Who Needs Love?

By Michael Clark and Susanne Schuberth

cub-playing-with-its-mother-s-tailIt is not the loveable person that needs to be loved. It is the unlovable person, the clamoring child, the rebellious adult, the nasty friend, the raging parent, in a nutshell, it is the SINNER that needs to be healed. If we react to misbehavior by speaking mere words alone, they might be able to bring across what we mean, but without love they will never touch the heart of someone who has gone wild. “Words” alone are based on knowledge… what we think we know or what we feel. But if our words are not tempered with grace, they can kill and wound. For it is written,

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
(Proverbs 15:18 RSVA)

Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
(James 1:19-20 RSVA)

Just yesterday I (Susanne) read about some pastors’ concern regarding the need to continually preach the gospel to the sinner. That is not wrong, so far. However, if they only preach it and are not yet able to live what they preach, can their message really be trusted (or taken to heart)? They believe if a message is or was true, it must be preached anytime. Yet preaching a message without listening to the Holy Spirit can be like reading a phone book to your audience. If the Spirit does not make a message alive, the words are “dead”and they fall to the ground, unheard.

Praying for God’s guidance before we speak is always good, especially when dealing with those who are in rebellion. Teenagers go through rebellion as they try to get free of parental controls over them and want to find out for themselves who THEY are and what THEY want to do in life. On the one hand they want the security of their parents’ home, but on the other they hate the rules and value system that make it a secure place. Even adults rebel at times for different reasons and it is not any easier to deal with them, is it? And how often do we rebuke someone that is “going off” on us with our own flesh in mind wanting to get even? But when we REACT to another person’s flesh with our flesh, we only pour more fuel on the fire. Indeed, lavishing a plethora of “wise words” on others is always more of a hindrance than a help as the following Scripture confirms.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the mind of the wicked is of little worth. (Proverbs 10:19-20 RSVA)

And then we have Paul’s words of “choice silver” from the Lord,

And though I… understand all mysteries, and all knowledge… and have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2 KJ2000)

Words spoken, no matter how wise and filled with knowledge they are, are worth nothing without love. Or in other words,

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.”
Teresa of Ávila

❤ Brothers and sisters, LOVE is all we need. ❤

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25 comments on “Who Needs Love?

  1. Ken Dawson says:

    I say we all should just shut up and let God master us—BUT OH THE BATTLE GROUND.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mia says:

    Dear Michael and Suzanne
    Oh, this is sooo…. vital for anyone; to be loved unconditionally, to know you are accepted and that you, even you, are important and that you matter. I am so concerned and have found that so many who claim that Love Personified, our Lord Jesus, lives in them, are so unloving or whose love and acceptance are so VERY conditional. May our Pappa have mercy on us if we don’t allow Him to love His children through us! It is impossible to believe that our Pappa is love if those who are called by His name are so devoid of love; those who are sometimes the only Bible the world will ever “read”.
    Blessings and love XX
    Mia

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Mia,

      Your comment was so edifying to read for me. Thank you very much! 🙂

      I fully agree with your observation and conclusion about those who think they are born again Christians, yet are still imprisoned in their old self. Sometimes the Old Adam and Eve are confused with the New Creation that MUST be born from above. The old man cannot love as God loves, i.e., unconditionally. We can only pray that God opens the eyes of those who cannot see the truth yet. Since, the truth is, we are loved just the way we are NOW, not the way we should be. God does not dip into the future and says, “Well, Susanne, if you change this and that, then I will start to love you, but not before.“ That would be nonsense and not the God I have come to know. I recall having written some “brutally” honest 😉 and at times very thought-provoking articles on how unconditionally I have experienced God’s love. If you have time and are interested, here’s one of them, for example:

      https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/be-who-you-are-since-there-is-no-other-you/

