Love

   
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LOVE

I. GOD IS LOVE

1. God’s reactions are always those of divine affection.

“‘God is love’; therefore his only personal attitude towards the affairs of the universe is always a reaction of divine affection. The Father loves us sufficiently to bestow his life upon us. ‘He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.’” (38.6) 2:5.1 1 John 4:8.

2. True and dynamic love comes from God.

“All true love is from God, and man receives the divine affection as he himself bestows this love upon his fellows. Love is dynamic. It can never be captured; it is alive, free, thrilling, and always moving. Man can never take the love of the Father and imprison it within his heart. The Father’s love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man’s personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows.” (1289.3) 117:6.10

3. How the divine love is revealed.

“The great circuit of love is from the Father, through sons to brothers, and hence to the Supreme. The love of the Father appears in the mortal personality by the ministry of the indwelling Adjuster. Such a God-knowing son reveals this love to his universe brethren, and this fraternal affection is the essence of the love of the Supreme.” (1289.3) 117:6.10

4. Restrained justice proves the love of God.

“Supreme justice can act instantly when not restrained by divine mercy. But the ministry of mercy to the children of time and space always provides for this time lag, this saving interval between seedtime and harvest. If the seed sowing is good, this interval provides for the testing and upbuilding of character; if the seed sowing is evil, this merciful delay provides time for repentance and rectification. This time delay in the adjudication and execution of evildoers is inherent in the mercy ministry of the seven superuniverses. This restraint of justice by mercy proves that God is love, and that such a God of love dominates the universes and in mercy controls the fate and judgment of all his creatures.” (616.5) 54:4.6

5. A divine lover lives in man.

“Unless a divine lover lived in man, he could not unselfishly and spiritually love. Unless an interpreter lived in the mind, man could not truly realize the unity of the universe. Unless an evaluator dwelt with man, he could not possibly appraise moral values and recognize spiritual meanings. And this lover hails from the very source of infinite love; this interpreter is a part of Universal Unity; this evaluator is the child of the Center and Source of all absolute values of divine and eternal reality.” (2094.15) 196:3.16

II. LOVE IS AN ATTRIBUTE OF PERSONALITY

1. Love is the secret of personal associations.

“Love is the secret of beneficial association between personalities. You cannot really know a person as the result of a single contact. You cannot appreciatingly know music through mathematical deduction, even though music is a form of mathematical rhythm. The number assigned to a telephone subscriber does not in any manner identify the personality of that subscriber or signify anything concerning his character.” (141.3) 12:9.2

2. We may admire beauty. We love only persons.

“The concept of truth might possibly be entertained apart from personality, the concept of beauty may exist without personality, but the concept of divine goodness is understandable only in relation to personality. Only a person can love and be loved. Even beauty and truth would be divorced from survival hope if they were not attributes of a personal God, a loving Father.” (31.3) 1:7.3

3. Combined wisdom and love control God’s actions.

“Nevertheless, the Father as a person may at any time interpose a fatherly hand in the stream of cosmic events all in accordance with the will of God and in consonance with the wisdom of God and as motivated by the love of God.” (1305.1) 118:10.6

III. JESUS REVEALS GOD’S LOVE

1. Jesus revealed a God of love.

“The Hebrews based their religion on goodness; the Greeks on beauty; both religions sought truth. Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness.” (67.4) 5:4.6

2. Divine love related to God, man, and the Supreme.

“Michael, a creator, revealed the divine love of the Creator Father for his terrestrial children. And having discovered and received this divine affection, men can aspire to reveal this love to their brethren in the flesh. Such creature affection is a true reflection of the love of the Supreme." (1279.6) 117:1.8

