sábado, 23 de junho de 2012

LOVE IN ACTION



            
We are living in days when the love is growing cold and causing serious consequences for emotional, spiritual, physical, and why not say, because the lack of love is sick. This is happening because we are approaching the end times, Jesus had already alerted to this fact:"... And iniquity shall abound, the love will wax cold" Matthew 24:11The word in Greek is lawlessness anomos>a = no nomos = law. The state of lawlessness is when the people without law is the word law in Hebrew would be the equivalent of Torah, whichturn means teaching. Therefore, in recent days the lack of knowledge and teaching the word be multiplied, and this will be the determining factor for the cooling of love:
  
"Whoever has my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him .....If you keep My commandments, you will abide in my love, as well as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love I "John 14:21 and 15:10
 
            
Lack of love creates an absolute shortage and the poor, hungry for love will do anything to be accepted and loved.
            
I know that you have read the story many times about the meeting between Zacchaeus and Jesus. Zacchaeus is a Greek name, his name means pure, clean, just because of his name being Greek can see that Zacchaeus was a Jew who feared God, but was helenizando in search of acceptance. He was a wealthy man, a tax collector for the government of Rome in Jericho.
            
The Jews considered tax collectors and despicable as traitors because they are helping Roma to extort Israel. The character of the publicans was not the most reliable, because they often demanded large sums of money, beyond that outlined by Rome for their own benefit and for that reason were labeled as ceremonially unclean and sinners (Matthew 9:11 and Luke 3:12,13 .) The system of tax collection system subject to abuse, the publican Rome franqueava a certain area, for which he would be responsible for collecting taxes, the tax collector was stipulated that the annual amount should be collected, but the collectors were charging higher rates and getting the surplus. Some collectors accepting bribes from wealthy decreasing the rate and taxing them to compensate for the poor. In Luke 19:2 it is written:
   
"Behold, a man named Zacchaeus, the tax collectors and wealthy prince, sought to see Jesus who he was ......"
  
            
The people felt massacred so many taxes to feed the realization of their ambitious dreams of the Roman Empire needed a large sum of money. The maintenance of armies, the construction of halls, roads, was highly expensive to feed the ambitions of Rome and to fill their coffers Romans levied heavy taxes. In addition to the taxes levied by Rome, King Herod imposed heavy taxes to meet its headquarters building. In addition to these rates the people contributed their tithes for the maintenance of the Temple.
            
Zacchaeus was the most important collector of Jericho, the men responsible for certain regions could employ other collectors or sublet the region (for a fee), for which he was responsible, Zacchaeus was the ruler of Jericho, he received a large sum of money. The Jews did not accept the fact that one brother was working for usurpers. There is a fine line between our world and coping with assimilation, the lack or thirst for power can lead to a complete assimilation with the way we think and act in the world. In Egypt, the overseers who whipped slaves were Jews! (Exodus 5:14 to 18), when his brother begins to oppress his brother because of the greed that is the cooling of love syndrome.
            
The hatred that the Jews felt by collectors is the same as the French felt by their countrymen who collected taxes to Hitler when France was occupied by the Nazis.Zacchaeus because he tried to compensate for short stature, which he bother trying to excel in other areas of your life. As a Jew he was exercising a position most hated by his people. He tried to be accepted position and earning money, but soon discovered that it continued to be rejected, because as a Jew was not accepted by the Romans and is helping to Rome was not loved by the Jews. Eager to seek acceptance of both groups finished finding the total contempt.
            
Zacchaeus felt rejected in social and religious life, this isolation has caused deep wounds. He also had to deal with family problems, because his sons and his wife also felt rejected, everyone knew he was rich because he was oppressing the people of Israel. Inside Zacchaeus suffered from the conflict in isolation, he discovered that money could not buy love. In this context, that Zacchaeus began to hear about a man who loved unconditionally, a man who touched lepers, spoke to women, giving attention to children, prostitutes restored. I'm sure Zacchaeus thought inside:"As would be nice if Jesus could come to my house to talk to me, how good it would feel this love and acceptance!"
            
Zacchaeus did not attempt to gain attention or to impress Jesus with his money, he just wanted to see that everyone said to know love. Zacchaeus was actually asking for love, but not approached Jesus, for fear the pain of rejection again, deep pain, and so well known.
 
