Page 10 - Amish Voice - July 2013

The Amish Voice 10
To know just how much the Lord loves us, we
need to take a look at what love really is.
Quickly: what is the opposite of love? Like
nearly everyone else, you probably said,
Hate is the opposite of love.” Actually,
according to 1 John 4:18 fear is what we have
when we don’t have love. ...but perfect love
casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Really? Fear?” you say. Think about it.
Because God is love, if we don’t have Him,
what do we have? Are we filled with anger, or
are we filled with fear, which results in
expressions of anger, hatred, and rebellion?
So why is fear the opposite of love? Actually,
the natural man has a lot to be afraid of. But
the man that has God -also has love. If God is
love, then if we have God, we also have love.
How can we fear anything, either in this life,
or in the one to come, when we have God and
his love? And if we don’t have Him, how can
we have anything except fear? With God, we
have fear of other people, fear of hell, and
fear of God. Because this fearful person is
alive, among men, and has this life to deal
with, he somehow needs to function. We as
people tend to give to others what we have
ourselves, whether it is fear or love.
Have you ever seen a group of youngsters
fight an animal? They hit or throw things at
the otherwise perfectly tame animal. The
animal, if it can’t get away, will respond by
doing what? It will growl, hiss, snaps its teeth,
and respond by trying to scare its tormenters
more than the animal itself is scared.
A wife, for instance, might try to control her
husband, because she is afraid (fear) of what
her husband is going to do if she isn’t in
control. She likely displays anger and
intimidation, either openly or via offensive
words, in order to get her husband to do what
she thinks is right.
You see in these examples that fear results in
outward actions that can lead to even worse
things. Fear leads to many things, but never
love. Fear, if not dealt with, results in
incredible destruction.
We have a powerful God.
Even the demons
tremble in fear. ...the devils also believe, and
James 2:19). What do we have to
lose by turning to Him, and his love? We
have nothing to lose, except fear itself. He
takes us as we are, fearful, angry, and
rebellious, because of His love. We can do
nothing except go to him as we are; we have
nothing in ourselves to offer. Through Christ,
he restores us and fills us with true love.
God asks us to love those who mistreat us.
Why? Well, isn’t that exactly what he did for
us? We mistreated Him terribly. Even though
we may not have directly cursed him, who
among us hasn’t cursed God by rejecting His
If any man love not the Lord Jesus
Christ, let him be Anathema
for the righteous judge is
coming] (1 Corinthians 16:22). Who among
us hasn’t been angry with God, perhaps even
swearing in His name? None of us were born
guiltless; none of us have not first rejected the
Lord. We all need to accept the righteous
atonement of the Lamb.
Let me ask you: how hard is it to love your
enemy? “Well,” you may say, “I haven’t ever
sought revenge on my enemies. I always walk
away without saying anything back to them.”
Ok,” I reply, “that is fine. But, Jesus asks us
to do more.” In fact, he says,
Give to him that
asketh thee, and from him that would borrow
of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that
it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say
unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that
curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
pray for them which despitefully use you, and
persecute you; That ye may be the children of
your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh
his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,
and sendeth rain on the just and on the
unjust. For if ye love them which love you,
what reward have ye? do not even the
publicans the same?
Matthew 5:42-46).
Wow. Isn’t that something? Because we ask,
He gives us what we ask for, even though we
were His enemies. That is awesome and
frightening at the same time. That is a lot of
love. Here are a few verses to think about:
For if, when we were enemies, we were
reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled, we shall be
saved by his life
Romans 5:10).
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto
you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and
he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is
there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will
he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will
he give him a serpent?
Matthew 7:7-10).
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any
man hear my voice, and open the door, I will
come in to him, and will sup with him, and he
with me
Revelation 3:20).
So, my friend, it is very clear that while we
have been enemies of God, He is standing and
knocking at the door wanting to be let in! His
love is so great, that He sets aside all we did
against Him, in order to love us. We know
how amazing this is, as we were yet sinners
when he made the first step by knocking. We
know how hard it is to love
our enemies, to really love them. It’s very
hard to bless them as God blessed us,
extending the good news to them of salvation
through Jesus Christ’s perfect atonement,
once and for all. In looking at how hard it is
for us to love our enemies, we get a little
glimpse of how much God loves us. His love
is tremendous.
My friend, if you hear the knocking, let Him
in. It isn’t easy from an earthly perspective. In
fact, we will be asked to suffer for His sake.
However, when persecuted, we are given an
opportunity to love as He loved us. To be
given an opportunity to love our enemies as
He loved us is a blessing we will never
understand until we’ve been there ourselves.
With this verse I leave you:
Grace be with all
them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in
sincerity. Amen
Ephesians 6:24). —End
Just How Much Does the Lord Love You?
By J. Martin
Illustration by Lydia Chorpening