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God's Only Law Chapter 3

God’s Law of Love

 

When I first picked up my cross and began following Jesus, I did not fully understand His message. The only thing I was sure of was that He knew the way, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Jn. 14:6). I have since learned this world has woven a veil made up of selfishness and lies to hide God’s only law. Those lying to us want us to believe there are so many laws created by God and man that we cannot possibly keep them all. The implication is it is okay to break some of them, even God’s laws, since everyone lies, cheats, steals, envies, or worse, now and again. So today, we are tearing this veil of selfishness and lies to reveal the truth that God has only one law. Everything else attributed to God is either a clarification of this law or others lying to us to keep us from His truth because they have chosen to ignore God. And, some of these liars are actually trying to manipulate us with their lies.


God’s only law is His law of love, “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.” (2 Jn. 5). He said this is the commandment we have had from the beginning, and we do not need other laws if we would just live the fruit of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22–23). This is God describing what His law of love looks like. And He tells us, all the law and the prophets are fulfilled in one word, love, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Gal. 5:14), and “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 7:12), and “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Rom. 13:8).


This world uses the word love to promote many agendas, but God’s selfless law of love is not what they are talking about. This world’s substitute version of love is nothing more than self-love disguised. Self-love is dark, devoid of God’s law of love. Picture a dark room. When we bring a candle into this room, the darkness flees because the selfishness that created it is no longer able to hide from the light of His truth, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds many be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Jn. 3:20-21). It is God’s selfless love that unveils the truth. And, as light and darkness cannot occupy the same space, love and self-love cannot rule the same heart; we either love as God does, or self-love will continue to grow in our hearts. So, the person who helps another out of love is not concerned if it is witnessed. Their reward is the joy of truthfully reflecting God’s love. This is God’s love lighting another dark room. Self-love calls us to proclaim our charity to show the world how wonderful we are. However, that will be our only reward, “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” (Matt. 6:2).


God calls His law of love the royal law, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.” (Jam. 2:8). The royal law shows God’s mercy and truth, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” (Prov. 3:3-4). It also shows His humility and justice, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Mic. 6:8). So we are not following His law of love unless we are consistently humble, unfailingly merciful, always truthful, and continually seeking justice for everyone.


God gave us Jesus as the cornerstone of our faith and His law of love as a plumb line that points us to Him and His righteousness, which sweeps away all lies, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” (Isa. 28:16-17). A plumb line that helps us understand His Word, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (1 Jn. 4:6-7).


God is love. Those who learn to love as God does will know God and will use His law of love as their only plumb line to confirm what is from Him. Anything that conflicts with God’s law of love is not from God. And we will choose to use His law of love only if we are drawn to it, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me … But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him … Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them … Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” (Jn. 12:32, 37, 39-40, 42-45). So He tells us about His love and then shows it to us.


In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus invites us to live this life as we will in heaven, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:9-10). This means we will be entirely in love with Him and each other here on earth as we will be in heaven. Those who willingly follow Jesus in this life are helping Him gather His children. When someone returns our love, they demonstrate their desire to be part of His kingdom. Others will reject God’s offer and therefore will also reject us and our love, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (Jn. 15:18-19).


Jesus brought us a vision of heaven, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4). He also brought the invitation to live there for eternity, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (Jn. 5:24). However, He is allowing each of us to choose for ourselves. Do we feel worthy of being loved unconditionally? God showed us we are, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn. 3:16). Could He love us more? “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn. 15:13). What more does He need to do to prove He loves us?


Jesus tells a religious leader he is close to the kingdom of God because he understands God's law of love, "And one of the scribes came, having heard them reasoning  together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt  offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.” (Mk. 12:28-34).


