Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places
“What’s love got to do with it? It’s just a second hand emotion.”
Maybe “you’re looking for (love) in all the wrong places.”
Love is a topic of songs and themes to movies. Love is a powerful force that sends us to the mountaintop. It’s a passion that every heart was created to have filled; yet, love seems illusive. It seems easy to fall in love, but staying in love can seem impossible at times.
What do we tell people when life offers a different experience than what God’s Word proclaims?
Love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18 (NIV) tells us, “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.” However, there are many people who struggle with fear.
Do you suffer from fear or insecurity? What about the fear of lack? Are you worried that God won’t come through for you?
I have been literally worried sick about so many things.
- My past
- My present
- My future
- My finances
- What people think about me
- I’ve worried about ONE single comment I said in a conversation, to the point that it kept me up at night.
- My own mom once said, “I’m worried because there is nothing to worry about.”
How does a believer reconcile that love is supposed to cast out all fear, when most people seem to live in constant fear and worry?
Love never fails.
1 Cor. 13:8 (NIV) tells us, “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
How can the above statement be true when we see love/marriages fail all the time? There can be a lot of confusion about love, with the church and believers being just as confused as the world. Recently, a seminary professor asked 120 of her students this question: “Do you believe that God loves you?” Out of 120 Christian students preparing for ministry, how many do you think answered “yes?” Two! The rest gave answers such as, “I know I’m supposed to say, ‘Yes’” . . . “I know the Bible says He loves me, but I don’t feel it,” or “I’m not sure I can really say I believe it.”
The message is simple: God isn’t mad at you … He loves you!
If you take away only one truth from this blog, it’s this: “God’s not mad at you.” He forgives and restores, especially when we mess up. No matter how many times I tell people this truth, I’m amazed by the number of people that need to hear it.
As pastors we have to move people past the shame, guilt, and condemnation and bring them to a place to receive God’s love. We see this message in the conversation Jesus had with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11, NIV). “‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’”
There’s only one place to find what you are looking for.
To show that God’s Word is true, it’s important to define that the love that never fails can only come from God Himself. It’s the only love that will satisfy the soul.
What complicates the issue is we use the word “love” to describe everything from pizza to our children. Many think that it’s all the same love, just different levels of intensity. God’s love, agape love, cannot be found or created by the human spirit. It is only a fruit of God Himself experienced by us through the Holy Spirit. It is a love so deep, so devoted, and so unconditional that its ability to be shown and given to others can only come through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 (NIV) explains, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” and I John 4:8 (NIV) tells us, “ Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Freely Receive – The path to helping people
Our Heavenly Father’s love can’t be studied. Ephesians 3:16–19 (NIV84) reminds us, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
It must be experienced. For me, I like to spend time in solitude, whether in a deer stand, out for a run or just sitting with a cup of coffee. Being “too busy” is the ploy of the enemy. God’s love is why we exist. It’s when we sit in His presence that we get to experience His small still voice. I’ve found I can’t give away (love) when I haven’t sat in solitude and received it first.
Choose Love – seek His strength
John 13:34-35 (NIV) informs us about “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35 (NIV) tells us, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Love is an action you choose to give with the power or ability to do so provided by the Holy Spirit. You want to impress that special someone? Just tell them “I verb you.”
What would society look like if starting on Valentine’s Day going forward, we chose through the power of the Holy Spirit, to love with the love that comes from the Father, the love that keeps no record of wrong, the love that is not jealous, the love that never fails? … HIS LOVE.
Pastor James Sunnock and his wife Aileen have been married for 30 years and have three sons / daughters-in-law. Pastor James graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree from Kings University. After running his own business for 10 years, Pastor James enjoyed a very successful sales career. In 1999, Pastor James left the corporate world and entered the pastoral internship program at Resurrection Life Church. In 2002, Pastor James became the Lead Pastor of Victory Life Church, in Battle Creek, MI. with 60 members. Today the church has grown to just over 1700 people and has been listed twice in Outreach magazine’s top 100 fastest growing churches. The ministry is committed to attracting people to the Gospel of Christ and inspiring them to grow in their faith.