Today is Independence Day – July 4th. A day to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. And a time to remember, reflect and appreciate the liberties and freedoms our nation’s forefathers have granted us. America – the land of the free and the home of the brave.
But, instead of just declaring today a day of ‘Independence’, how about rephrasing this day and include another declaration – The Declaration of Love.
Why? Let’s see.
It could be said that freedom is not the panacea or the ‘quick fix’ to answer life’s dilemmas. To justify that claim, the following words were written by a man sitting in a prison cell awaiting imminent execution:
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Ephesians 3:19, 5:1-2
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Colossians 1:3-4, 3:19
I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; Philemon 1:4-5, 9
Was freedom resident in Paul’s jail cell when he penned these words? Definitely not. Was love present here in this jailhouse? Oh, yes most definitely.
Freedom is not the issue here. Love is.
The Root of the Problem – Love
The problems of life, the turmoil of life, the conflicts of life and the calamities of life are rooted and intertwined by a single, common thread – a love problem. It is all about love and a love problem.
At the root, the core of the problems we face in the world is that most of us have or had a warped, distorted, and flawed perception of the true meaning of love. The entertainment and music industry projects and promotes a flawed concept of what true love is. This love projected by the world is fleshly, sensual and cheap. Why? Because flesh sells. And true love cannot be bought nor merchandised.
True love, real love can only be found at its source. And God is that source through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the source. Jesus is our interface between the heaven and the earth. Jesus is the manifestation of God in flesh, love in bodily form:
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. I John 4:8
It is interesting to note that this great God, this God who ‘is love‘ never knew what it was like to ‘be loved‘. Until now.
We love him, because he first loved us. I John 4:19
For it takes knowing true love to truly love.
There is a startling discovery to be made into this endeavor, this quest to find true love. It can be found:
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:15-16
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Proverbs 8:17
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. Jeremiah 29:13-14
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17
Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s ‘Declaration of Love’ to all of humankind.
I declare today, and by God’s grace, every day onward to love the Lord God with all of my being and my neighbor as myself:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40
The Declaration of Love – Happy July 4th 2017