Being wealthy and well known in Jericho did not fear ridicule, before a physical limitation (his short stature) he climbed a tree to at least see that he loved so incondicional.Não was small effort Zacchaeus because Sycamore is a kind of fig tree from eight to fifteen feet high.With short trunk and branches that spread a lot. Zacchaeus did not give up because of the impossibility, he availed himself of what was in their power to overcome this impediment. He was stripped of pride and used something simple like a tree, to find true love, sometimes we think we need many degrees, much theological knowledge to have intimacy and deep knowledge of Jesus, but to know Him just take this a step more apart from the crowd.
  
  
  
            
The crowd wanted the blessing, but Zacchaeus wanted to know the One who blesses rather than the blessings, he just wanted his attention and love.When you climb the tree Zacchaeus was confessing before them all, acknowledging that Jesus was more important than your money and your position. You have the courage to expose yourself and putting off this way in front of everyone? Jesus said that unless we become like children not enter the kingdom of heaven. A child does not care about the opinions of others, a child acts naturally and is not afraid of ridicule, a child is simple, pure, forgiving, open to aprender.Uma child trusts so fully in his parents and is spontaneous in theirfeelings. Zacchaeus climbed a tree with the simple heart of a child his attitude was the same as a child when he ran in his father's lap to receive a hug. Our efforts and our search did not go unnoticed in the eyes of Jesus, for He is love, this is His nature and He does not reject anyone who approaches him. Passing by the tree Jesus raised his eyes toward Zacchaeus and said:
  
"Looking up, he said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, for I must stay at your house today. He came with haste, and received Him joyfully" Luke 19:5, 6
 
            
Jesus called him by name and this was one way to begin to heal him, because everyone knew him as the tax collector, the collector, but Jesus called Zacchaeus by label imposed by society, he called his name, honoring before the eyes of all.
            
I'm sure that when Jesus raised his eyes, that this was not any one look but a look full of love and acceptance, that conveyed exactly what Zacchaeus had been searching for so long. This look was full of love that led the publican down so fast that tree.
            
Jesus was the house of Zacchaeus, who received him as a guest of honor and with great joy. The attitude of love and acceptance of Jesus Zacchaeus generated in true repentance or a change in the way. Zacchaeus was a man who feared God and knew His Word, but simply needed emotional healing and love.
            
Sometimes men are powerful and inflexible with simple unarmed weapon of love, often an unbridled quest for power shows hunger for love.
            
I said that Zacchaeus knew the Word of God because when Jesus said, that would give half their goods and give back four times to all that he had wronged, he was quoting what is written in the Bible about restitution, so he had fear in their hearts:
   
"If a man or woman harm someone that person is offending the eternal God and therefore is guilty. Will have to confess sin, return it and pay twenty percent more for the person who was harmed ...." Numbers 5:7(See also Exodus 22:1)
  
            
Love pours out our potential, kindness Zacchaeus was buried under layers of wounds of rejection, it took the love of Jesus for everything to come to light. Zacchaeus actually gave far beyond what the law commands, he had a heart donor, who was bound by the pain of rejection.
            
Recently some researchers have found in one of the pyramids of Egypt a little wheat seed which dated from the time of Pharaoh. To everyone's surprise, when these seeds were planted they were fruitful. These seeds were stored, hidden for centuries just waiting for a suitable place for frutificassem that during all this time, life was within the seed. Likewise our potential can be buried for a long time waiting for an environment conducive to fruit. Love is this fertile land that makes the life that is within us unfold before the eyes of all.
            
Love is a great weapon, when the army of the Syrians came to attack Israel, God's strategy was to Elisha love them and feed them, an attitude that blinded and weakened Israel's enemies. Love blinded and calmed the nation's enemies:
   
"He offered them the king great feast, and ate and drank, he dismissed them and went to his lord, and part of Syria no longer invested in the land of Israel." 2 Kings 7:23
   
In Proverbs 16: 7 it is written:
   
"Being a man's ways please the Lord, even his enemies who have made peace with him"
  
            
Love heals, restores, pours qualities, potential and dormant feelings, love soothes. Jesus is love and He wants to get into your heart the same way as it did with Zacchaeus, He wants to remove all the hurts and wounds of your heart.
            