3. Jesus’ concept of God’s love.

“Though many of the temple rituals very touchingly impressed his sense of the beautiful and the symbolic, he was always disappointed by the explanation of the real meanings of these ceremonies which his parents would offer in answer to his many searching inquiries. Jesus simply would not accept explanations of worship and religious devotion which involved belief in the wrath of God or the anger of the Almighty. In further discussion of these questions, after the conclusion of the temple visit, when his father became mildly insistent that he acknowledge acceptance of the orthodox Jewish beliefs, Jesus turned suddenly upon his parents and, looking appealingly into the eyes of his father, said: ‘My father, it cannot be true—the Father in heaven cannot so regard his erring children on earth. The heavenly Father cannot love his children less than you love me. And I well know, no matter what unwise thing I might do, you would never pour out wrath upon me nor vent anger against me. If you, my earthly father, possess such human reflections of the Divine, how much more must the heavenly Father be filled with goodness and overflowing with mercy. I refuse to believe that my Father in heaven loves me less than my father on earth.’” (1378.1) 125:0.6

IV. GOD’S LOVE FOR US AND OUR WORLD

1. Our world is lovingly fostered.

“Your planet is a member of an enormous cosmos; you belong to a well-nigh infinite family of worlds, but your sphere is just as precisely administered and just as lovingly fostered as if it were the only inhabited world in all existence.” (183.1) 15:14.9

2. Planetary isolation does not lessen God’s love.

“Your isolated world is not forgotten in the counsels of the universe. Urantia is not a cosmic orphan stigmatized by sin and shut away from divine watchcare by rebellion. From Uversa to Salvington and on down to Jerusem, even in Havona and on Paradise, they all know we are here; and you mortals now dwelling on Urantia are just as lovingly cherished and just as faithfully watched over as if the sphere had never been betrayed by a faithless Planetary Prince, even more so. It is eternally true, ‘the Father himself loves you.’” (1259.2) 114:7.17 John 16:27.

3. God’s love is individualized for each creature.

“The love of the Father absolutely individualizes each personality as a unique child of the Universal Father, a child without duplicate in infinity, a will creature irreplaceable in all eternity. The Father’s love glorifies each child of God, illuminating each member of the celestial family, sharply silhouetting the unique nature of each personal being against the impersonal levels that lie outside the fraternal circuit of the Father of all. The love of God strikingly portrays the transcendent value of each will creature, unmistakably reveals the high value which the Universal Father has placed upon each and every one of his children from the highest creator personality of Paradise status to the lowest personality of will dignity among the savage tribes of men in the dawn of the human species on some evolutionary world of time and space.” (138.4) 12:7.9

4. God as a father transcends God as a judge.

“The affectionate heavenly Father, whose spirit indwells his children on earth, is not a divided personality—one of justice and one of mercy—neither does it require a mediator to secure the Father’s favor or forgiveness. Divine righteousness is not dominated by strict retributive justice; God as a father transcends God as a judge.” (41.4) 2:6.6

5. God’s love follows us through the eternal ages.

“The Father’s love follows us now and throughout the endless circle of the eternal ages. As you ponder the loving nature of God, there is only one reasonable and natural personality reaction thereto: You will increasingly love your Maker; you will yield to God an affection analogous to that given by a child to an earthly parent; for, as a father, a real father, a true father, loves his children, so the Universal Father loves and forever seeks the welfare of his created sons and daughters.” (40.1) 2:5.9

6. Magnitude of the Father’s love.

“‘Because my Father is a God of love and delights in the practice of mercy, do not imbibe the idea that the service of the kingdom is to be one of monotonous ease. The Paradise ascent is the supreme adventure of all time, the rugged achievement of eternity. The service of the kingdom on earth will call for all the courageous manhood that you and your coworkers can muster. Many of you will be put to death for your loyalty to the gospel of this kingdom. It is easy to die in the line of physical battle when your courage is strengthened by the presence of your fighting comrades, but it requires a higher and more profound form of human courage and devotion calmly and all alone to lay down your life for the love of a truth enshrined in your mortal heart.

