Love Is The Goal!
Paul always taught the principles that Jesus taught. Loving God and loving our neighbor is one of these teachings.
In 1 Tim 1:5 Paul says to Timothy that love is the goal of the commandment. The commandment that just precedes this statement is"
"Command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith. 5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
He is saying that if men have pure love they will never teach false doctrine, nor do anything to harm the kingdom of God. What these "teachers" needed was a revival of Christ's love in their hearts.
He is teaching here that three things will characterize those who have God's love.
What is a pure heart?
Psalm 24:4: He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
Psalm 51:9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
A heart filled with pure love; No hypocrisy. No hidden agendas, No insincerity, but pure (agape) love for everyone. Jesus said:
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
What is a good conscience?
A conscience trained by the standard of pure Christ-like love. Paul's example of a good conscience is this: "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." He also wrote "Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace."
No offense toward God or man that has not been confessed and repented of and forgiven. The slightest offense not forgiven causes the conscience to pain and hinders our love.
What is a sincere faith?
No hypocrisy, no facade, no mask. The faith has to be in Jesus. Not in our own wisdom and pride or even in our church or pastor. Total commitment and trust in God. God is the source of our love and faith, if we are not fully committed to him his love cannot work in our lives.
How can you know that you have this kind of love? How is our love tested?
Here is how Jesus' was tested:
Matt 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
The first temptation was a test to see how much love we have for physical satisfaction.
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
This was Jesus' answer. It showed that his highest love was not for physical things but for God's word.
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"
The second temptation was to determine how much love we have for emotional satisfaction.
7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
This was Jesus' answer. I t showed that Jesus first love was not on himself, but on God.
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down
and worship me."
The third was to determine how much love we have for God.
10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"
This was Jesus' answer. It showed that His highest love was for God his Father.
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
If you are responding, as you ought to the pressures of life, God's angels will minister to you too.
Our trials and temptations test us every day. How are you doing? Check out how you are reacting to the choices of everyday life.
My prayer for you, personally, is: Lord, please make my friend more like Jesus every day. Amen.