we are driven by fear we attempt to fix ourselves with shear will power in hopes to gain some approval from someone or for something.
This is so often the underpinning of rule based religion itself... fear. Fear to fail, fear of our shortcomings, fear of what God and others thinks of us and ultimately fear of judgement. As I heard one speaker put it: Religion, and at its core fear, will always lead to two things: guilt/depression or pride. Either we try by shear force of will to better ourselves in hopes to gain God's or someone else's approval and fail and fail and eventually give up out of total hopelessness. Or worse, we become so self diluted to think we have made it and elevate ourselves above others, pointing fingers and forgetting our need is as great as anyone else's.
Now to be clear, this is not some slight to deny that one day we will all have to give account for our actions. But, let us never forget at the root of God's heart is his heart for his Children (2 Pet 3 - emphases on verse 9). See, if you are driven by the fear of God's judgement you have not experienced His divine Grace and Love. In the end it is only radical, shocking, wasteful, divine love that will bring real eternal change.
"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love." (1 John 4:18)
Much to often people have a warped view of God, The Church and Christianity, because they have seen this belief played out by the motivation of fear and not a outpouring of a life effected by God's divine love. See, we need to continual come back to our desperate need for this love, soak in it, daily realize it and in the end wear this love everywhere we go (Col 3:14)--more on that in part 3.
See, what is more powerful then fear is love and the only thing that can dispel fear is love. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, and it is only love and ultimately divine love the outworking of that love that can cure us of the cancer that permeates us all & change the will and heart of people to not only do what they know they should, but desire these things--ultimately motivated by love. To LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE & LOVE LIFE.
Fear destroys and only brings guilt--love saves, transforms, reboots and brings real faith with real eternal change & benefits.
God wants to heal us and make us whole (mind, body & soul) and He came to accomplish through His mission of love. He is a loving father pursuing His lost children and bring them home. What people need is not more fear & guilt, what they need is radical, shocking, wasteful, divine love.
Read Part 2: Love Came To Earth--Love Alone Was Worth The Fight For God.
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