      Every blessing to you! ❤

      Much love,
      Susanne
      XX

      Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Mia,
      Today has been one of those days that I have felt totally out of it and unable to respond to the many wonderful comments we got on our latest blog. For some reason I spent a good deal of it feeling like I could break out in tears at any moment. Maybe it was because I got a message from one who read this latest blog that was accusatory and condemning… the very thing you wrote about that should not be found among the saints of God. We can be so busy striving to biblically righteous that we miss the greatest Bible lesson of all that God is love.
      Blessings and love to you, too, ❤
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  3. James says:

    This is why churches just don’t cut it for me. It’s not the doctrine, but the almost complete lack of love in churches. I have to admit I’m not the most loving of people (despite my extreme generosity), but whenever I have attended a church, I’ve been eager for direction and readiness to help…and been sidelined and met with strict sternness and “oh you MUST read the Bible every day”. I’m sure many of them have been/are “good people”, but they’re more concerned with their knowledge of the Bible and have little interest in reaching out to or making use of integrating new Christians in the community. I guess that sounds like a bit of a moan, but it’s disheartening and feels like wasted opportunities.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That is funny, James, as if reading the Bible every day would give us a new heart from above. However, only the mind gets fed and, one day, probably fat, too, if that was the only food we ever tasted. If we do not taste that THE LORD is good, the Bible does only point to the possibility of experiencing THIS.

      It seems your churchly experiences were not that wonderful… 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    • Q's Corner says:

      I relate to what you are saying James. God has on many occasions sent me to certain churches to be loved by His people, but all that I received was shunning, rebuke, criticism, and harsh judgments; quite the opposite of grace. Now I no longer trust those folks, who speak such great bloated words that are more like sounding brass and tinkling symbols. My heart is broken and full of sorrow at the treatment of not just me, but the many I have known were also rejected just as I was. My only comfort is in knowing that My Savior also went through this same rejection! His heart was also broken and filled with sorrow, FAR GREATER than my own AND HE WON THE WAR! For me it is but a battle that He has already won. One day He will say, “Enough,” and when He does my victory will be great, but He giveth the victory! In the meantime, my heartbreak and my sorrow is great but I am not alone, He is holding my hand! He is beside me as I tread ever upward the mountain before me. Onward dear Christian Soldier!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Michael says:

        Susie, I agree. So often what we get from churches is cold judgmental-ism as soon as they find out that we have problems that can only be healed by a consistent infusion of God’s love. The more “doctrinally correct” they see themselves, the colder they are! “God is love.” John did not say, “God is doctrinally correct.” The letter of the Bible kills, but the Spirit gives life. Jesus is the living Word of God and when men take a book into their hands and put it in His place as the very Son of God who came proclaiming the good news of the love and grace of our Father, they destroy the very message that Jesus came to proclaim. Of such people Jesus said,

        “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40 RSVA)

        Yes, dear sister, Jesus won the battle. When He was dying on the cross He cried out, “It is finished,” the battle was over! By laying down His life as God’s spotless Lamb, He won the victory for us all. As we find our security in Him and what He has accomplished for us and not in what others think about us, we also enter into His rest and now dwell in heavenly places in Christ with the Father.

        It is so good to see you reaching out to others, beyond your own pain.

        Love you my dear sister! ❤
        Michael

        Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear James,

      Your church experiences sound similar to mine. They all seem to have an agenda that is more important than the people they claim to serve. How many of these so-called “shepherds” actually take the time to sit down and get to know a new member and listen to their hearts that so often cry out to be loved and counted as a member of a loving family? Many of us grew up in dysfunctional families and when we found out that our heavenly Father is love and that His family should manifest His love, we were all in! “Yes, I want that!” But we found out that their “love” was only there for us as long as we supported their agenda and programs. Soooo, off we went looking for another “church family” hoping that “the next one” would be different. How could we get involved with a church reaching out into our community when it never even reached out to include us in the first place? Institutions have their place, but that place is NOT one of usurping the family of God. God is our Father and Jesus is our Brother and we are all siblings in Christ. Any other titles beyond that do not reflect the nature of the kingdom of God.