“‘Today, the unbelievers may taunt you with preaching a gospel of nonresistance and with living lives of nonviolence, but you are the first volunteers of a long line of sincere believers in the gospel of this kingdom who will astonish all mankind by their heroic devotion to these teachings. No armies of the world have ever displayed more courage and bravery than will be portrayed by you and your loyal successors who shall go forth to all the world proclaiming the good news—the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men. The courage of the flesh is the lowest form of bravery. Mind bravery is a higher type of human courage, but the highest and supreme is uncompromising loyalty to the enlightened convictions of profound spiritual realities. And such courage constitutes the heroism of the God-knowing man. And you are all God-knowing men; you are in very truth the personal associates of the Son of Man.’” (1608.3) 143:1.6

V. FATHERLY AND BROTHERLY LOVE

1. Fatherly and brotherly affection.

“From the Sermon on the Mount to the discourse of the Last Supper, Jesus taught his followers to manifest fatherly love rather than brotherly love. Brotherly love would love your neighbor as you love yourself, and that would be adequate fulfillment of the ‘golden rule.’ But fatherly affection would require that you should love your fellow mortals as Jesus loves you.” (1573.3) 140:5.1

2. Jesus loves both as father and brother.

“Jesus loves mankind with a dual affection. He lived on earth as a twofold personality—human and divine. As the Son of God he loves man with a fatherly love—he is man’s Creator, his universe Father. As the Son of Man, Jesus loves mortals as a brother—he was truly a man among men.” (1573.4) 140:5.2

3. The nature of fatherly love.

“‘When a wise man understands the inner impulses of his fellows, he will love them. And when you love your brother, you have already forgiven him. This capacity to understand man’s nature and forgive his apparent wrong-doing is Godlike. If you are wise parents, this is the way you will love and understand your children, even forgive them when transient misunderstanding has apparently separated you. The child, being immature and lacking in the fuller understanding of the depth of the child-father relationship, must frequently feel a sense of guilty separation from a father’s full approval, but the true father is never conscious of any such separation. Sin is an experience of creature consciousness; it is not a part of God’s consciousness.’” (1898.4) 174:1.4

4. God deals with us as a father.

“God the Father deals with man his child on the basis, not of actual virtue or worthiness, but in recognition of the child’s motivation—the creature purpose and intent. The relationship is one of parent-child association and is actuated by divine love.” (1133.5) 103:4.5

VI. THE GROWTH OF LOVE

1. Love of God displaces the fear of God.

“‘The “fear of the Lord” has had different meanings in the successive ages, coming up from fear, through anguish and dread, to awe and reverence. And now from reverence I would lead you up, through recognition, realization, and appreciation, to love. When man recognizes only the works of God, he is led to fear the Supreme; but when man begins to understand and experience the personality and character of the living God, he is led increasingly to love such a good and perfect, universal and eternal Father. And it is just this changing of the relation of man to God that constitutes the mission of the Son of Man on earth.’” (1675.4) 149:6.3 Prov 1:7; 9:10. Ps 111:10. Job 28:28.

2. How love overcomes fear.

“‘Your forebears feared God because he was mighty and mysterious. You shall adore him because he is magnificent in love, plenteous in mercy, and glorious in truth. The power of God engenders fear in the heart of man, but the nobility and righteousness of his personality beget reverence, love, and willing worship. A dutiful and affectionate son does not fear or dread even a mighty and noble father.’” (1675.4) 149:6.3

3. Jesus comes to put love in place of fear.

“‘I have come into the world to put love in the place of fear, joy in the place of sorrow, confidence in the place of dread, loving service and appreciative worship in the place of slavish bondage and meaningless ceremonies. But it is still true of those who sit in darkness that 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' But when the light has more fully come, the sons of God are led to praise the Infinite for what he is rather than to fear him for what he does.’” (1675.6) 149:6.5  Ps 111:10.

4. Command to love instead of fear.

“You have been taught that you should 'fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of man.' But I have come to give you a new and higher commandment. I would teach you to 'love God and learn to do his will, for that is the highest privilege of the liberated sons of God.' Your fathers were taught to 'fear God—the Almighty King.' I teach you, 'Love God—the all-merciful Father.’” (1676.1) 149:6.7 Eccl 12:13.

