The importance of understanding these three words (love, lust and the Lord) and their relationship to each other, cannot be overstated. Such understanding is the basis for assessing and addressing the human condition (i.e. why we do what we do; what we should do).
Love is a decision/choice whereas lust is a feeling:
1.1. Love (def) = a choice/decision to devote oneself to something (or someone) for it (or their) good (forgiveness and justice are therefore forms of love. Love understood this way is how we make sense of passages like Mat 5:44).
1.2. Lust (def) = a strong feeling of desire (good or bad) for something (or someone) (evpiqumi,a; Mar 4:19; Luk 22:15; Phi 1:23; 1Th 2:17; e.g. sexual activity, sexual attraction, to possess a particular vehicle/house/toy, to eat a delicious piece of food, to be entertained, to experience pleasure or a sense of happiness/healthiness. euphoria, to explore and discover, to learn, to sleep, to play. Temptation is a form of lust. It is strong desire for what God has forbidden/prohibited at the present time; Jam 1:14)
Love cannot exist w/o action whereas lust requires no such action (i.e. you are not required to act upon it).
(Joh 14:15; 1Jo 3:17-18)
Love is one of the primary attributes of God given to humans as His image-bearers. It is therefore inevitable: we will love someone/something.
Proof (as it re: to primary attribute of God given to humanity) = (1Jo 4:8; Gen 2:23-25 = Adam’s response to the creation of Eve and the sacred vow est’d by God. Both are expressions of love: devotion to the other for their good. See also Eph 5:28 which echoes the same sentiment. This btw is where arranged marriages or those based on lust -i.e. American marriages, become the same: love or commitment is now the basis of the union. IOW: lust or lack thereof should no longer be a deciding factor.)
Love is the most dominant force in the universe.
Proof = The primary cause for every creature and event is God’s love for His people (Rom 8:28; Eph 1:3-4).
Before the fall of humanity into sin, lust was never incongruent with love. This is no longer true. Lust is can now be separate from love. As a result:
5.1. The Lord cannot be known by lust, only love (Jer 29:13) = knowing the Lord req’s commitment (“seeking Him w/all of our heart”). IOW: it req’s we love Him. If we attempt to know/have a re: w/God simply based on when we desire/feel like it, we will fail since our desires/feelings can be /are fickle (i.e. inconsistent w/commitment or love).
5.2. The Lord is now in competition w/our lusts (Which/Who will we follow, be committed to, love? 1Pe 2:11).
5.3. The entirety of humanity can be divided into two camps: Those who loved (i.e. decided to be committed/devoted to) the Lord [AND] Those who loved (i.e. decided to be committed/devoted to) their lust (Gal 5:16, 24; Eph 2:1-3; 1Pe 4:1-3; 2Pe 2:10, 18-20).
The most important question before every person is, “Who/what did you choose to love (the Lord or lust)?” since the answer will determine:
6.1. Who/what you worship/are loyal to/serve as God/god (True God or false god?; We worship/serve/loyal to what we love – Rom 1:18-24).
6.2. Your identity (Holy, hedonist, or humanist? Identity = the imitation of value/worth. We are all drawn to imitate/associate w/ what we believe is valuable/worthy; holy = the Lord is the greatest worth/value – “holy over happy” – Mat 13:44-46; hedonist and humanist = my lusts – i.e. desires/me as a human being, is the greatest value/worth – “happy over holy” – Rom 1:25).
6.3. The control you possess over your own life (Are you self-controlled or out-of-control? Free vs. slave? Only those who love the Lord will live self-controlled lives and possess the freedom it affords. Slavery is by definition, a state of no control. In Scripture the person who does not love the Lord, but rather is driven by their lusts, is never considered self-controlled nor free. They are instead its antithesis – out of control. A slave to their desires; 1Th 4:3-8; Act 24:24-25; Joh 8:34; 2Pe 2:19; Psa 119:96, 18:19).
6.4. Your priorities (What do you deem necessary? Luk 9:57-62).
6.5. What you invest yourself in (Where do you spend your time, money, talent, brain cells? Mat 6:19-21).
6.6. Your susceptibility to drinking from the toilet (Are you smart or stupid -i.e. a “thinking-challenged” person? – Isa 3:8-12; Jer 2:13, 4:22; Eph 4:17-19; Col 2:6-8; 2Co 11:20; Mat 13:18-19 w/Luk 8:11-12, 15 – Notice, the reason for the word of God being rec’d or snatched by the devil is the condition of the person’s heart. Where the heart is bad/evil – i.e. given to loving their lusts (for authority/power) rather than God, there wba in inability to understand/trust God’s Word. The result is manipulation, abuse and oppression; e.g. Feminism/Feminists = women/men who -b/c of their rebellion against all authority – most esp. preferential authority, hate what the Bible says about men in re: to women (1Ti 2:12-15; Eph 5:22-24; 1Pe 3:1; 1Co 11:7-9), believe that to be important, they need to be men – i.e. do the things men do (“women can do everything a man can do”). Such stupid thinking -i.e. drinking from the toilet, makes them both victim and perpetrator of their own manipulation, abuse and oppression! They are despising the beauty and glory God has given to the woman and her exclusive/important roles. They forget (also) that even God is preferential in His authority – Who chose our gender and design/looks? Was it not based on God’s preference?).
6.7. What you do in tough times, temptation or trials (Do you persevere in faithfulness or flake/freak out? Mat 13:20-21).
6.8. What/who influences you the most (Is it truth or being tickled? 2Ti 4:1-4 – “passions” = lusts).
6.9. Your perspective on God’s law (Love it or hate it? Those who love the Lord also love His law and the justice it establishes. They also hate evil – Psa 97:10, 119:47-48, 97, 113, 127-128, 159, 163, 167; Amo 5:15; 1Jo 5:3. W/those serving their lusts it is just the opposite – they despise God’s law/authority; their law is their desires! Jud 1:4, 16; 2Pe 2:1-2, 9-12,18).
6.10. Where you spend eternity (Will it be Heaven or Hell? Only those who love the Lord go to heaven; Eph 6:24; 1Jo 4:17-18).
You cannot love God and your lust.
(1Jo 2:15-17 = you cannot love/be loyal to God and your lusts – whose source is the world and its goods; also Mat 6:24)
You are not loving the Lord if you are (knowingly) practicing any form of sin or avoiding justice for your sin.
(Mar 8:34-35; Luk 19:8-10)
Both loving the Lord and loving your lust will produce forms of abundant life. Loving the Lord (however) is the only one which will not end in regret.
(Mar 8:36-37; 2Co 7:9-10)
Denver Reformed Church (as long as Scott Jarrett is her pastor) WILL BE a church who loves the Lord!
Joshua 24:14-15 14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”