      “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:2-3 RSVA)

      Love you my bother,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the post – rich as usual. In recent weeks, the thought that has occupied some of my attention is: God loves me because of who He is. At first it was a freeing thought – no more need to strive for His love. Then the thought was humbling – nothing about me had inspired God to love me. The next thought was: if I am to love like God, then my love for others will be because of who I am – not who they are.

    Because God is love, we have the perfect teacher to instruct us ( to remake us) in love. Its exciting to know that we are called to God’s kind of love.

    Love in Him,

    Pat Orr

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, Pat, God loves us because He is love. I believe that also means that He, although He is not pleased when we walk after the flesh, always loves us, not least because He created us in His image. Take the carnal part of us away (which only God’s power in us can do), God finally beholds Himself in His children. Is that too good to be true? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Dailey says:

    I recently went to visit someone in the hospital that will likely be there for a couple months, and is in danger of dying. Someone else wrote me later, thanking me for visiting them and loving him, despite the fact that he’s not the “cleanest”, and he’s poor, etc.

    My heart was broken…

    I AM THE ONE THAT IS DIRTY. I am poor. It is impossible to love unconditionally until we have received unconditional love. It is impossible to receive unconditional love until we realize there are no conditions under which we could be considered lovable. We are poor, dirty, and wholly unlovable, without any chance of ever becoming lovable.

    And yet we are loved 🙂

    Until we understand our worthlessness in the flesh, we can never understand the grace given to us by our savior, and will be literally incapable of having that kind of love for anyone else. Our entire understanding of love will be predicated on some kind of preexisting worth. We will look for people that have intrinsic worth, but fail to understand it isn’t there, and all we’re really looking for is someone who has the kind of things we’ve come to value about ourselves.

    Great post, guys!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Dan. 🙂

      You wrote,

      “Until we understand our worthlessness in the flesh, we can never understand the grace given to us by our savior, and will be literally incapable of having that kind of love for anyone else.”

      Yes and amen. Very well said!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Dan,

      The thing that struck me about your comment was the letter you got in response to visiting this poor man in the hospital, “Someone else wrote me later, thanking me for visiting them and loving him, despite the fact that he’s not the “cleanest”, and he’s poor, etc.” Has Christianity come down to this? Have pastors so fallen in love with their own images and success that they are no longer found mingling among the “down and outters,” the “high maintenance people”? From what I can see of the Christ of the gospels, He was criticized by the religious establishment for do this very thing. Jesus said,

      “the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19 RSVA)

      You nailed it, as long as our giving of love is base on our idea of that person’s worth and how they fit OUR value system or OUR agenda, we do not love them at all and we surely do not manifest the love of God for all men. Or as Jesus put it,

      “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45 RSVA)

      Thanks for sharing your heart and manifesting the wisdom of our Father Dan. I love you, dearly,

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dan Dailey says:

        The more God acquaints me with my own depravity, the better I understand his grace. The better I understand his grace, the more impossible it becomes to withhold it from others. I have come to see how underserving I am of Christ’s love, and how awful a thing it would be to not share it.

        That’s not even the right way of putting it, really; it’s not that a better understanding of God’s grace on me helps me understand, intellectually, that I am more obligated to love others. It’s more that he uses this revelation to remove the false distance between my worth and theirs. I didn’t even know that chasm was there. I thought I was loving, until I realized that “loving the unlovely” was just a religious way of reaffirming my own loveliness. It implied I was having them charity; that I was bestowing a gift because I was lovelier than them, just as Christ was lovelier than me.

        I NEVER saw it this way, but in hindsight it’s pretty clear. I can’t emphasize enough how big a deal it is to realize our depravity. It’s not a past thing, either; it’s a present thing. I am loved only because of grace, not because of present inherent value. My entire value is him!

        I know many Christians look down on the idea of being too self-abasing. Much is made of our place as brothers and sisters with Christ, joint heirs in an eternal kingdom, children of the almighty. I’m not saying these things are not true, but I find a subtle ring of pride in these claims, and it’s especially visible when people push back against the idea that we are in fact nothing before a God who is everything.

