Love and Motives of the Heart - David Mitts

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
(1Co 13:4-9)

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In the past few weeks and months violence has broken out in our society in unprecedented waves of attack against innocent people.  Yeshua prophesied that this would happen at the end of days.
All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (Mat 24:8-12)
This is clearly happening in a wave of what has be described as senseless violence.  Understand though, that the acts of individuals with guns or other weapons are only what we see.  What we tend to ignore is the spiritual undercurrents of the anti-God hatred that has been brewing for years.  
False prophets are voices in the land that are spreading a gospel of hatred and division.  They are the voices of the accuser of the brethren.  This is the anti-God, anti-love spirit that is manifesting at this time because of iniquity: Look at Proverbs 6:16-19:
These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. (Pro 6:16-19)
When the scripture states, that the God who is Love, hates something then it must be anti-love.
You can actually see this scripture as a progression of anti-God, anti-Love.
A proud look leads to the need to cover things up, a lying tongue, which leads to the death of innocence. The death of innocence then makes us self-reliant and in that self-reliance we devise wicked plans which require haste, feet that are swift to run towards evil.  Then we gather the false witnesses who collaborate with our wicked plans, so we think they are OK.  I can’t tell you how many times, I have   Believers justify what they want by getting others to agree.  These become the false witnesses.  This in turn creates a separation between those who favor the crowd and the few who stand for the truth, hence discord among the brethren.
This is where we are today!  People are following false prophets who are sowing discord among the brethren.  These false prophets aren’t declaring “thus says the Lord”.  No, they speak over the news networks, in the halls of politics and from the classrooms. The result is a militancy that is tearing the fabric of our way of life apart.  The results are devastating! Bullets are flying, anger is flaring and a hatred is brewing in the hearts of many.
What I want to do today is help arm ourselves against the onslaught.  We have been activating love in these meetings and this truly is the antidote, the anti-venom for the poisonous bites of these vicious snakes! In these times where the love of many is growing cold, our love needs faith-filled activation.  
Love conquers fear.  Fear is the emotion underpinning the evil actions.  “Terrorism” is fear’s strategy.  Our own fear-based tendency can lead to the glorification of evil.  The news media are specialists in evil glorification because fear affects minds trying to cope with evil through mental comprehension. Fear sells.
The question in most people’s minds when violence and tragedy strikes is motive.  Why did this person just kill 14 children and 12 adults?  Why did this man in Las Vegas kill over 50 people?  We want to know the “why”.  We somewhere feel that knowing “why” will help us deal with it and maybe bring some closure.  There is no “why” that will truly help us!  Whether it was an Isis plot or it was “mental illness” that is represented as the motive, what we need to realize is that it is a spiritual REALITY, not a psychological or even ideological one. The desire to complete the circle of pain and the dislocation of the evil actions require the comfort that can only come from the Holy Spirit.  You cannot make sense out of a senseless act.
The false prophets that Yeshua spoke of use the voices bringing theories of explanation.  They suggest mental illness, or political ideology, or even religious extremism.  What they don’t want in the public conversation is the need for repentance.   They don’t want to highlight the spiritual apathy that allows for mass murder of the innocents in the guise of women’s rights.  They don’t want to recognize the lukewarm hearts that have produced a flood of powerless pulpits who have traded true spiritual fire for financial gain of large weekly events.  Like the Laodiceans, in the book of Revelation, we are in danger of being vomited out of the mouth of the Lord which is a metaphor for being  repulsive to Him who is the Word, who declares that the false gospel we live, is sickening.
"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:14-16)
This the spiritual condition of our nation.  Read the next verse:
Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:17-19)
You can see it.  We have traded true spiritual gold refined in the fires of affliction for material richness.  We have the biggest mega-churches in the history of man and glitzy music and lights.  What is missing is love, true love.
We have been pressing in for weeks to activate love in our lives.  Today I want to embrace the cry of the next part of 1Corinthians 13:5
Love seeks not her or his own.
I believe there is an attitude opposite to this verse that is at the heart of the evil we are seeing.  When we shrink our world into the perspective of whatever we call our “own” and that becomes the center of our agenda, then we set the stage for the violent anti-love that we are seeing in our Land.
What does it mean to seek our own or to be self-seeking?
What is self really?  This is at the heart of the question of love.  Self-seeking versus other seeking or other loving.
It all has to with labels and brands.  When we label ourselves as a something, fill in the blank.  The label could be conservative, republican, democrat, old person, youth, white, black, Asian, African or even Christian, we identify ourselves with an image.  This image, like all images is separated from the general background of humanity by distinctions or borders of a reality that is contained in the language of the label. Labels breed minorities.  Labels are a need to be special and as the special group we are the underdog in our own personal fight for legitimacy and significance. They scream with the voice that declares “This is ME”!
This breeds the victims.   The irony is that being a victim is enhanced by our labelling as a victim.  We believe that no one else who isn’t a victim like us can “truly understand”.  This persecution complex is the outflow of the label, the collapsing of our identity.  This is seeking our own.
Love is not seeking our own!  Love is seeing the oneness of all of humanity and the uniqueness of each special child of God. Love is about losing the self-centered life and seeing with God’s eyes, who is no respecter of persons.
Every child of God is unique and yet every child is part of a whole, the Body of Messiah.  And even though in some sense we are a minority, with God we’re always a majority.
Pastor Paul Zink taught us many years ago that: “isolation breeds deception”.  When we isolate we become a self-worshipper.  Our thoughts become true to us in our isolation, even when they are clearly false because there is no one to refute them.  I have found over the years, that the one who isolates, becomes an island unto themselves. All perspective collapses in the darkness of “me”.
We need one another. Love exists in relationship not in isolation.  The Apostle John in the book we label as 1 John, Chapter 4 encourages us in this:
He begins by telling us:
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1).
We live in the times of false prophets, the voices diverting our attention from God and His Love for us. John, then, describes the conflict we experience, verses 4-6
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. (1 John 4:4-6)
So, we have 2 voices speaking.  One rooted in the world, which is the voice speaking to “I” or “Me”.  It’s about my perspective, my opinion, my rights, my agenda.  And this voice is encouraging us to polarize, to stand for what we want.  The “we” can be abortion rights, or the we can be gay rights, etc.  The point isn’t the minority within the “we” but the very phenomena of shrinking ourselves into a we or an I.  This is how suicide bombers are made.  They are marginalized and encouraged to think of themselves as agents of the cause, the anti-love agenda, which is a perversion of love, selfishness.  I mean who walks into a church and shoots children?  Not a love centered person but an isolated I who doesn’t know the truth of “love does not seek its own”!
John then teaches us the safety of love:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:7-21).
This is our live orientation and our sobering reality.  Love sobers us hatred intoxicates us to the point of being agents of Satan.
OK. Let’s activate Love does not seek its own:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:3-7)
It’s easy to do things for people who can benefit us in return. Let us now, activate ourselves to make a list of those who cannot benefit us in return, those maybe we have given up on.  Let’s pray and ask the Lord to show us who they are.  Second, let’s ask for a specific love action we can and will take this week to be a light of His love to them. Third let’s plan when to do it and do it!


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