Love has an enemy.
Why would “love” need defending? Why would love need a warrior?
Because love has an enemy!
It is a spiritual enemy, and it is a spiritual battle as much as it is a physical one. Love has an enemy and his name is Satan. Therefore, love needs its warriors who are willing to take up the Cross and follow after Love.
In I Corinthians chapter 13 you find a description of the attributes of love, and Satan is the exact opposite of all those things. Satan is love’s enemy. Satan would replace love with lust, humility with pride, charity with selfishness, and on and on the list would go. Satan is all about “I”, and the pride of “I”. “I” will exalt my throne above…”I” will…”I” will…and it is all about his desire for power and greed. Love is a path of power through sacrifice, whereas Satan only knows the power of taking by force! (And there are many who follow his path.
If you understand love, then you can understand the cross.
If you understand the cross, then you can understand love.
If you don’t understand the one, then you don’t understand the other, either.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, ‘BECAUSE HE’ laid down his life for us: ‘WE OUGHT’ to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (I John 3:16)
BECAUSE HE…WE OUGHT.
Yes, we ought. But do we?
Love has an enemy and that enemy loves to put people in “bondage”. Therefore, love’s warriors go into the unpleasant places to seek and to save that which is lost. BECAUSE HE…WE OUGHT!
If you’re not willing to sacrifice, if you do not embrace the cross, then you are not one of love’s warriors, because the path of love is paved with sacrifice. The cross has become the greatest symbol for love. When a preacher preaches the message of the cross he is preaching about God’s love and Satan’s hate. As I told you, love has an enemy. The cross was used of the enemy to inflict much torment and pain, but now, because of Christ, the cross stands as a symbol of love! Christ, the ultimate warrior for love! We are called to follow in his steps and “champion” love!
I have seen some of whom this seems to come natural, for they are constantly putting others before themselves, and yet, if they do not have answers, if their life does not shine a light pointing people towards God’s love and God’s cross, then they still are not one of love’s warriors, for love demands real answers! It is not enough for love to “want” to help someone. Love is not satisfied unless it knows it has offered real solutions, real help, and real love. Love must have answers, and love is the answer in itself.
Of course we are talking God’s love. “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Rom. 12:8) “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom.12:10)
What were all those commandments about? They were and are principles and precepts of love. So why is it so many people have a problem with the commandments? Evidently, love has enemies, therefore, love needs its defenders.
I was with a hand full of Christians today who feed the homeless in a local park. No, these Christians were not causing a war, or spreading hate, abusing children, or judging people, as Christians are so often accused of doing by the secular. There was seven of us. Probably thirty or so homeless and poor showed up to eat, and a few children were among them.
We served a pasta salad that was homemade and really good, along with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. One Christian brother shared a short message as they ate, and then we all began to just mingle and talk to them. I connected with two different ones in a very strong way and I got to share with them God’s love and also his answers. Many of them will never make the effort to climb out of the situation they may live in, but that does not mean they don’t know God, and may talk to him more than we do. You know how it is when you have nothing, and do not even know where your next meal is coming from? But somehow they have lost the will to fight! And climb out of that hole. It could happen to any of us. Beware of judging, lest some worse fate befall on you.
This park ministry is one of the things I have been able to get involved with now that I am back to a normal schedule with everyone else. It felt so good to be back out there just sharing the love of Christ. One lady showed me the minivan she lives in. This was her home. She was fortunate to have it, although she missed the house she use to have. The house she had raised her children in. Now the minivan was her home. Doug, one of the others I spoke with, lives under a bridge or wherever he can find.
I spoke to Doug about “God’s ladder”, the Bible. I told him that this book was a spiritual ladder that could enable a person to climb out of any hole they may have fallen into. Doug and I talked a long time and I know God was reaching out to him. Doug was one of my assignments from God this day. A homeless guy living under bridges. God wanted me to talk with him and invite him to higher places. God said he would help him, but Doug is not yet ready to make that extra effort, join hands with God and “invest” his life.
I challenged Doug. I said, “Doug, don’t waste your life.” I know God was speaking to him, trying to make him realize that our life is too precious, and it should be INVESTED, but so many are wasting such a precious thing as life.
You do not have to be homeless or poor to WASTE your life. Many a rich and successful person is WASTING their life on riotous and selfish living.
Love’s warrior goes into the hurting places and gives God’s love. Love’s warriors also offer real answers. I once worked in a men’s prison. In a private conversation with the local psychiatrist, he told me the Church had a much higher success ratio of men with changed lives than he did. He said this with some frustration. I know this to be so. I have heard countless testimonies of such, and yet all the secular want to talk about is religion causing wars and hate. Well perhaps “religion” does, but the love of God is not religion. Religion is the enemy of love also. Jesus was very hard on the religious leaders of his day and yet treated the woman (Samaritan) at the well with kindness and respect, also the woman caught in the act of adultery he did not judge, but forgave.
I am totally indebted to love. I owe a love debt I can never repay. Today I shared the love of God and did my best to pass it forward. I was one of love’s warriors this day. Maybe Doug, while he drinks a little too much tonight will decide he should not waste this precious thing called life? Maybe he will hear God again, because God sent someone to him that did not judge him, but offered help and real answers. Maybe he will become inspired like Samson, and once again be willing to “fight” his situation, and break loose from the bondage “love’s enemy” has him in. I fought against that enemy today with light and love. God’s word will not return to me void!
Christine, the lady in the minivan, said she was ready if the Lord returned tonight. I believe her. Doug was silent. He knows. I did not need to judge him. I challenged him not to waste his life. I spoke to him about using God’s ladder to climb out of his hole. I offered him real help. I simply loved on these people today, and offered them God’s word for their problems. It was real, and it was good.
Tomorrow I will go to Church and celebrate God and his goodness along with my other brothers and sisters. We will drink of the Lord together, and feed on his pure word of truth. Some of them are starting Life Groups along with me. We are some of Love’s Warriors. There is no fat paycheck attached to what we do, but there is a cross. For most of us it will cost us money out of our own pocket, but God repays in so many wonderful ways.
BECAUSE HE…WE OUGHT.
This is not the person I would be if it were not for the love of God and his holy word. I am one of those testimonies. I never thought I could get such joy out of serving others, but God showed me different. Now, one of my favorite things to do is love on people, and destroy the works of the devil. God’s word says…
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
“Good”…is an attack on the devil. Attacking the devil is one of my favorite things to do, because I hate what he does to people.
Love has an enemy. It is a spiritual enemy and a spiritual battle. Love needs its warriors who delight in doing good. Those who are willing to take up their cross and follow after love. There is no greater life than one that is filled with love.
Love is its own reward. If we drink of Christ we are changed. I am not a normal person, but I am someone who has been changed by the Spirit of God, and don’t ask me to explain how this supernatural thing works. I just know that I drink of Christ and he changes me, empowers me, and love becomes its own reward.
Love is its own reward. Pass it forward. Amen.