In all that we are, in all that we do, and in all that we proclaim, there is nothing we at Cape Cod Church value more than the "unconditional love" of God. The more we are steeped in the world around us, the more foreign the notion of "unconditional love" is to us. At the same time, however, the extremely "conditional" environment of the world makes the truth of God's "unconditional love" tremendously appealing.
"Unconditional love" is the backbone of relationships. In contrast, we live in a "throw away" world and the impact of this is devastating to relationships. People constantly move from one thing to the next, from one situation to the next, from one relationship to the next. The pattern is: get it, use it, dispose of it, move on; get it, use it, dispose of it, move on; get it, use it, dispose of it, move on; etc. Are you not overjoyed and overwhelmed with the fact that God does not do this with us? "Unconditional love" is the backbone of God's relationship with us and it must be the backbone of our relationships with others."
We have a term that characterizes those who make "unconditional love" the backbone of their relationships with others. It is "loyalty. "Loyalty" in relationships is a rare thing in our "throw away" world today, but it is the paramount need of the times in which we live. Here is a line from our Proverbs 12 passage from yesterday, "The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives." Notice the phrase, "the godly save lives." Let's be quite literal here, the godly save lives and don't throw them away. In other words, the godly are loyal.
Read down through the Scriptures below and note all that is said about unconditional and loyal love.
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
But Ruth said, “Do not beg me to leave you or turn away from following you. I will go where you go. I will live where you live. Your people will be my people. And your God will be my God. I will die where you die, and there I will be buried. So may the Lord do the same to me, and worse, if anything but death takes me from you.” Ruth 1:16-17 (NLV)
Think about your own relationships with people and determine to carefully check them out for what you actually bring to those relationships. Let God help you replace "throw away" thinking and behavior for "loyal" (unconditional love) thinking and behavior.
Put together a prayer response to God for yourself and remember to incorporate our theme response for the series "Lord, I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments."
Posted on Tue, September 15, 2015
by Alan Porter