Greeting Friends the world over! What is the “Love Personality?” It is the human personality that has been redeemed from the “fear personality” we inherited from Adam’s fall in Eden. A human being becomes a “Love Personality” just as God is the supreme Love Personality Himself in His Triune Being as Creator. We will delve into the human personality of Love or fear as we see this played out in the parable of the bags of gold in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25. This is Jesus’ teaching about the “Kingdom of God” as the chapter opens with the words, “The kingdom of heaven will be like…” then He proceeded to give three parables, and one of them is about the ‘bags of gold.’ I will ask you to read the parable in Matthew 25:14-30. (please click on the Bible reference passage to read the text)
Biblical teaching about gold goes much farther than just the idea of gold being a precious metal that can be traded in the stock market or exchange hands for goods and services, for example. Gold is a precious metal that has fascinated people since the beginning of time. In the Bible gold played an important part in the construction of God’s temple. The ark of the covenant which contained the tablets of the commandments, and represented the very mercy seat of God was overlaid with gold. Many of the temple utensils were made of or overlaid with gold, as well as part of the temple structure itself (Exod. 25:11-39; 1 Kings 6:20-35). Looking into the future, Scripture shows a city of pure gold that will come down from God in heaven. (Rev 21:18, 21)
The use of gold as an image of value and permanence in God’s temple and the heavenly city of the future symbolized the value the believer placed on this precious metal and its association with the God we worship. There is nothing evil about gold or the many precious metal and stones. What is evil is the false value we place upon them through idolism and false worship. God alone, the Creator of gold and all precious stones, is worthy of our worship.
So, we see in Jesus’ parable likens God to “a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey” (Matt.25:14-15). The servants refer to all humanity who can be said to be grouped into three categories commensurate with the varied gifts that God their Creator has placed in them. There are two key takeaways to draw from the parable: the bags of gold, and the servant’s ability.
What is the gold in the parable? What does it represent? The parable states it represents God’s wealth. Then what is God’s wealth? It is God’s Love! Wealth is who God is in Himself, so God’s Love is His wealth and riches, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). God is wealth and riches who is Love in Himself. Of course, for He is Creator of all wealth and riches, both material and spiritual, seen and unseen. The true riches will always be defined through the Creator, not the created. (2 Cor.4:18) God is not made of Love, He is Love. God is Love and Love is God, there is no distinction, they are one and the same. In the Father’s great Love for humanity, He spared not His Son but gave Him for our redemption to secure our future in His eternal Kingdom.
God has promised His human children to inherit all things and share in His glory. And Paul tells us this, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” (Rom.8:17). To become heirs of God is to become heirs of who He is, for God is Love. That is to say we become “Love Personality” as God is the supreme Love Personality in His Triune Being as Creator. To “share in His glory” means to share in His Love Being by becoming “Love Personality” in our own right as the Bible affirms humanity was created in God’s Love image, which is the likeness of spiritual gold – His Love! (Gen.1:26-27) Paul said this about Jesus, “Who (Jesus), being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Phil.2:6, NKJV) To be “equal with God” is identify with Him in His “Love Personality.” The Book of Revelation tells us, “The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev.21:7). To inherit ‘all things’ is to inherit who God is as Creator of “all things.” That is, to become “Love Personalities” as God is Love in Himself.
The second key to the parable is the servant’s ability, each servant was given different amounts of gold, commensurate with, or “according to his ability.” ‘Ability’ represents the person’s gift and talent conferred by the Creator at birth. Gifts spring from the depth of God’s Love for humanity. So, each of our gifts and talents reflect and represent His infinite Love. Our innumerable and varied talents express the depth and immensity of God’s Love. Paul said this about the magnificence of God’s Love, “That you understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His Love is” (Eph.3:18). So, the parable speaks of the servants utilizing their ability (gifts) to grow and multiply God’s Love (spiritual gold) in their lives and become wealthy by growing the master’s wealth. Ultimately humans become “Love Personalities” themselves. So, humanity gave birth out of God’s Love and is given His wealth (gold/Love) with which to utilize and trade.
That is the vital point to keep in mind from this story. The gift is constant, and the Master’s wealth is subject to change through ascending and descending fluctuations. According to the parable, human gifts are constant and unchanging, for one’s responsibility is measured by one’s “ability.” Human gifts and talents are conferred upon conception in the womb, as the Bible asserts, “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psa.139:13-14) Job said this about humans, “Didn’t He (God) who made me in the womb make him? Didn’t One (God) fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:15; also Psa.119:73; Job 10:8; Jer.1:5).
