Steve Lyston | Love: the most misquoted, misused and misunderstood word
Hebrews 12: 6-11 says: "For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.'"
Many times, I have listened to secular social, moral and ethical debates on the issue of love; and many times people misunderstand the true context of what love really is. Ninety per cent of the deception that reaches people, comes through the use of this very word. John 3:16 clearly states what true love is. Which politician or lobby group has ever given his or her life for another to have life?
Furthermore, I Corinthians 13 speaks about 16 characteristics of love. If we are not measured with those characteristics of love, regardless of our profession, occupation or whatever we do for others, if it is not motivated by love then it doesn't make sense.
It is love alone that makes us like God. (I John 4: 7) Many times, even within the Church, when people are corrected and told the truth, they say there is no love. That is not so! It is in fact love! Anyone who refuses correction or chastening by the Heavenly Father, spiritual parents, and biological parents are - by biblical standards - illegitimate. Likewise, anyone who refuses to speak biblical truth on a situation is not operating in love! Anyone who compromises the truth and condones it is operating in deception and not love.
GOD LOVES PEOPLE
Many times, people will try to make Jesus a part of the deception of true love. God loves people - it is why He gave up His only Son to die for people. But when one rejects the love and sacrifice Jesus made, how then can we talk about love? Just think of your father dying and giving his life so you can receive an inheritance, and all you want is the inheritance, but you don't honour, respect, appreciate, or thank your father? Is that love?
Many say they love God, but love is an action word, and so many refuse to honour Him! Meanwhile, they will say they love family members, children, and other loved ones, and then cheer them on when they are doing wrong - and say that is love! That is not love, that is hypocrisy!
When politicians pass laws for our children to smoke marijuana, carry out abortions and other immoralities while so many are on the streets homeless, hungry, sick and suffering and would not give a dime to feed them, it is clear people have become lovers of themselves!
What about pastors who refuse to tell their people the truth in order to have church growth and large bank accounts!
Recognise that Jesus never condoned sin, and oftentimes people try to connect the name of the Lord with sin and try to justify it by saying God is a God of Love. Jesus died for our sins and resurrected and ascended so that we may take advantage of the opportunity to walk away from sin and instead embrace a life of hope and trust in Him to help us overcome sin. He loves us, but He hates our sins!
The basis on which everything must be built or done is love! Many say they keep/observe the Ten Commandments, but when money becomes a person's idol they are already breaking at least one commandment! The rich young ruler would not give up his riches to serve the Lord; money was already his idol.
While praying recently, the Lord revealed that He is about to get the attention of the rich! We are about to see fire and floods globally as never before, especially with prominent buildings. He is about to promote the nations that have shown love by standing up for righteousness and truth! He is also ready to show love to many pastors who have walked away because of the riches of the world. He is calling them back now because He needs them.
Show true love today and touch someone's heart! Not in word, but in deed!
- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.