        Christ, God himself, made himself nothing, setting his own divinity aside, and sought to be the lowest; the servant of all. That flies in the face of the sort of position many try and claim in God’s kingdom. I’d rather be one of the guys throwing my crown at God’s feet and counting it as nothing.

        God spare me from an attitude that seeks greatness, even (especially) in an eternal perspective. Let me instead, like Christ, be a servant of all; considering all others as better than myself.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Michael says:

        Dan, you bring up some good points here, not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. There seems to be two extremes we fall into. Before we see our old natures as God does, we thing we are pretty good stuff and God’s gift to the church. Some of us even believed that we were “God’s man of the hour”… a spiritual form of Mighty Mouse touting, “Here I come to save the day!” There are all too many people who think they have the right to lead that are in this category.

        Then we have the other extreme, we have those who self-flagellate and dwell on what a poor example of Christ they are and can’t seem to get their eyes off of their own flesh. This is the perspective that Paul wrote about in Romans chapter seven… it was I, I, me, me, my for a whole chapter! Yes, we should pray that God opens our eyes to see what filthy rags our righteousness really is, but we cannot continue to dwell in Romans seven, either. Romans seven leads up to Romans eight, the real answer to all that we need…

        Paul wrote,

        “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 RSVA)

        Once again we see this phrase, “in Christ Jesus.” Everything pertaining to godliness is to be found as we abide IN CHRIST JESUS. At the end of Paul’s self deprecation of Romans seven we read the solution, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…” (Romans 7:24-25 RSVA). All we need is found IN Christ! To put our eyes on ourselves as the answer or on ourselves as the problem and leave them there is sheer folly. We must see Jesus only and seek only HIM with all our hearts and not give our flesh the time of day. Whether we are in love with ourselves or hate ourselves, it is still idolatry for our minds are focused on OURSELVES! The flesh is like a A.D.D. child that will do anything to get the attention of others. Only Jesus is worthy of all our love and devotion. True humility is rightfully seeing Jesus for who He really is and ourselves abiding in His love.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dan Dailey says:

        Exactly. I think the point of balance is having our identity in him. That means that although we are still wretched, we are also united with him who is perfect. We are, therefore, also perfect; not because of us, but because of him. It’s a really tough paradigm to realize!

        We put on Jesus, and thus abide in him. His righteousness is ours, but only because of him. Our identity IS Christ. The old man is still there underneath, until we are glorified, but that is no longer our identity. The danger is in taking God’s grace, which comes only because of our identity in Christ, and claiming it for the old man instead of realizing it comes only as part of the identity with Jesus.

        I don’t even know if I’m making any sense…

        When Christ IS our identity, then we exist in a strange sort of dual identity that becomes confusing to describe. It’s very abstract. It gives way to sayings like Paul’s “yet not I” statements:

        “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

        “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Cor 15:10)

        He seems to struggle to define the same thing: it is him, but it’s not him, but it is, but it’s not… It is counted to us as righteousness. We are favored as Christ is, and yet all this is not because of us, but him, and yet no less counted as us.

        I better stop before my brain pops 😉

        I’m just thankful that I’m loved, but don’t ever want to be caught taking credit for this. I’m grateful for God’s grace, and I don’t ever want to think it is I who is righteous… even though it is… but it’s not!

        LOL

        Love you too, brother 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • Michael says:

        Dear Dan,

        Your comment reminds me of this quote from Alan Greenspan, “I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant” :-p
        Or was this a quote from Shirley U. Jest?

        I know how hard it is to comprehend the ways of God. Paul said, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33 KJ2000). If we could understand God and all His ways we would have a god that is no bigger than we are.

        As long as we are trying to be righteous by our own thoughts and efforts instead of resting IN Christ’s finished work, we will find the truth of God running our finite minds in circles. Why? It is “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7 KJ2000). Like you said, Dan, our identity must finally come to rest IN Christ who’s identity is our gift from the Father, knowing HIM alone as our sufficiency in all things.