With God having fashioned all mankind with gifts from the womb, our talents becomes a magnet in human life. So, the gift is constant and reflects God’s Love and wealth in each person. Peter said, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Pet.4:10). Whatever that gift, the Creator wants each person to use it for His divine purpose, and that purpose is none other than in service of His Love. (1 John 4:16) So, we can become successful at what we do in life through our individual talent, but if we fail at Love, then the Bible says “we are nothing” (1 Cor.13:2).
The responsibility for each person was commensurate with his/her ability, nothing more, nothing less. The Bible states, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3:27). This is true with human gifts and talents as with everything in life. Paul said, “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil.2:13). The Bible warns us about not being presumptuous and conceited about ourselves and our capabilities. Paul points out, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Rom.12:3). By saying, “In accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you,” this speaks of human gifts and talents. We must guard against being presumptuous but be realistic with ourselves and humble in disposition.
Nobody was given more than he or she can handle according to the inborn and natural ability conferred by the Creator God in every human being. Neither was a person given less than the person can handle. God is just and fair in all He does especially in His relationship with His human children. Paul said this, “We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If one’s gift is prophecy (teaching), let him use it in proportion to his faith” (Rom.12:6). God promises, “No test that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Cor.10:13, MSG). Yes, our hope and future rests upon His unfathomable and incomprehensible Love. (John 3:16)
However, what is subject to change and fluctuation is the wealth, the Master’s wealth, gold, depending upon the application of the gift itself upon the situation and circumstance by which Love is made to grow and mature or retrogress and decline. And the person’s ‘Love bank’ (Love Personality) is ever growing to a whole person fashioned in Christ’s image. (Rom.8:29) The application of the gift is the servant’s responsibility with the help of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26; 16:12-14) Here is the crux of the parable, change and fluctuation can be subject to increase or decrease in the ‘Love bank’ equilibrium as determined by how the gift is utilized and what it is used for. The gift is the trading platform in the ‘spiritual marketplace’ where the currency of Love is traded for spiritual goods and services.
According to the parable, there are three categories of people. The first servant represent people God has conferred the greater ability and talent than the second category. And the second group was more talented than the third category. The gifts are allotted and dispersed by determination of the Creator. In fact, the Bible says that we “may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). So, the Father has determined that all human gifts and talents are reposed in and spawned from His Son, the second Person in the triune Godhead, for all our gifting spring from the divine “mystery hidden in Him carrying all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” speaks of human gifts and talents.
Whatever the gift or talent does not make a person inferior or superior in God’s sight. What matters is we are using it as a platform for God’s Love and promoting good deeds and works. (Eph.2:10) We read Jesus said, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3:27). No one can produce more than his/her gift would allow, whatever “is given them from above.”
Hopefully, we’ll not use that as an excuse for not doing our utmost best with our gift, both quantitatively and qualitatively. On the other hand, we can fizzle and fail by not utilizing our gifts to its uttermost, or doing nothing at all for Love’s sake, as the servant who was given one bag of gold. (Matt.25:24-25)
That is the message of the parable. It is not identifying a person’s gift exactly, but how God confer gifts in human beings into three categories. A person can be a plumber, an engineer, a doctor a gardener, an architect, a builder, a marine biologist or fisherman, a basketball player or botanist, a soccer player, or whatever the gift. One may be able to do the same work at a higher quality and quantity than the next person, depending on their mindset, conviction, and industry. They are all important to, and Loved by God who conferred the gifts. But the cardinal sin of the parable is to turn the platform of your gift utilizing the currency of fear (fool’s gold), and instead burying the bag of gold (God’s Love).
The first servant was given five bags of gold. What would be the benefit of giving a person fifty bags of gold if he/she possesses no corresponding ability to properly handle it? The first servant with five bags of gold had multiplied the Master’s wealth by 100%, and brought back ten bags of gold. His “Love Personality” (Love bank) has increased to the maximum degree his/her gift would tolerate in relation to the application of the gift. So did the next person with different but equally appropriate ability than the first servant was given two bags of gold and also multiplied the Master’s gold by 100% and returned four bags of gold (Love).
