Praise Justified By Love
Day 211: Praise Justified by Love
1 Thessalonians 3:12 (AV) — 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
The love the Bible enjoins is not the love of feeling; it is the love of willing, the willed tendency of the heart. --A. W. Tozer
One of the charges the Holy Spirit makes against man in the latter days before the sweeping judgment of God’s wrath is the spirit of hatred or lack of love.
Paul tells us 1 Timothy 4:1 that, “The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith...” In 2 Timothy, he continues his latter-day discourse, “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves...despisers of those that are good,” (See 2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Christ spoke of the days when, “and because iniquity [lawlessness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (See Matthew 24:12)
The one characteristic that should cause distinction between the church and the world is Biblical love.
John 13:35 (AV) — 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Tozer made a valid point: Biblical love is not defined by emotional love but volitional love. That is the willing choice to demonstrate love. Our praise for God is validated, only when we love Him, each other, and those who are lost in sin. Paul spoke this benediction upon the church in Thessalonica: “The Lord make you to increase and abound in love...” To whom does he invoke us to demonstrate love? “One toward another, and toward all men.”
The command is clear. So what are we waiting for?
We cannot afford to wait for our emotions to stir us to action. If we could make a comparison, it would be like waiting on the weather to be a perfect 70 and sunny when the forecast calls for rain. Emotions are weak leaders.
How do we love consistently? We learn to point our hearts in the right direction every day and continually throughout the day. We must evaluate our motives behind our actions and ask, “Is this God’s love, or man’s selfish love?” “Am I doing this for God or me?”
1 Corinthians 13:4–8 (AV) — 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth.