There are those who claim they know “the secret key” to understanding the scriptures. There is indeed a key that unlocks the scriptures and in some respects it is a secret... at least to some people. Do you want to know the key to understanding the scriptures? It’s love. Every page, every paragraph, every word, every punctuation flows with Gods love for His children. That the scriptures exist is proof of God’s love. He created us out of love. He gave us His law out of love for us. He allowed His only begotten son to become one of us, to suffer pain, humiliation and death at the hands of human beings out of His love for mankind.
The problem arises when we misunderstand what love is and what it is not. Love is NOT just what we feel... love is what we DO. Scriptures tell us the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. Most of the fruits of the spirit are qualities about dealing with someone else.
Bliss is most commonly confused with love because bliss feels good. Bliss isn't bad as long as it is not mistaken for spiritual growth. We can experience bliss while looking at a beautiful sunset or experiencing a “perfect moment.” Just like there are counterfeit gospels, there are also counterfeits for love. Bliss can also be a counterfeit for love. In Eastern and New Age religions bliss is often mistaken for love. Bliss can be a counterfeit love for “spiritual” people. Bliss is what those who are “spiritual but not religious” most often feel.
To show real love, there must be another. And the other is always imperfect. That’s what makes love so special. Love is getting into the trenches and getting dirty. We don't love just the perfect... we love the imperfect. Bliss doesn’t feed the hungry, visit the lonely, comfort the sick or give a coat to someone who’s cold... love does these things.
Love may be said to be like a pearl. Do you know how pearls are formed? You put something
irritating in an oyster, like a grain of sand, and a pearl is its response. Love covers imperfections like a pearl covers a grain of sand.
Bliss is what we feel. Love is what we DO.
Bliss is about ourselves. Love is always about another.
Bliss is content to remain alone. Love always reaches out.
Bliss is not doing. Love is DOING.
Bliss can be completely self-absorbed. Love is NEVER self-absorbed.
Bliss is static. Love is dynamic.
Bliss can be like a stagnant pond... Love is like a river of living water. Love always grows, always moves.
Christ didn’t condemn a fig tree to die because he didn't like trees... it is a lesson for us. We MUST bear fruit! The fruits of the spirit are all about dealing with other imperfect people.
God’s Word defines what spiritual growth is the way DNA defines what physical growth is. True spiritual growth is always guided by the template of love like physical growth is guided by DNA.
Don’t be deceived. We don't grow by watching a sunset... we grow by reaching out of ourselves to others. We first have to learn to love ourselves then we have to learn to extend, to grow, our sense of ourselves. That’s what love is... extending our sense of ourselves to include others. Hurt doesn't stop it, misunderstanding doesn't stop it, disappointment doesn’t stop it, pain doesn't stop it... Love keeps coming like a pounding wave that eventually turns a mountain into sand. Love is what will transform the universe and us if we let it.