Both servants had utilized the platform of their gift to multiply God’s Love (gold) to the fullest possible extent. Take a moment to think about God’s command for humanity to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mar.12:30). We wonder sometimes if God is preoccupied in self-glory to give such a command? But not so, for this is the purpose of human life – to become “Love Personalities” as He is the the supreme “Love Personality” Himself. (1 John 4:8; 1 Cor.8:3) The command was a revelation about human destiny. Thereby, by commanding humans to Love Him absolutely without reservation, God had us in mind, not Him. God is Love and selfless in His Tri-Personal Being. The deeper we Love Him the greater His Love for us, and in the process we reflect and become like Him…we become “Love Personalities” being disrobed from the fallen “fear personality” inherited from Adam. (Rom.8:29)
However, the third servant who was given one bag of gold did differently from the previous two and instead of trading with his Master’s gold for gain, he did nothing but buried his one bag of gold in the ground somewhere. He gained nothing for he never did make a trade in order to multiply the Master’s wealth. Instead, he/she used the gift as their platform to promote fear (fool’s gold) and ignored God’s Love (true gold) entirely.
Upon his return, the Master enquired of the servants as to His investment He had entrusted with them. The first two of the servants who had made a hundred percent increase with the Master’s wealth were apprised and the Master was happy with their performance, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt.25:21, 23). However, the third servant category returned his one bag of gold and said, “Here is what belongs to you” (Matt.25:25). The Master was not happy, and said, “‘You wicked, lazy servant! Take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags” (Matt.25:26, 28).
A person may be a gifted wood carver, or architect who designs award-winning structures. These are physical manifestations of the person’s gift, however, there is the spiritual aspect of each and every gift and talent. It is this spiritual manifestation is where the wealth of God’s kingdom is to be found and made to multiply and increase. This is what the Master is looking out to see in His relationship with humans, and how each of us have performed. The Bible says it this way, “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam.16:7). Paul said, “For God does not show favoritism” (Rom.2:11). In the final analysis we are told to “remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant” (Deut.8:18; Prov.10:22). Yes, life is about trading with our gifts and talents to enrich and increase spiritual wealth in the human life and that of the Master and by extension humanity as a whole will become enriched and refined in character and being, in the process.
The material manifestation of your gift is a given, however, not so the spiritual manifestation. This is where the rubber meets the road…the heart, the motive which triggers human activity for the true wealth (Love/gold) which counts. This is why humans are blessed with gifts and talents in the first place, it’s always asking why am I doing this, what am I doing it for? This is the main point of the parable. You may be very good with your gift physically and materially, but that is not the meaning of the parable. It was about what your gift produced spiritually. The Bible states that without Love, “I am nothing” (1 Cor.13:2). So, for every activity we do with our gifts, there is a material manifestation and there is a spiritual manifestation. If we place the spiritual deeds first, then the material will fall into its proper place. (Matt.6:33)
Can we see that gifts are conferred foremost for the purpose of building spiritual wealth? Apparently, the third servant who was given one bag of gold did not appreciate this all-important aspect of his/her life. The first and second servant did. Recall, they were all given the same quality of gold, not necessarily quantity. We have seen that gold is the metaphor for divine Love, His wealth. God’s Love is one, same, and whole, thereby, it is never measured by degree. (Heb.13:8; Mal.3:6; Jam.1:17) God’s Love is not measured by carats, as in 10 carats, 24 carats, 40 carats, or whatever measurement humans have assigned to this precious metal. God’s Love is immeasurable and there is no way of determining the quality of His Love for its sublimity and richness.
The only difference is the quantity which is given to humans is “in accordance with the gift (faith) God has distributed to each of you.” Our perspective of God’s Love is that it is given by measure though its quality is unquestionable. The role of humans is to multiply what they are given commensurate with human gifts. Only Jesus possessed Love “without measure” for He was God in human flesh. (John 3:34; Isa.7:14)
Whatever measure of spiritual gold we are given from the Master’s storehouse, God’s Love is infinite, unfathomable, and beyond comprehension. There is no height by which it can be measured. There is no depth that can fathom it. There is no width, length, or breath by which it can be quantified nor qualified. It is indeterminable and limitless. However, the gold’s increase or decrease is determined by the application of human gifts. The Bible tells us this about human gifts and talents, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all” (1 Cor.12:4, NLT). We are reminded to, “Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill His covenant” (Deut.8:18, NLT).