5. Love must grow to meet new conditions.

“Love, unselfishness, must undergo a constant and living readaptative interpretation of relationships in accordance with the leading of the Spirit of Truth. Love must thereby grasp the ever-changing and enlarging concepts of the highest cosmic good of the individual who is loved. And then love goes on to strike this same attitude concerning all other individuals who could possibly be influenced by the growing and living relationship of one spirit-led mortal’s love for other citizens of the universe. And this entire living adaptation of love must be effected in the light of both the environment of present evil and the eternal goal of the perfection of divine destiny.” (1950.5) 180:5.10
“God’s gifts—his bestowal of reality—are not divorcements from himself; he does not alienate creation from himself, but he has set up tensions in the creations circling Paradise. God first loves man and confers upon him the potential of immortality—eternal reality. And as man loves God, so does man become eternal in actuality. And here is mystery: The more closely man approaches God through love, the greater the reality—actuality—of that man. The more man withdraws from God, the more nearly he approaches nonreality—cessation of existence. When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father’s will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is.” (1285.3) 117:4.14

7. Growth of love is unconscious.

“Man cannot cause growth, but he can supply favorable conditions. Growth is always unconscious, be it physical, intellectual, or spiritual. Love thus grows; it cannot be created, manufactured, or purchased; it must grow. Evolution is a cosmic technique of growth. Social growth cannot be secured by legislation, and moral growth is not had by improved administration. Man may manufacture a machine, but its real value must be derived from human culture and personal appreciation. Man’s sole contribution to growth is the mobilization of the total powers of his personality—living faith.” (1097.4) 100:3.7

8. Ceaseless expansion of divine love.

“The ceaseless and expanding march of the Paradise creative forces through space seems to presage the ever-extending domain of the gravity grasp of the Universal Father and the never-ending multiplication of varied types of intelligent creatures who are able to love God and be loved by him, and who, by thus becoming God-knowing, may choose to be like him, may elect to attain Paradise and find God.” (645.8) 56:9.13

VII. LOVING OUR FELLOW MEN

1. Only God-knowers can love others as themselves.

“Unselfish social consciousness must be, at bottom, a religious consciousness; that is, if it is objective; otherwise it is a purely subjective philosophic abstraction and therefore devoid of love. Only a God-knowing individual can love another person as he loves himself.” (196.4) 16:9.8

2. Jesus asks us to love even our enemies.

“‘I say to you: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them.’” (1571.2) 140:3.15 Matt 5:44. Luke 6:27,28,35.

3. Loving others as a way of life.

“Throughout the vicissitudes of life, remember always to love one another. Do not strive with men, even with unbelievers. Show mercy even to those who despitefully abuse you. Show yourselves to be loyal citizens, upright artisans, praiseworthy neighbors, devoted kinsmen, understanding parents, and sincere believers in the brotherhood of the Father’s kingdom. And my spirit shall be upon you, now and even to the end of the world.” (1932.2) 178:1.17

4. Each day learn to love one more person.

“You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man.” (1098.3) 100:4.6

5. Love is never self-seeking.

“You are destined to live a narrow and mean life if you learn to love only those who love you. Human love may indeed be reciprocal, but divine love is outgoing in all its satisfaction-seeking. The less of love in any creature’s nature, the greater the love need, and the more does divine love seek to satisfy such need. Love is never self-seeking, and it cannot be self-bestowed. Divine love cannot be self-contained; it must be unselfishly bestowed.” (1739.6) 156:5.11

VIII. HOW WE EXPERIENCE GOD’S LOVE

1. The religionist knows a God of love.

“The fact-seeking scientist conceives of God as the First Cause, a God of force. The emotional artist sees God as the ideal of beauty, a God of aesthetics. The reasoning philosopher is sometimes inclined to posit a God of universal unity, even a pantheistic Deity. The religionist of faith believes in a God who fosters survival, the Father in heaven, the God of love.” (68.6) 5:5.3