Jacob calmed the fury of his brother Esau with the weapon of love. Jacob feared his brother would kill him when they met, but to appease the fury sent gifts before him:
   
"In this manner shall ye speak to Esau ... Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said to himself: I will appease him with this before me, see you later, maybe I will accept the presence." Genesis 32 : 20
  
            
This type of gift is not a bribe, but a gesture of love before mood changed. The famous adage "when one does not want two to tango" fits perfectly in this case. There is only fight when the two are likely to take it forward. Jacob did not try to justify or explain, he simply had been worth the negligence of his brother over the birthright, Jacob relinquished the right of defense to win the love of his brother. If a woman realizes that her husband is angry about something and decides to wait for him at home with a special dinner, to be sure the result will be what we read in Proverbs 21:14:
  
"The gift that gives in secret slaughter anger, giving in secrecy, a strong indignation"Love is a verb, which implies an action, love is not emotion. Emotion can be a reaction to love, but true love is involved, it happens, it is unconditional and never fails. For Godloved the world He gave His only begotten Son, because Jesus loved those whom the Father has entrusted to him, He gave His own life. We express love for what we do in favor of that we love, love needs to be verbalized and giver at all times.
            
As we said before love has cooled in our day. In Ephesians 3: 17-18; 4:16 Paul says that we need to be rooted and grounded in love, because only this way can we understand and know by experience the grandeur of Christ's love. If we learn to love, we may enjoy the fullness of God, or have a rich measure of His presence to overflowing. If you want a life of power, a full life, then learn to love. Unfortunately what we see in churches today are people who love power, but I pray that we can find people who have the power to love.
  
In the Bible are used four words for love:
  
Eros - the Greek word whose root comes the word erotic. This word is used for the passionate love, physical desire, sexual love represented by the Greek goddess of love, Cupid. This love is temporary and ends with the time when this happens many couples think that love just because they forgot to cultivate love phileo and agape love. Love Eros was the kind of love that shot into the arms of Samson Delilah is a feeling impulsive and temporary.
  
Philia - The Greek noun from which we get the words philosophy and Philadelphia. It is the love of friendship, natural affection. The Greek verb Phileo learn that this kind of love is:The natural affection that God has placed in man's heart to connect with each other.It's the kind of love that grows stronger over time and the experiences that are shared in common.The phileo love alliance connects friends, Jonathan and David were linked this love.Stergo - In the New Testament this word is so composed. We find this kind of love in the following passages: Rom 1:31, Rom 12:10. It kind of familial love, a love of intimacy and bonds between family members.
 
  
Agape - the Greek noun often used in relation to God. We could say that it is agape love:
  
- Selflessness complete love that puts the beloved first- Love is a constant, unchanging, indestructible. It never ends because it is part of the very nature of God, for it is written:
  
"God is love and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him, 1 John 4:16.
  
And if God is love, it is impossible that this love over or fail, because God is immutable.- It's an unconditional love, because it overcomes all odds:
  
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... For your sake we face death all day, we are accounted as sheep for slaughter .... For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. " Romans 8:35-39
  
- Is the decision to act on behalf of a loved one regardless of personal consequences. It is the willingness to love, even when not matched at the same level.
 
            
In 1 Corinthians 13 we find the definition of agape love, but if we replace the word with the word love Jesus, we see that the definition of Agape love is the very definition of Jesus. Let's look at verse by verse from 1 Corinthians 13:

  
The Value of Love
  
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love be like sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, even though I have all faith so far as to remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, I am nothing enjoy "
 
            
Love is more important than great oratory skills. Even if we speak in tongues, must be preceded by love.
            
Love must be the motivation of our heart to be recipients of spiritual gifts. Even the attitude of selfless giving is meaningless when there is no love. Jesus was on one occasion while he was near the Temple Gazofilácio watching those giving their tithes. Many rich people put in much, but these offers were for boasting and not for love, because the place where the money should be deposited was shaped like a horn, who deposited large sums were happy because the coins to fall for that horn would much noise and everyone would know who had deposited a large amount of money. A poor widow put in two coins in secret, but she gave with love in the heart (Mark 12: 41-44). The currencies of the rich have too much noise to the ears of men, but the widow's mite resounded in the ears of Jesus. Small gestures of love resound in the heart of the Lord.