So, the parable speaks of going out and utilizing your gift as the platform upon which to trade with the spiritual currency of Love in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ And at the end of trading, we ought to show a balance sheet where you have increased the Master’s wealth (Love). This means the steady growth of God’s divine ‘Love bank balance’ (Love Personality) in the heart and mind of the servants (believers). But what exactly is this ‘Love currency’ or spiritual monetary value and system we utilize upon the platform of our talents and gifts?
How exactly do we use our gifts and talents with God’s ‘Love currency’ to trade within the ‘spiritual marketplace?’ Without knowledge and recognition of what the ‘Love currency’ is, how would we trade in the ‘spiritual marketplace?’ Let’s begin by asking what exactly is God’s ‘Love currency?’ Paul told the Romans, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). So, the Holy Spirit is the personification of God’s Love and ‘Love currency’ in humans. Paul said further, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). So, humans were created to be the temple of God, the temple of His Love through the Holy Spirit. With that, each and every believer is given money (Love currency/Spirit), five, two, one, bags as the case may be, to trade in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’
Jesus revealed the work of the Spirit when He said, “When the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you” (John 16:13-15). What this says is the Spirit is the face of the Son, just as Jesus is the face of the Father to humanity. (John 14:9; Matt.28:19)
God’s ‘Love currency’ are the fruits of the Spirit’s Love which Paul communicated to the Corinthian Christians. (1 Cor.13:1-13). Paul stated the ‘Love currency’ are actually the Love-fruits of the Holy Spirit, and Paul tell us what they are: *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness, *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 12:9-21). What we see above in the Love-fruits represent the currency of Love through the Spirit’s presence in human life. Both Jesus and the Spirit co-exist in the heart of God’s children, for Paul said, “Christ lives in me;” and “You are God’s temple that God’s Spirit dwells in” (Gal.2:20; 1 Cor.3:16; Act.17:28). What we see above are the fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit) which we feed upon every day in life’s human journey upon earth.
Just as these are the Love-fruits of God’s Spirit, there are fruits of fear. The fear-fruits are the exact opposite to the Love-fruits shown above. Here are some examples of the fruits of fear shown bracketed in italic with the Love-fruits: Joy (depression/regret/sadness); Peace (hostility/tension/disorder); Patience (intolerance/irritability/impatience); Kindness (malice/violence/inhumanity); Goodness (evilness/immorality/selfishness); Gentleness (cruelty/harshness/ruthlessness); Self-Control (instability/rashness/self-indulgence); etc. Both Love and fear represent the spiritual currencies that are traded in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’
From the above, we see the currency of Love clearly stipulated. These Love-fruits spells out the ‘Love currency’ we utilize upon the platform of our gifts and talents whereby we trade and earn even more Love and ‘Love-fruits’ in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ The end result is become the Love Personality in the true sense of the word as the Spirit remake us into Christ’s image, for He is the ultimate Love Personality in human form which God destined we are to emulate, and become ‘Love Personalities’ ourselves in Christ’s image. (Rom.8:28; 5:5; 1 John 4:16) Essentially, in the essence of playing and living the role of servants in the parable, Paul speaks of what we encounter with its end-result in this way, “As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory (Love Personality)… we are being changed into His image with ever-increasing glory (Love Personality). This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor.3:18).
In other words, we are in a ‘spiritual marketplace’ where we’re trading with God’s Love as currency or spiritual money, utilizing our talents to increase the divine Love currency who were entrusted with the Master’s gold (Love) treasures. And as we do, the end-result is the Master’s gold gradually become brighter and more beautiful spiritually as God enters our lives and we take on and become more and more like His Son – for Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s Love Personality to humanity unveiling the Father’s glory. (John 3:16; Rom.8:9)
What is this marketplace where we use God’s Love currency to trade upon the platform of each of our gifts and talents? The marketplace is where we live and encounter relationships first with God and through Jesus we relate with our fellow humans. Jesus gave us the most important roles we must play in life, with these words, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt.22:37-40). This is the ‘spiritual marketplace’ where we are cultivating a Love relationship first with God, and with our fellow humans in whatever life situation we encounter.
