Monday, April 13, 2015

The fiercest of loves

If the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of fiery undying love is an epic Hollywood romance, think again. Love by the world’s standards is not as strong as death. Not even close. What people call love is usually just an emotional obsession, the kind of thing that causes couples to throw away common sense and blindly pursue their urges. Unwanted pregnancies, abusive relationships and broken marriages usually start off with this blazing flame of emotion that they thought was love. Even suicide pacts are labeled as acts of “love,” and sadly, death was definitely stronger than their obsessions. 

But one thing is certain, when God refers to love—even fiery passionate love—He’s talking about something greater, higher, more powerful, and eternal. That’s the love that He is — as the Bible says, God is love.  

Jesus, who was God in the form of a man, willingly died in the most accursed and repugnant way. There was no guilt or sin in Him, and though He had the power and the right to fight back and stop his execution with a single word, He didn’t. He so loved us, that He counted it joy to die in our place. That’s the supernatural love that the Song of Solomon means when it says that love is as strong as death. In fact, Jesus’ love was stronger than death. That pure blazing love that God has for us is what propelled Jesus out of the grave. Like two opposing magnetic forces, the purity of Jesus’ love made it impossible for hell and death to hold Him in the tomb. His fiery love for us broke the chains of Satan. He broke the power of sin, death, sickness, pain and evil. Now we have access to heaven, as long as we die to ourselves and live for Him.  

The love that burns demons, crushes the head of Satan and carries us into God’s pure presence, is the love that we are commanded to live in and display every day. The command to love your enemies, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, isn’t the wimpy, doormat kind of love that the world sees. It’s the chance to submerge ourselves in the supernatural power that death and hell cannot swallow up. The daily sacrifice of our flesh—simply because we love Him and are eternally grateful for His mercy—clothes us in that fiery power. Demons cringe and run when our commitment to God is unrelenting. The floods and storms of the devil’s attacks can’t quench it. Supernatural love is a fearsome weapon against evil, and a healing strength for those who belong to God.

God wants to be a seal over our hearts. Our small sacrifice of picking up our cross and following Him mirrors His own sacrificial love—the fiercest of loves that repels the powers of the devil.    

Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death; ardent love is as unrelenting as Sheol. Love’s flames are fiery flames—the fiercest of all. Mighty waters cannot extinguish love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If a man were to give all his wealth for love, it would be utterly scorned. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7 HCSB)

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