        “And such trust have we through Christ toward God: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of [out from] ourselves; but our sufficiency is of [out from] God; Who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6 KJ2000)

        As you might know by now, one of my favorite verses in the Bible is, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being… For we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17:28 KJ2000). Oh what a blessing to be known by the Father as His sons and daughters. Again it is contingent on the phrase “In HIM” not in or out from ourselves. Jesus said it so clearly, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5 RSVA).

        Resting IN Him,

        Michael

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Years ago, when we set up our first “inner city” legal clinic, an angry young man came in for advice. I can’t recall the nature of his case or whether he actually had a case. We were a well-intentioned group of Christian lawyers, determined to do good. I remember the group — all accomplished, all having volunteered their time — sitting around a large table, listening to this young man rant. It rankled me. I stepped aside for some coffee to distract myself, but could not hold my tongue. Finally, I lashed into him…about the importance of our time, and his “ingratitude” for wasting it. Even as the words came out of my mouth, I knew how wrong I was. No one else said anything. I’m sure they were justifiably embarrassed for me. The young man left. I don’t know what became of him, but I think of him to this day with regret. My temper and my pride destroyed an opportunity not only for us to address his legal problem, but witness to him. It may have been an opportunity to turn his life around. My only consolation is the thought that God did not abandon him, even if I did.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Michael says:

      Anna, Thank you for your honest sharing from your past. Dear sister, this incident was not wasted by God. It shows me that I was right about you all along — you have a dear heart that is easily touched by the Lord and other people’s pain. We all have times in our past where we reacted to a person that was emotionally out of control or that touched a nerve by what they said or did. The more that Christ heals us of our own past wounds and prejudices, the more His Spirit can act through us in the wisdom and love of God and make us a living display of the good news that our Father loves us and His earthly family does too. You have come a long way, dear Anna, and I am sure that God has answered your prayers for this young man as well.
      Thank you for being my friend,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Anna ❤

      Your honesty is truly touching. I do believe I know that kind of regret you are speaking of. I recall that there was a period during the past years when I was convinced that such things cannot happen to me any longer because of my “self-control”. I really thought the Lord had changed me completely. Alas, I was so wrong since my old heart was still alive without me realizing it. Oh boy, HOW wrong I was in my selfish pride…
      I only needed some nights without sleep and my wobbly nervous system made me react in a way I felt ashamed of even as I began to react to the attacks of those people who were just triggering my “wounded parts”. No self-control, no love for one of them left at all. Only Susanne’s re-action. Imagine you meet these people again and again… 😛 You are reminded of your failure every time and that is not fun, BUT, to put it positively, 😉 now I do know that I cannot rely on myself – ever. I will always react the wrong way because out of the abundance of my heart my mouth speaks. And as long as I have not yet received a new heart from God, there is no chance for improvement ever. “Oh, Lord, I need YOU. Only YOU!” Amen.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Q's Corner says:

      Anna, your naked honesty blesses my heart and also helps me to be more courageous. I am usually a very quiet person, but every once in a while I will speak and when I do everyone one in the room grows deadly quiet! Meek and quiet honesty really has a very loud voice that is heard clearly by those who hear it. It does trouble us for years to come when who know that we have said something that hurt another, but we only know one side of the story because more often than not the other person never comes back to us to tell us how they were affected by our words, that is what hurts us the not knowing! Anna, your words may have been harsh at the time, but it is quite possible that he needed a sharp rebuke, who knows? Apostle Paul, had to sharply rebuke Peter and in front of the other disciples, because he was wrong! That rebuke turned Peter around and he was finally able to make the right choice in spite of his critics. I am certain the Apostle Paul, hated having to make such a public rebuke, but it was needed for a man’s soul was weighing in the balances! I appreciate your honesty even if that honesty has brought some pain, it blesses others, it has blessed me.

      Susie

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Michael says:

    Wow, Anna! I don’t know what to say. Thank you for your loving kindness. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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