Many who count themselves wise consistently try to ignore, hide, or mischaracterize God’s law of love, leading others to disbelief. God allows this, “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (1 Cor. 1:19) because He knows the wisdom of the wise is nothing more than some of us using our free will to rebel against His law of love. This happens when we look inward for wisdom instead of listening to God, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” (1 Cor. 3:18). Sadly, when we reject the wisdom God offers to all, we are left worshipping the creature more than the Creator, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Rom. 1:22-25). When we think we are too smart to fall for God’s simple law of love, we make up our own laws and set up our own images to worship, thus choosing to reject God and the eternity He is offering.


We worship money to create the temporary illusion of extreme wealth; attention-seeking because we feel insecure; power to elevate our importance; fame to draw others to worship us; biblical prowess to exaggerate our holiness. We use false science to legitimize our rebellion or appear intellectual; pleasure-seeking to escape our lack of self-worth; and hatred because we do not feel truly loved. These are not examples of love but self-love. Dickens taught us the value of feeling loved, as Scrooge learned to love after finally feeling loved. Are we now worshipping ourselves rather than our Creator? Can we not see that rejecting God’s love creates a hole we must fill with something?


God wants us to lay up our treasures in heaven, not in this life, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21). He warns us about the moths, rust, and thieves because He wants us to understand everything is in the process of decaying and on its way to the grave. Nothing in this life is permanent. To prove this, we just need to stop feeding our rebellion long enough to see it decay. A garden left unattended is overrun with weeds. So, likewise, a life unattended is overwhelmed by addictions.


We, humans, have continually ignored God’s warnings and rebelled against His simple law of love by creating our own laws, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12). God wants us to put His law of love before all the laws we have created, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29). Our laws reveal our rebellion against His plan because we would not need them if we lived His law of love.


Our ideas of love and good and evil change with every generation because we do not surrender to His Word. We think we can create something better than God can. However, God’s thoughts on love and good and evil never change. He can fully explain His law of love in the Bible, knowing we can read His message some two thousand years later, and it will not have changed. Can we not see how our rebellion has changed everything He created “very good?” “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Gen. 1:31). He designed everything to work together for good, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). And when we live our lives in alignment with His plan, we flourish and learn everything was created for Him, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Col. 1:16). Yet rather than following His plan, we have turned wine into alcoholism, food into gluttony, work into pride, marriage into divorce, sex into perversions, exercise into obsessions, games into gambling and pride, and gatherings into divisions. God has called us to finish the race He has set before us, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1). Instead, we willingly allow ourselves to become pawns in a rat race of confusion.


Would it not be better to seek the plan God has seen and work daily on the process of transforming our lives to align with His plan? “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6). He continues to offer us His love despite our rebellion. We will not trust Him if we do not know Him, so we must first learn He is love, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 Jn. 4:8). Sure, He told us He is love, but more importantly, He showed us by dying on a cross for our salvation, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Eph 5:2).


Our pride is a self-defense mechanism we use to protect ourselves from the pains other people cause. We must lay down our pride before we can become vulnerable. “As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” - C.S. Lewis. Only the vulnerable can become humble enough to reason with God’s law of love. Humility tears the veil that has been hiding the truth, and it is our pride that created this veil, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Ps. 10:4), and “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Lk. 14:11), and “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (Jam. 4:10). We do not know everything, no matter how hard we pretend we do. So, there is no reason for us to become prideful.


Once we trust and obey God, His rewards can be clearly seen in this life, leading us to willingly and joyfully follow Him. He asks us to obey Him and experience what His plan will bring us, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Jn. 14:23-27). He wants to be our neighbor, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (Jn. 14:2), and He wants us to love all of our neighbors, including Him, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” (Gal. 5:14), which is why His law of love is all we need.


Once we obey God, we learn there are purposes and designs in everything He created. Then we can begin intentionally living in harmony with His creation, which leads us to His peace, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33), and “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7), and “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15). Our ultimate reward is the expected end He is creating for us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11).


Once we trust God enough to obey His Word, we gain His perfect peace, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isa. 26:3), and we learn the truth of His law of love. This experience propels our transformation, our sanctification and demonstrates it is the best way to live. We can never honestly judge His law of love if we have never experienced it, and we will never understand the expected end He is preparing until we do.

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