Hard-Wired for Love
Hard-Wired for Love
by Lonnie Lane
We all as Believers are aware that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Any believer with a Bible has always known that verse. But how does God intend for that reality to impact our lives? We recently learned from one of Sid’s guests that we are hard wired for love and anything less than love begins a deterioration process in our bodies and brains. It’s unlikely that Believers knew, until this generation or so, how extensively unloving thoughts cause physical or mental illnesses. With each unloving thought or worry or fear, it causes a physiological response in our bodies and brains. 85% or more of all physical and mental disorders are now thought, at least by some scientists, to be caused by the way we think. Profound, isn’t it? Happily, we have an opportunity to change our body and brain chemistries by changing our thoughts. By aligning our thoughts with God’s Word, we align our destinies with His power and goodness on our behalf. This is filled with promise – in fact, God’s promises! In three weeks of thinking good and godly thoughts, of focusing on the Word instead of worry or fear or anger, we can change our brains. Is that awesome or what? Talk about the Word of God giving “life to our mortal bodies” (Romans 8:11). Maybe as we do that, we can live longer – and better lives – than those who don’t think in Kingdom ways. I’m expecting that to be so.
|It challenged me to really be sure I believe what the Word says.|
We didn’t always know we had that much control of our lives. People have so often been victimized by circumstances seemingly beyond their control. Like with sicknesses. But the Word says that, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3). Do you believe that? Do you believe that whatever you need, no matter what comes your way, God has provided everything for your life in order for you to maintain godliness and fullness of life? I don’t know about you, but that makes me wanna sing Hallelujah. Here’s the key to this being reality: We have to believe it.
I read yesterday where God told one particularly prophetic and influential leader in the Body of Messiah when he was a new believer that he was not to move onto the next verse in the Bible until he believed the one he just read. His faith in what the Word says is what enables him to be so effective for God and of so much help to the church. It challenged me to really be sure I believe what the Word says. I mean I believe it in general. If you asked me I’d tell you, “Sure, I believe every word.” But now I’m working on really believing every line I read. It’s all about believing God, believing His Word and believing in His goodness.
There’s a second half to that 2 Peter 1:3 verse that tells us how we access the “everything pertaining to life and godliness” that’s available to us. Here’s the key to this one: It is “through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” It says, “true knowledge of Him….” What does that mean to you? How do we know what we’re believing is “true knowledge” of Yeshua and that we’re not believing something that isn’t exactly, perfectly, truly, rightly and exact knowledge of Him? And how are we to tell?
One way to tell is to measure our thoughts and relationships against a very foundational statement made by the beloved apostle, John who, after walking with Yeshua some sixty years after his resurrection, summed all he knew of God in the three words we started this article with: “God is love” (1 John ). If there’s one truth about Yeshua, it’s that He loved everyone, even the unlovely. And even the proud, self-righteous leaders who were fixin’ to kill him. He loved unconditionally and He forgave unconditionally. He didn’t wait for any of us to ask for forgiveness. He just loved us enough to take the love all the way down the abuse trail to His last breath when He cried out for their forgiveness. No caveats, no conditions. Just forgiveness. Just love. Even for the ones who murdered Him.
Was He misunderstood? Maligned? Lied about? Discredited? Disregarded as being of any value as a person, let alone the Person He was? Was He shamed? Abused? Abandoned? Ridiculed? Rejected? And beaten by cruel men with no caring for His suffering? And what was His response to it all? Was there any violation against Him that was beyond His mercy? An old friend once taught me “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). It is possible to even sing of such mercy, but if mercy is withheld, and unforgiveness reigns over the mercy, the first part of that verse may be realized instead of the mercy, which says, “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy.” Serious stuff, this unconditional love.
|Is there anything you have suffered that He didn’t?|
Let me ask you, are there any unloving ways in your life, or in your thoughts? Against anyone? Even against yourself? Guess what. Those thoughts are of an anti-Christ spirit. If Yeshua offers us forgiveness, if we hold any unforgiveness against anyone – even ourselves, regardless of the reason, then we are taking a position that is in opposition to Yeshua and all He stands for. Does He stand for righteousness? Of course. Does that mean we have a right to withhold forgiveness because of unrighteousness? If that were so, He would never have forgiven us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us” (Romans 5:8). Is there anything you have suffered that He didn’t?
Yeshua said, “He who is not with me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11;23). So if you hold anything against some one, especially someone who is a believer whom He has forgiven, and again I say, including yourself, then you are taking a position against Yeshua. That’s a dangerous place to be. He doesn’t like when we hold anything against anyone He loves, even if it’s ourselves. As we have brought up before, a few of Sid’s guests have been to hell and Yeshua sent them back to warn of its reality. While there, more than one of them met and even had conversations with persons they knew as Christians in this life. In one case it was a man who was the pastor of a large church. When Yeshua was asked why this man was in hell, Yeshua dropped His head as if in deep sorrow and said, “There was someONE he would not forgive.” Just one person. This man held his own anger and unforgiveness in a higher place than the blood of Yeshua that brings forgiveness. He stood against Yeshua, counting his feelings of offense as greater than Yeshua’s offer of forgiveness. This meant that Yeshua was not Lord of this mans’ life. It meant that he was actually in unbelief that Yeshua died to forgive all men, including the one he chose not to forgive. Unbelievers don’t go to heaven. (Selah.) No matter what the offense, Yeshua’s words ring out through the ages, “Forgive them, Father, for they know now what they do.” Then we must make the choice to be “with Him” and forgive as He did or suffer the consequences.
Why am I writing this serious stuff? Because God has it heavy on my heart to bring a word of exhortation that nothing – No Thing – is worth holding on to when it may cost us Him, and worse, send us to eternity without Him. We live in a time when the world is increasingly ungodly and unloving. But God has set His Body upon a hill to be a light in the darkness. Since He is the Light of the world, what light we exude is reflected light – it comes from Him. He shines through us by His indwelling presence. Just as darkness is the absence of light, so lawlessness is the absence of love. He told us that there will come a time, when “because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). We really don’t know when that will be. Prophecy is almost always conditional. We could accept that it’s now and give in to it. Or we can be agents of change for God and turn the trend toward lawlessness to godliness.
We can be the Light-bearers, the hope-givers, the comfort-bringers and the forgiveness-offerers. Today, we, as the people of God, if we are to truly follow Yeshua for Who He is, will be people of love and forgiveness, mercy and generosity of spirit. If we are not, we will undoubtedly contribute to the darkness. It matters not if we are gifted, anointed, or called. Because what the gifting of a person can produce, the character of the person can destroy. On the other hand, persons who walk in the integrity and godly character of Yeshua can change the destiny of their own lives and those of the lives they influence. It always amazes me how one person can influence so many and turn the tide of history, for individuals or for nations, either for good or for evil. Let’s commit to finding and really believing what the Bible tells us about Yeshua and what He said and did and allow Him to be those things through us to the world around us. For one thing, we can be the people who uncompromisingly take no offence nor hold anyone or any people group, be it racial, social or economic, or even spiritual in derision, contempt or unforgiveness. In committing to this, we fulfill the calling of God “who reconciled us to Himself through Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18). The world needs to be reconciled to God. We have a job to do.
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2010.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.