May 30th

 

Love Growing Cold

 

12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  Matthew 24:12-13 NKJV

 

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 NIV

 

Love is to be the distinguishing trait that sets Christians apart from the rest of the world.  I recall the words of the traditional hymn, “And they will know we are Christians by our love.”  Paul wrote that we are to be “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17-19) and that we are to “do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14) as followers of Christ.

 

It should not surprise us that one of effects of turning away from God is that our love may grow cold.  Jesus linked this with rampant lawlessness in the last days.  When we consider the level of lawlessness in our current society, it should not surprise us that the love of many in the church is growing cold. 

 

I was reminded of this fact just the other day, as I read an email from a woman whose church-going, Bible-scholar-husband of 17 yrs. had recently confessed that he wasn’t sure if he had ever loved her.  His secret porn habit had no doubt been opening the door to the devil’s lies and the deception had finally reached completeness.  Slowly, but surely, love had been draining from his life and marriage until finally he had none left.

 

How could such a thing happen?  The scriptures give us the answer.  Since God is love, we must be connected with God if we are to have love for him and for people (1 John 4:7-8).  The world offers things that cater to our fleshly cravings – lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life (pride in what we have and are).   John wrote:

 

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.  1 John 2:15-16 NIV

 

When we “love” what the world has to offer, we cut ourselves off from God and therefore from the source of true love.  Without God, any love that was in us can evaporate like water in a bowl under the hot desert sun.  At the same time, we can easily fall victim to many of the “love counterfeits” that the world offers. These fall very short of the true love standards Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  For example, many sex addicts embrace lust as a replacement for genuine love.  Lust is based on fantasy, where love is based on truth.  Lust is selfish and unreliable, and is a lousy foundation to build relationships on.  That’s why many marriages and other relationships fall to ruin when sex addiction takes root.

 

If we have loved the things of the world and our love has grown cold, there is hope for recovery in Jesus Christ.  We can commit ourselves to bringing our lives back under God’s Lordship and abiding by his commands.  In doing so, we can re-establish the vital connection with God, our true source of love.  John pointed out that love is made complete in us when we obey God’s word (1 John 2:5).  It will likely take time and perseverance in our renewed walk with God for the love to grow in us.  In some cases it may take years to restore healthy love in us.  If we are patient and trust God in this process, God will heal us.  Some steps to get started include:

 

  1. Pray that God will grant you repentance leading to a full knowledge of the truth so that you can escape from the devil’s trap (2 Timothy 2:25-26 NIV: 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.)
  2. Confess the sin involved and ask for forgiveness through the blood of Christ (see Deal with Sin).
  3. Seek God daily and connect with him through prayer, Bible study and worship.  This is commonly done through a Quiet Time.  It can also greatly help for you to be connected to a group of other committed Christians who will pray for you and encourage you in your walk with Christ.
  4. Ask God to fill you afresh with his love and restore your ability to give and receive love.

 

Questions for further thought:

 

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for showing the world what true love is by sacrificing your Son for us.  I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness of my sins through the blood of Jesus.  If my love has grown cold in any way, please help me reconnect with you and revitalize my love.  Please convict me of any things I am doing which are weakening my love for you and others.  Thank you Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”