  
Attitudes of Love
 
 
Love is patient (vs. 4)
 
            
Love is slow to lose patience and refuses to refute or react in the same currency in the face of bitter words or attacks. Love unconditionally supports independent of time, that the situation lasts.
  
Personal goal: Have patience and rejoice, even when people do not meet our expectations.
 
 
Love is kind (vs. 4)
 
            
Love is constructive when it receives injury shows generosity. Often support is a victory for stubbornness, but bear with kindness is a triumph of grace and love of God in our lives.
  
Personal goal: to be cautious in my judgments, look at my relationships to be a healer and not hurting.
 
 
Love does not envy. (Vs. 4)
 
            
In love there is no competition. Between two people in love can not be jealous of opportunities, skills, possessions, positions, privileges, or profits of the other.
  
Personal Goal: To my relationship I do not want to be in control of all situations thus supplanting the rights of the person you love.
 
 
Love does not ufana (vs. 4)
            
It is not intended to impress others. Do not overestimate our achievements to the detriment of those around us.
  
Personal goal: to accept who I am without feeling the need to be in the spotlight to feel safe
 
 
Love is not puffed up (vs.4)
 
            
Love can not be arrogant or egocentric. (Philippians 2:3-4). I have an unselfish love, that keeps me from thinking about me beyond what is convenient. This love produces in me the joy of serving the person you love..Personal goal: Be genuinely concerned and involved in the welfare of those around me.
 
 
Love is not inconveniently leads. (Vs. 5)
 
            
Love leads us to deal with education and consider the people we love. We tend not to deal with those who share our intimacy with the same respect we give to strangers. To love is to exercise kindness, respect and good manners at all times.
  
Personal goal: to respect the rights and dignity of others and be careful not to impose myself so rude.
 
 
Love does not seek its own interests. (Vs. 5)
  
1.You altruistic. Knows how to give without expecting anything in return.
  
Personal goal: not be all the time worried about my own interests and needs, but take pleasure in the success and happiness of others.
 
 
Love does not boast. (Vs. 5)
 
            
It is not susceptible to resentment. It is not bitter, is not easily damaged.
  
Personal goal: try to understand the situation, when I am hurt and not allow hostile feelings take root in my heart.
 
 
Love does not record of wrongs. (Vs. 5)
 
            
Love feels no pleasure in the failures of others. Love does not keep a list of grievances or grudges in his heart.
  
Personal goal: not to be reflecting or reliving the faults of others not to feed the bitterness.
 
 
Love does not rejoice in iniquity. (Vs. 6)
 
            
Love feels no pleasure in the error. Love never takes pleasure in weakness exposed.
  
Personal goal: never rejoice when someone falls.
 
 
Love rejoices with the truth. (Vs. 6)
 
            
Love rejoices in all that is good and right according to God's word.
  
Personal goal: to cheer me up when an injustice is compensated and get involved as necessary to help someone wronged.
 
 
Love bears all things. (Vs. 7)
 
            
Love remains stable even under pressure, supports everything without ever complaining.
  
Personal goal: to persevere, even when the easiest way is to leave the person with whom we are committed.
 
 
Love believes all things. (Vs. 7)
 
            
To refuse to give way to doubt always believing in God's Word. (John 15:7)
  
Personal goal: to disregard rumors and gossip to keep believing the best about people until the contrary is proved. But even after the facts proven to be my choice: continue to love.
 
 
Love hopes all things. (Vs.7)
 
            
Seeing the relationship with hope. Believe in what he can not see with our physical eyes.
  
Personal goal: Learn to admire and appreciate the potential of those we love and we realize that the present state of these people is not what they may be.
 
 
Love endures all things. (Vs. 7)
 
            
Love refuses to give up, standing up in front the storms of life.
  
Personal goal: When I feel tempted to give up a person or a cause, I pray that the wind away from the temporal and ask for strength to stand firm until the end.

  
Security of Love (vs. 8)
  
Agape love never ends, it is eternal.