2. Our faith trusts a God of love.

“The religionist of philosophic attainment has faith in a personal God of personal salvation, something more than a reality, a value, a level of achievement, an exalted process, a transmutation,ultimate of time-space, an idealization, the personalization of energy, the entity of gravity, a human projection, the idealization of self, nature’s upthrust, the inclination to goodness, the forward impulse of evolution, or a sublime hypothesis. The religionist has faith in a God of love. Love is the essence of religion and the wellspring of superior civilization.” (1124.5) 102:6.3

3. The experience of feeling God’s love.

“Mortal man cannot possibly know the infinitude of the heavenly Father. Finite mind cannot think through such an absolute truth or fact. But this same finite human being can actually feel—literally experience—the full and undiminished impact of such an infinite Father’s LOVE. Such a love can be truly experienced, albeit while quality of experience is unlimited, quantity of such an experience is strictly limited by the human capacity for spiritual receptivity and by the associated capacity to love the Father in return.” (50.4) 3:4.6

4. Love is man’s dearest approach to God.

“Finite appreciation of infinite qualities far transcends the logically limited capacities of the creature because of the fact that mortal man is made in the image of God—there lives within him a fragment of infinity. Therefore man’s nearest and dearest approach to God is by and through love, for God is love. And all of such a unique relationship is an actual experience in cosmic sociology, the Creator-creature relationship—the Father-child affection.” (50.5) 3:4.7

5. Enjoy love regardless of your deserts.

“Avoid dishonesty and unfairness in all your efforts to preach truth and proclaim the gospel. Seek no unearned recognition and crave no undeserved sympathy. Love, freely receive from both divine and human sources regardless of your deserts, and love freely in return. But in all other things related to honor and adulation seek only that which honestly belongs to you.” (1740.6) 156:5.19

IX. HOW JESUS LOVED MEN

1. Jesus’ love for men was sincere.

“Jesus could help men so much because he loved them so sincerely. He truly loved each man, each woman, and each child. He could be such a true friend because of his remarkable insight—he knew so fully what was in the heart and in the mind of man. He was an interested and keen observer. He was an expert in the comprehension of human need, clever in detecting human longings.”

2. How Jesus loved men.

“Jesus was never in a hurry. He had time to comfort his fellow men ‘as he passed by.’ And he always made his friends feel at ease. He was a charming listener. He never engaged in the meddlesome probing of the souls of his associates. As he comforted hungry minds and ministered to thirsty souls, the recipients of his mercy did not so much feel that they were confessing to him as that they were conferring with him. They had unbounded confidence in him because they saw he had so much faith in them.

“He never seemed to be curious about people, and he never manifested a desire to direct, manage, or follow them up. He inspired profound self-confidence and robust courage in all who enjoyed his association. When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.” (1874.7) 171:7.4 Mark 2:14. John 9:1.

3. Jesus’ love was so real he could discipline men.

“Jesus loved men so much and so wisely that he never hesitated to be severe with them when the occasion demanded such discipline. He frequently set out to help a person by asking for help. In this way he elicited interest, appealed to the better things in human nature.” (1875.2) 171:7.7

4. Living in Jesus’ love.

“‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Live in my love even as I live in the Father’s love. If you do as I have taught you, you shall abide in my love even as I have kept the Father’s word and evermore abide in his love.’” (1945.5) 180:2.2 John 15:9,10.

5. We are to love as Jesus loved.

“In fact, the branch exists only for, and can do nothing except, fruit bearing, yielding grapes. So does the true believer exist only for the purpose of bearing the fruits of the spirit: to love man as he himself has been loved by God—that we should love one another, even as Jesus has loved us.” (1946.3) 180:2.5 John 13:34.

6. Why we should love one another.

“‘But remember my promise: When I am raised up, I will tarry with you for a season before I go to the Father. And even this night will I make supplication to the Father that he strengthen each of you for that which you must now so soon pass through. I love you all with the love wherewith the Father loves me, and therefore should you henceforth love one another, even as I have loved you.’”(1962.5) 181:2.30  John 15:12.

