Friday, July 22, 2011

Where Is Love?

If you could spend just one day with nothing more to do than to know the love of God for you, what effect would that day have on you? What would it produce? Think about it for a moment.

I’ll put it this way:

If “love is patient,” then what do you want? If love is kind, if love does not envy, if it does not boast and is not proud, then what do you want? If love does not dishonor others and is not self-seeking, and if love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs, then what do you want? If love does not delight in evil, if love rejoices in the truth, and if love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres, then what do you want?

You want the love of God.

Perhaps one of the biggest rip-offs suffered by a Christian is believing the assertion that 1 Corinthians 13 is about how we’re supposed to act and behave with one another in order to be loving, when, to the contrary, it’s about the triumph of God’s love expressed to us and what it will be like for those who know Him.

This is what God’s love is like to us and in us and through us. He is love, and in love is our very existence. You are in Christ and He is in you, so where is love? In truth, you have His love to the full already. If we believe the lie that we do not have love, that we do not have the truth, that we do not know the way, or that we do not have a life, then we believe that God has not happily made His home in us. What ridicule that is to the miracle of Christ in us!

It’s then that many begin to approach the Bible as an instruction manual, a book of how-to’s which, if properly employed, will please God and induce His favor. . .from outside of us.

If, then, we are instructed how to love and we make the attempt to do it, to be kind, to be patient, to not be selfish, to not get angry, etc., we are induced to think of ourselves as separate from God with a lot of work to do—a lot of loving to do. Although it is impossible to actually draw away from God in order to do something (you are in Him and He is in you), we do it in our thinking. This is not only error, it is dangerous to us and might establish a pattern of expecting very little from the love of God.

What you want—all that you truly want—you have already. You have Him. Have you been looking elsewhere?

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)


  1. Vicki Leventhal-Highet Frydrych9:04 AM

    Unable to comprehend this KNOWING of His love. I guess that says it all. It would absolutely change EVERYTHING, but I don't even possess the base on which to imagine what this would look like or do or cause or change in my life. I continue to savor the revelation I do have and so hunger for the day you describe, when it's fullness will be realized. Blessings Ralph!

  2. Vicki--He has given you the desire to want to know. Start telling Him how deep that desire goes. Offer to Him what you have. He will fulfill what He has begun.

  3. Murray Scott9:33 AM

    What effect would that have? Profound, inexpressable gratitude.

  4. And it would "produce" patience, peace, kindness, and everything else in keeping with God's grace and our new life and nature from Him.

  5. Carolyn Walker Jones4:33 PM

    John understood this truth, didn't he?

  6. Murray Scott4:34 PM

    John called himself the disciple who Jesus loved. Maybe we should all call ourselves that!

  7. Cheryl York Olmstead4:34 PM

    Once when my life was turned completely upside down and I thought it could not get worse, I injured my back and as a result spent a nearly a year in physical therapy and lost my job (a huge source of security to me). I spent many days alone, unable to drive, alienated from friends and co-workers, in pain and on those days I could do nothing but turn to the Lord and reflect on him. It changed my life and for the first time, I had a taste of what His mercy is. I look back and am so grateful for all He did in me. "If you could spend just one day with nothing more..." reminds me of that time. Thanks, Ralph.

  8. Paul Ellis4:35 PM

    ‎*Knowing* Christ's love is the thing - so simple in idea, so overwhelming in practice, like drinking the ocean. Given that love has inspired the world's greatest literature, why aren't more Christians poets?

  9. Joshua Hernandez4:35 PM

    Amen! Thank You Father for Jesus!And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace! Thank you Ralph for sharing this! So true that it's not about how i love, but how HE loved. :)

  10. Karen Fries4:36 PM

    Good stuff, Pastor Ralph!!! You should write a book.... :P

  11. Joan E. Rudloff5:12 PM

    You know, I do that now, in many ways. It is the most peaceful place, totally undependent on whether I am at work, getting gas in my car, or home on my computer. He is just so awesome!!

  12. Francois Du Toit5:12 PM

    From window-shopping to mirror gazing!

  13. Rosie Crawford5:13 PM

    So agree with you Ralph - your thoughts are my thoughts - and , and - that makes us ONE - isnt that the way our Father in His great fairness and wisdom gives to His Beloveds - emptying Heaven to fill us with 'every good and perfect gift . . that come from above,from the Father of Lights in Whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning . .'

  14. Peggy Smith Shealy6:48 PM

    Very meaningful and encouraging for me...a great reminder that it's about His love for us. I have grown so much deeper in my trust due to adversity. He is altogether lovely, faithful!

  15. Joshua Tongol2:47 PM

    I love this, Ralph. We have his love in our hearts. We are in Him and He is in us. Wonderful. :)

  16. Julie Belshe2:48 PM

    Awesome God, Unconditional Love at its finest. Right on Ralph!

  17. I have so enjoyed reading your comments--how rich! Thanks for commenting, everyone.

  18. Mark Lanier2:15 PM

    Joy, God's Will, and Fruit! The best kind of fruit too...

  19. Brenda Kalas12:48 PM

    A beautiful note.

  20. Nancy Gilmore12:48 PM

    Thank you Ralph. I've not really ever been all that involved in "churchianty"... except when I was the one doing the sharing; so I wasn't involve all that much like others have been, and I expected The Spirit who lived in me to teach me His ways. From the beginning I knew God was Love, and loved me, as though I was the only person in the universe; along with the people, I loved. In that love of God my inner drive was always to know what the Lord was doing in all situations. So I found in Him we spend all of life in love. Likewise Christ is our Peace. With Him I dwell in an inner-Christ-consciousness​ with the gaps of separated closed; and help others know His faith that brought me into oneness with Him. Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. Denise Walsh Walden12:48 PM

    Beautiful Ralph.....

  22. Cliff Gableman12:49 PM

    Love it, no pun intended, thanks grace man!

  23. André van der Merwe12:49 PM

    YUP! The gifts and the fruit of the Spirit are HIS to produce, the pressure isn't on me! I simply partake in the good works He has prepared in advance for me.

    Love this Ralph!

  24. Michelle Mendiola12:50 PM

    Thank you! :)

  25. Mike Daniel12:50 PM

    Nice Ralph. I'll be reposting this later this week to my blog: 'Can't "tag" you from there so thought I'd mention it here... but I'll give a link to your site. Thanks, Bro!