April 22nd

Discovering True Love

2fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 14Do all things without complaining and disputing, 16holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.   Philippians 2:2-8,14,16 NKJV 

One of sex sin’s effects on us is that it corrupts our ability to give and receive true love.  Most sex sin involves a strong component of lust, which is the opposite of love.  Where love cares for the needs of others, lust cares only about it’s own gratification.  If we repeatedly feed lust through habitual sin, our love can literally “grow cold,” where we lose the capacity to love.  Jesus commented on this regarding the last days, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12 NIV).  

If you feel that you have grown cold in your love for God and others, there is still hope for recovery with God’s help.  The first step is to confess the sins that have led you into this condition and then ask God to help you discover true love.  Reading the Bible scriptures on love will help you tremendously in the discovery process.  

The above Philippians passage is one such passage on love that is good to review.  It contains some excellent points about love.  These include: 

·        Don’t do anything through selfish ambition or conceit

·        In all things put on humility, esteeming others better than yourself (look to Jesus as the model of perfect humility)

·        Look to the interests of others along with your own interests

·        Do all things without complaining or disputing

·        Hold fast to the word of life 

The areas that Paul emphasized were pride, selfishness and words.  We can quickly get into trouble with these if we are not careful.  

Practical exercise: Jot down a list of all the relationships we have and then ask yourself questions about each of the above points. For example, “Am I being selfish or prideful in this relationship?” or, “Have I been feeding lust through this relationship?” or, “Have I been complaining or arguing with this person?”   Write down the problem areas next to each relationship and then take the list into prayer before the Lord.  Confess the shortcomings and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness.  Then, ask God to help you change course in the relationship and start showing true love. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I confess that I have allowed sin to corrupt my ability to give and receive true love.  Please forgive me from this sin.  Please fill me anew with your love, Jesus.  Please re-ignite my heart in love for you and your people.  Please strengthen me to stomp out every tendency to lust, to be selfish, to be prideful, to complain and to argue.  Please help me to hold fast to your word daily, meeting with you for prayer, Bible study and worship.  I praise you and thank you for your mercy and forgiveness toward me!  In your name I pray, Amen.”