7. The power of Jesus’ personal love.

“Jesus, by the power of his personal love for men, could break the hold of sin and evil. He thereby set men free to choose better ways of living. Jesus portrayed a deliverance from the past which in itself promised a triumph for the future. Forgiveness thus provided salvation. The beauty of divine love, once fully admitted to the human heart, forever destroys the charm of sin and the power of evil.” (2018.2) 188:5.3

8. God’s love as related to the cross.

“The cross forever shows that the attitude of Jesus toward sinners was neither condemnation nor condonation, but rather eternal and loving salvation. Jesus is truly a savior in the sense that his life and death do win men over to goodness and righteous survival. Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart. Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. Jesus’ death on the cross exemplifies a love which is sufficiently strong and divine to forgive sin and swallow up all evil-doing. Jesus disclosed to this world a higher quality of righteousness than justice—mere technical right and wrong. Divine love does not merely forgive wrongs; it absorbs and actually destroys them. The forgiveness of love utterly transcends the forgiveness of mercy. Mercy sets the guilt of evil-doing to one side; but love destroys forever the sin and all weakness resulting therefrom. Jesus brought a new method of living to Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a goodness which effectually destroys evil. The forgiveness of Jesus is not condonation; it is salvation from condemnation. Salvation does not slight wrongs; it makes them right. True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it. The love of Jesus is never satisfied with mere forgiveness. The Master’s love implies rehabilitation, eternal survival. It is altogether proper to speak of salvation as redemption if you mean this eternal rehabilitation.” (2018.1) 188:5.2

X. ERRONEOUS IDEAS ABOUT GOD’S LOVE

1. The Sons of God not mediators for man.

“The ministry of the Eternal Son is devoted to the revelation of the God of love to the universe of universes. This divine Son is not engaged in the ignoble task of trying to persuade his gracious Father to love his lowly creatures and to show mercy to the wrongdoers of time. How wrong to envisage the Eternal Son as appealing to the Universal Father to show mercy to his lowly creatures on the material worlds of space! Such concepts of God are crude and grotesque. Rather should you realize that all the merciful ministrations of the Sons of God are a direct revelation of the Father’s heart of universal love and infinite compassion. The Father’s love is the real and eternal source of the Son’s mercy.” (75.9) 6:3.4

2. Sacrifice not required to enlist God’s love.

“It is wrong to think of God as being coaxed into loving his children because of the sacrifices of his Sons or the intercession of his subordinate creatures, ‘for the Father himself loves you.’ It is in response to this paternal affection that God sends the marvelous Adjusters to indwell the minds of men. God’s love is universal; ‘whosoever will may come.’ He would ‘have all men be saved by coming into the knowledge of the truth.’ He is ‘not willing that any should perish.’

“The Creators are the very first to attempt to save man from the disastrous results of his foolish transgression of the divine laws. God’s love is by nature a fatherly affection; therefore does he sometimes ‘chasten us for our own profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.’ Even during your fiery trials remember that ‘in all our afflictions he is afflicted with us.’” (39.1) 2:5.2 John 16:27. Acts 2:21. 1 Tim 2:4. 2 Peter 3:9. Heb 12:6,10. Isa 63:9.

3. Origin of the atonement doctrine.

“Righteousness implies that God is the source of the moral law of the universe. Truth exhibits God as a revealer, as a teacher. But love gives and craves affection, seeks understanding fellowship such as exists between parent and child. Righteousness may be the divine thought, but love is a father’s attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophic assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of God.” (41.3) 2:6.5

4. Atonement idea an insult to God.

“The bestowal of a Paradise Son on your world was inherent in the situation of closing a planetary age; it was inescapable, and it was not made necessary for the purpose of winning the favor of God. This bestowal also happened to be the final personal act of a Creator Son in the long adventure of earning the experiential sovereignty of his universe. What a travesty upon the infinite character of God! this teaching that his fatherly heart in all its austere coldness and hardness was so untouched by the misfortunes and sorrows of his creatures that his tender mercies were not forthcoming until he saw his blameless Son bleeding and dying upon the cross of Calvary!” (60.5) 4:5.6

