Love always tops evil, which should be obvious to every Christian, or at least everyone who loves the Lord our God, but as we look around this violent and corrupt world it seems like evil is winning, and most Christians seem to be thinking and living this way too, and we believe that this is one of the major reasons why evil seems so strong.
Think about what we are told in Deuteronomy 6:5Ö
5. "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your might.
This means that we are to love the Lord our God with every aspect of our being, which includes all our possessions, and if we do, then we should also love the whole of His creation: all humans, all animals, and the environment in which we all live, and do everything we can to help protect creation and free it from its present corruption.
And we also are told that we should love our neighbor as ourselves, but if we think about these two commands they are really all part of loving God and His creation, for our neighbors, humans and animals, are all part of Godís creation, and this is why we believe that Jesus said in Matthew 22:40Ö
40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
In other words, if we love in this heavenly way, we fulfill everything that we are told to do in the Bible.
Letís take a look at Psalm 80:8-19, and see how we can apply Godís perfect love, from His position, the psalmistís position, and from the position of the people for whom this psaslm was and is writtenÖ
8 Thou didst remove a vine from Egypt;
Thou didst drive out the nations, and didst plant it.
God loved the Hebrew people (the vine) and brought them out of Egypt and led them into the promised land where they were to establish themselves (plant themselves).
9. Thou didst clear the ground before it,
And it took deep root and filled the land.
And in the promised land the people did multiply and filled the land, which God lovingly desired for them.
10. The mountains were covered with its shadow;
And the cedars of God with its boughs.
11. It was sending out its branches to the sea,
And its shoots to the River.
Israel did reach from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, but we are not told anything about how the people loved and followed God, which wasnít the case as the psalmist wrote next.
12. Why hast Thou broken down its hedges,
So that all who pass that way pick its fruit?
God removed His hedge of protection from Israel as a form of tough love, apparently to have them realize the errors of their ways and repent and wholeheartedly return to Him and His heavenly will for them to live by.
13. A boar from the forest eats it away,
And whatever moves in the field feeds on it.
14. O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech Thee;
Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,
The psalmist called upon God to protect the people as He had done, because he knew of His lovingkindness and forgiveness, but what he wasnít addressing was the peopleís need to repent in order to receive Godís forgiveness, which obviously the people didnít do, because the psalmist kept beseeching the Lord to heal the people anyway.
15. Even the shoot which Thy right hand has planted,
And on the son whom Thou hast strengthened for Thyself.
16. It is burned with fire, it is cut down;
They perish at the rebuke of Thy countenance.
Itís as though the psalmist forgot that besides being a loving and forgiving God, He is also a righteous God, and they and we today need to address all these aspects of who the Lord really is.
If we are truly living in Godís heavenly will, then Godís lovingkindness protects us now, and them then, and this is where we believe we always have to start.
17. Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand,
Upon the son of man whom Thou didst make strong for Thyself.
God always did this when the people truly loved Him and followed His heavenly will.
18. Then we shall not turn back from Thee;
Revive us, and we will call upon Thy name.
God knows that people are fickle, and promise a lot if God does something for them, but they all too soon forget their promises and return to their former corrupt ways, as the Israelites had done.
They lived like they were on a roller coaster: rising to Godís heavenly will and shortly thereafter sinking back down to corrupt and ungodly ways of this world, as the violence in the world today attests.
19. O LORD God of hosts, restore us;
Cause Thy face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.
History has shown us that God is always willing to do this when we live in His heavenly will.
However, today we arenít doing this, and we see that violence seems to be ever increasing for it causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
We cannot have peace on earth if we are not the peacemaking children of God that the Lord called us to be.
Letís now take a look at Isaiah 7:10-16, as we continue our thoughts about love always tops evilÖ
10. Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying,
We donít believe that the Lord was speaking directly to Ahaz, king of Judah, but was speaking through Isaiah as seems to be the case when we look at what was said.
11. "Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven."
12. But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!"
We often wonder about this reply, whether or not it reflected his actual faith or was it only to appease Isaiah, because Ahaz later on in his reign even sacrificed his own son.
Also the following verses seem to have been spoken by Isaiah.
13. Then he said, "Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well?
14. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
15. "He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.
16. "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good,
the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.
We donít believe that there were any other people before Mary and Jesus who fulfilled this statement, and this is why these verses are considered a prophecy of the first coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
In any event, this shows Godís love for His people and the whole of His creation, as we are told in John 3:16Ö
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
The use of the word ďworldĒ is to us proof that this message refers to the whole of Godís creation and not just humans as many people believe and live, but they are wrong.
Now, letís look at what Matthew wrote about this prophecy being fulfilled, in Matthew 1:18-25Ö
18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
From this verse it appears that she had kept her encounter with the angel from Joseph.
19. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly.
He is seeking a way of using his love to prevent the evil thoughts of the people from harming Mary.
20. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
All of these situations are being addressed in love and not in the violent ways of this world.
21. "And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins."
Love produces more love and it all tops evil.
22. Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying,
23. "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."
This is what we talked about earlier in this discussion.
24. And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife,
25. and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called
His name Jesus.
Love always tops evil, and Jesus, the Prince of Peace, spread His love and compassion around the world and keeps doing so, even if most of the people in the world donít respond.
But we, who know the truth, need to do our part in lovingly freeing creation from its present corruption.
Romans 1:1-7, is one of Paulís run-on paragraphs, which is only one sentence, but in it he talks about the greatest love the world has ever known.
1. Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
2. which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
3. concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
4. who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
5. through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name's sake,
6. among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7. to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you
and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This introduction is a type of creed about who our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ really is, and we all need to partake of Him and the gift of eternal live that He offers us.
In reality, all humans have been called, but relatively few have sincerely responded in the unconditional way that the Lord requires of us, a turning of our lives over to Him in complete trust, and with a dedication to help free the whole of creation (humans, animals and the environment) from its present corruption.
And when we do this, we find that heavenly love always tops evil.
And this is the only way we are going to have a truly Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth.
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