Friday, February 14, 2014

Let's Talk about Love

from Wretched Newsletter February 2014

Happy Valentines Day (whatever that means). As long as the world and Hallmark are focusing on love, let’s spend some time examining love to see how the world and the church are doing re. the most sung about subject ever: looooove.

Without being blasphemous, if you were God, what subject would you like your subjects singing about the most? Would it be food? Pick-up trucks and beer? Would you want them singing about romance? Doubtful.

If you were the Supreme Deity of the Universe responsible for creating and sustaining everything, you would likely want your creation to write and sing about You, the best, most wonderful thing there is. Imagine how God must feel when He hears the music broadcast from virtually every speaker on the subject of love and sex? Perhaps He wouldn’t mind if we were accurate in our understanding.

Considering all of the songs that have been written about the subject, you would think we would have love figured out by now. The world doesn’t appear to have a clue about the meaning of true love. Neither does Evangelical Christianity.

The world’s love is a quid-pro-quo love: I love you because you do something for me. Wrong.

Contemporary Christian music doesn’t do much better: God loves me, God loves me, God loves me. Rarely do Christian artists endeavor to explain that God’s love is not based on us, but it is based on Him.

What is the value of an object? Only that which a buyer places on it. You can put a price tag of $250,000 on your automobile, but if nobody is willing to pay more than $5,000 for it, guess what it is worth?

The value of an object is determined by the purchaser. It is more accurate to say that objects are not valuable, but they are valued.

The bejeweled cape Elvis threw into the audience in 1973 will fetch a pretty penny at a Graceland auction to a bunch of people who just have not gotten over it yet. Bring that cape to the island of Boingo Boingo and you won’t get two coconuts for it. Why? The value of an object is not based on the intrinsic nature of the object itself, but on the value a purchaser places on the object.

What are humans worth? Nothing, unless someone determines we are worth something.

Don’t tell the self-esteem movement, but the Bible says that we are made of dirt and we will die and return to dirt. Even though we are Imago-Dei, we are simply chemicals and water. Without God’s animating power, we are worthless. Unless God places His love on us, we are nothing.

Here is the great news: He does! God does place His love on us!

God loves dirt. God died for dirt. God gives new life to dirt. God promises an inheritance to dirt. God is going to give dirt an everlasting body and allow us to live with Him and enjoy Him forever.

Clearly, God’s love for dirt is not based on the dirt but it is based on Him. While that may seem kind of depressing, it is most excellent news for three reasons:
  1. If God loved us for something intrinsic (looks, personality, charm, wit, humor, earnestness, humility), He would not love you if you do not possess that characteristic. Gulp.
  2. If God loved us for something intrinsic, He would have to stop loving us when that characteristic fades, wrinkles or disappears. Bummer.
  3. God’s love is based on Him and He NEVER changes. Whew!
If you are in Christ, God’s incredible, magnificent, beyond imagination love for you will never fade, never waver, never end. Now that is love.

Knowing that, perhaps we should stop constantly singing about the gift of love and start singing about the Giver of such amazing love.