5. Anger and wrath in relation to love.

“‘Anger is a material manifestation which represents, in a general way, the measure of the failure of the spiritual nature to gain control of the combined intellectual and physical natures. Anger indicates your lack of tolerant brotherly love plus your lack of self-respect and self-control. Anger depletes the health, debases the mind, and handicaps the spirit teacher of man’s soul. Have you not read in the Scriptures that “wrath kills the foolish man,” and that man “tears himself in his anger”? That “he who is slow of wrath is of great understanding,” while “he who is hasty of temper exalts folly”? You all know that “a soft answer turns away wrath, “ and how “grievous words stir up anger.” “Discretion defers anger,” while “he who has no control over his own self is like a defenseless city without walls.” “Wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous.” “Angry men stir up strife, while the furious multiply their transgressions.” “Be not hasty in spirit, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.”’ Before Jesus ceased speaking, he said further: ‘Let your hearts be so dominated by love that your spirit guide will have little trouble in delivering you from the tendency to give vent to those outbursts of animal anger which are inconsistent with the status of divine sonship.’” (1673.2) 149:4.2 Job 5:2; 18:4. Prov 14:29; 15:1; 19:11; 25:28; 27:4; 29:22. Eccl 7:9.

6. Losing sight of God’s love.

“When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes merely the kingdom of good. Notwithstanding the infinite unity of the divine nature, love is the dominant characteristic of all God’s personal dealings with his creatures.” (40.4) 2:5.12

7. We must not presume on God’s love.

“But Jesus earnestly warned his apostles against the foolishness of the child of God who presumes upon the Father’s love. He declared that the heavenly Father is not a lax, loose, or foolishly indulgent parent who is ever ready to condone sin and forgive recklessness. He cautioned his hearers not mistakenly to apply his illustrations of father and son so as to make it appear that God is like some overindulgent and unwise parents who conspire with the foolish of earth to encompass the moral undoing of their thoughtless children, and who are thereby certainly and directly contributing to the delinquency and early demoralization of their own off-spring. Said Jesus: ‘My Father does not indulgently condone those acts and practices of his children which are self-destructive and suicidal to all moral growth and spiritual progress. Such sinful practices are an abomination in the sight of God.’” (1653.3) 147:5.9

8. Job comprehends God’s love.

“‘Job was altogether right when he challenged the doctrine that God afflicts children in order to punish their parents. Job was ever ready to admit that God is righteous, but he longed for some soul-satisfying revelation of the personal character of the Eternal. And that is our mission on earth. No more shall suffering mortals be denied the comfort of knowing the love of God and understanding the mercy of the Father in heaven. While the speech of God spoken from the whirlwind was a majestic concept for the day of its utterance, you have already learned that the Father does not thus reveal himself, but rather that he speaks within the human heart as a still, small voice, saying, “This is the way; walk therein.” Do you not comprehend that God dwells within you, that he has become what you are that he may make you what he is!’” (1664.2) 148:6.10

XI. CHARACTERISTIC MANIFESTATIONS OF LOVE

1. Love is man’s supreme motivation.

“Religious insight possesses the power of turning defeat into higher desires and new determinations. Love is the highest motivation which man may utilize in his universe ascent. But love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness, is only a sentiment, a philosophic distortion, a psychic illusion, a spiritual deception. Love must always be redefined on successive levels of morontia and spirit progression.” (2096.5) 196:3.29

2. True religion is a living love.

“But true religion is a living love, a life of service. The religionist’s detachment from much that is purely temporal and trivial never leads to social isolation, and it should not destroy the sense of humor. Genuine religion takes nothing away from human existence, but it does add new meanings to all of life; it generates new types of enthusiasm, zeal, and courage. It may even engender the spirit of the crusader, which is more than dangerous if not controlled by spiritual insight and loyal devotion to the commonplace social obligations of human loyalties.” (1100.7) 100:6.5

