Friday, March 31, 2017

"Be a Decision-Maker"

Joshua 23.11 HCSB 

“So be very diligent to love the LORD your God for your own well-being.”

If love is a natural thing… ------

     …then love should happen naturally. But it doesn’t just ‘happen’ for me.


If love is primarily romance…
 -------
     …then falling in love is easy and somewhat beyond my control. It takes no effort. Those times are rare.


If love is about sex…
-------
     …then love becomes mostly self-serving and can be addictive. There’s something not quite right about that.


If love is a feeling…
-------
     …then it comes and goes, ebbs and flows like all my other feelings. This kind of love is not predictable, reliable, or consistent.


If love is what I have only with friends…
 -------
     …then it is limited to my social circle and just for those people with whom I easily relate. Most of the world is excluded.


If love is about my performance…
 -------
     ...then some days I deserve the love I’m shown. Most days I don’t. I cannot always perform at peak levels.


If love is social and political action…
 -------
     …then there is never an end to the need for love. My limitation in the face the overwhelming need will cripple my efforts to love.


If only God is capable of real love…
 -------
     …then don’t expect any from me. God and me are radically different.


But, If love is a choice…
 -------
     …then I have a decision to make.


Jesus made the decision to love. He paid the price for that decision on the cross. There was nothing romantic or self-serving about His love. It wasn’t natural. It didn’t feel good. It transcended all we usually associate with the concept of love. Jesus died for everyone, not just his friends. His death was not a political statement. It did not advance a cause or establish a new kind of social justice. The sacrifice of His life did not showcase Christ’s talent or impress His enemies. Jesus made a decision to lay down His life. He didn’t have to do it. He made the conscious choice to love. It was His decision to make.

“…I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it
down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”
John 10.17-18 NKJV

I am faced with  a decision to “be very diligent to love the LORD” and to love others in His name. If I am called to love, I must make the decision to do so. I must become a decision-maker.

2 comments:

maffy said...

Dave--

This is sooooo beautiful. I can imagine this thing being cut and pasted and sent around the internet.

I was just writing about love in my personal journal this morning. I remember a friend saying once that we don't love someone in spite of their flaws; we love them because of them.

That John quote is really curious. What do you think Jesus means when he says, "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again," and also, "I lay down My life that I may take it again."

I understand it in the sense that no one can take away from us our decision to love, and that Jesus freely chose to die for this decision. But what do you think he means when he says, "I have the power to take it again"?

I'm so hopelessly literal. :)

Mary Ann

Dave Scriven said...

Wow. Thank you Mary Ann for your very kind words.

I'm not exactly sure what Jesus meant by "I have the power to take it again". It may mean Jesus could make the choice to preserve His life right up to the very end. In another version (NASU) John 10.18 is translated, "I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again".

Another more likely interpretation is Jesus meant that he would lay His life down and raise up in the resurrection three days later.

Dave