3. Love is doing good to others.

“To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom. The advanced mortals on a world in the seventh stage of light and life have learned that love is the greatest thing in the universe—and they know that God is love.
“Love is the desire to do good to others.” (648.3) 56:10.20

4. Reality of Spirit affection.

“‘The love of the Spirit’ is real, as also are his sorrows; therefore ‘Grieve not the Spirit of God.’ Whether we observe the Infinite Spirit as Paradise Deity or as a local universe Creative Spirit, we find that the Conjoint Creator is not only the Third Source and Center but also a divine person. This divine personality also reacts to the universe as a person. The Spirit speaks to you, ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says.’ ‘The Spirit himself makes intercession for you.’ The Spirit exerts a direct and personal influence upon created beings, ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’” (96.6) 8:6.4 Eph 4:30. Rev 13:9. Rom 8:26; 8:14.

5. God the Father loves men.

“God the Father loves men; God the Son serves men; God the Spirit inspires the children of the universe to the ever-ascending adventure of finding God the Father by the ways ordained by God the Sons through the ministry of the grace of God the Spirit.” (53.6) 3:6.8

LOVE AS PRESENTED IN THE BIBLE

I. DIVINE LOVE

1. God is love.

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God.” 1 John 4:16.

2. God’s love is personal.

“The Father himself loves you.” John 16:27.

3. God’s love is everlasting—eternal.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jer 31:3.

4. God protects and prospers those who love him.

“Endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.” Prov 8:21.

“May they prosper who love you.” Ps 122:6.

5. The Lord loves us as children.

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God.” 1 John 3:1.

6. God loves us first.

“We love, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.

7. God loves those who hate evil.

“Hate evil, and love good...the Lord...will be gracious.” Amos 5:15.

“The Lord loves those who hate evil.” Ps 97:10.

8. God disciplines those whom he loves.

“Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten.” Rev 3:19. (Prov 3:12.)

“For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves.” Heb 12:6.

9. God’s love ministered by the Holy Spirit.

“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” Rom 5:5.

10. God gives love—not timidity and fear.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim 1:7.

11. There is no fear in love.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18.

12. God loves a cheerful giver.

“For God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor 9:7.

13. Love of Christ controls us.

“The love of Christ controls us.” 2 Cor 5:14.

14. God so loved us that he gave his Son.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.

II. HUMAN LOVE

A. LOVING GOD

1. Our duty to love God wholeheartedly.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Deut 6:5.

“And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength.” Mark 12:33.

2. If we love God, we keep his commandments.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15.

And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love.” 2 John 1:6.

3. Love magnifies God.

“May those who love thy salvation say evermore, ‘God is great!’” Ps 70:4.

4. Love is the fulfilling of the law.

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Rom 13:10.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.” Eph 3:17,18.

“Speaking the truth in love.” Eph 4:15.

5. We love God even though we cannot see him.

“Without having seen him you love him.” 1 Peter 1:8.

6. Obedience perfects love.

“But whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected.” 1 John 2:5.

B. LOVE FOR MAN

1. Love your neighbor as yourself.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:39.

2. Love the Brotherhood.

“Love the Brotherhood. Fear God.” 1 Peter 2:17.

“Let brotherly love continue.” Heb 13:1.

“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35.

3. Said Jesus: Love one another as I have loved you.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12. (John 13:34.)

4. Love your enemies.

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt 5:44.

5. Love covers our offenses.

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” Prov 10:12.

6. Love is the prime fruit of the spirit.

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Gal 5:22.

“So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13.

7. The penalty of not loving.

“He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8.

8. Supreme love.

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.

C. PERVERTED LOVE

“For the love of money is the root of all evils.” 1 Tim 6:10.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15.

NOTE: In many passages in the King James version love is translated as “charity.” Practically all of these “charity” passages are changed to “love” in the Revised Version.

On the whole, the Bible presents the Greek concept of love, and in so doing recognizes five types:

  1. Sexual love.
  2. Family affection.
  3. Social love—friendship.
  4. Racial love—ethical kindness.
  5. Religious love:
a. Love for God.
b. Love of one’s fellows.

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