How do we use our gifts with the currency of God’s Love to trade in this ‘spiritual marketplace?’ Jesus utilized His exceptional miraculous gift as the platform which attracted people to come and hear the Gospel which God the Father gave His Son to announce to humanity. (John 3:16; Matt.4:17) The Bible tell us this about Jesus, how “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him” (Act.10:38). What is that Gospel? It is the ‘good news’ about God’s Love, that’s it! And each of our gifts does the same thing, for we are now Christ’s ambassadors continuing His mission of spreading the Love of God. (Matt.28:20)
Many don’t realize this basic truth of the Bible that there are only two forms of humans that has ever existed and walked upon this earth. Both originate from the Creator God. All of humanity is essentially part of the entire human species of God’s children, and further defined by two ‘humanities’ (two humans), if you like. (Act.17:28)
At the beginning, the first human, Adam, was created from the dust of the earth, perfect and sinless until his fall at the hands of the devil in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:1-24) Thus, mankind was consigned to a life of spiritual imprisonment under the rebellious spirit in the sin-condition of the evil one. Humanity was cut-off from access to God through the Holy Spirit, as symbolized by the Tree of Life, because of sin. (Gen.3:24) Consequently, it is from fallen Adam that the spiritually imprisoned humanity descended through Mother Eve. This is our old fallen and corrupt humanity – from the fallen ‘Adamic humanity,’ mankind inherited the sin-condition with the ‘fear personality’ as opposed to the divine ‘Love Personality’ of God in Christ.
Then, there is the second new humanity resulting from the incarnation of Jesus, God’s only Son descending from God the Father. Jesus is also identified as the second Adam. (1 Cor.15:45-49) Through the prophet Isaiah God announced this wonderful message to mankind, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23, KJV). This is the new humanity of Jesus, or His ‘Immanuel humanity,’ following His prophetic name announced by the prophet Isaiah. The prophetic name, Immanuel, means “God is with us,” and means Jesus is fully God and fully human. (Matt.1:23). God gave up His Son for us, and He has accepted Christ’s sacrifice for the human sin-condition as the absolute and final atonement for human corruption and evil for all times, thus making redemption for Adam’s sin. (John 3:16; Matt.20:19)
Therefore, from the new ‘Immanuel (‘God is with us’) humanity’ of Jesus, humans can choose to adopt from God through Jesus Christ in the Spirit’s (Love) power. This change is a rebirth (born anew) into the ‘Love Personality’ of Jesus. Paul, while speaking about this new humanity, said, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves (to sin), so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit (Love) you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him (God) we cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom.8:15). The purpose of the second redeemed ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus is to substitute for the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ of Adam, the father of the ‘fear personality.’ (You can read about this rebirth in my post titled, “The New Humanity of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718)
What is the fundamental difference between the two? There is the primary difference of origin. Though Adam came from God perfect and sinless by creation, the human sin-condition came about as a result of Adam and Eve falling at the hands of Satan’s temptation and sin. (Gen.2:15-17; 3:1-6) Thus, the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ with the ‘fear personality’ resulted from their rebellion. Through God’s promise, Jesus, the second Adam, by incarnation gave birth to the ‘Immanuel humanity’ and thereby imparted the ‘Love personality’ of God to humanity. Jesus’ messianic title, Immanuel (“God with us”), conveys the origin of the Son of God, fully God and fully human, originating from the one Triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (John 1:1; 14:16-17; Eph.4:4-6; 1 Pet.1:2; Matt.28:19; 1 Cor.15:45-49)
The two human forms devolve into two broad philosophies of life. One is self-centered, driven by the ‘fear personality’ inherited from our fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ and end with the sin-condition and death. (Rom.6:23) While the ‘Immanuel humanity’ is other-centered, driven by God’s ‘Love Personality’ through His Spirit we adopt through a spiritual rebirth, and ultimately, human immortality in Christ’s likeness. (John 3:16; Rom.8:11; 5:5; 1 Cor.15:45, 47-49; John 3:3-7) John said, “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” (1 John 4:18).
The two broad philosophies of life reveal the undercurrent that governs the atmosphere and attitude of the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ There are only two spiritual currencies that are recognized and traded within it: Love and fear! They are the medium by which spiritual transactions are conducted and concluded. And every trade is carried out through the platform of the human gifts God has conferred upon humanity, utilizing either of the two currencies to exchange spiritual goods and services (works).
By extension, we must be cognizant of the fact that there are only two realities, just as in Jesus’ temptation there was physical/material bread, there is its counterpart of spiritual bread. (Matt.4:3-4) The spiritual currency of fear and Love, combined with the human talents God has conferred upon each of us, forms the basic ingredients which keep the ‘spiritual marketplace’ busy with spiritual transactions. Paul said, “You have taken off your old self (‘fallen Adamic humanity’) with its practices and have put on the new self, (‘Immanuel humanity’) which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col.3:9-10, italics and bracket my emphasis)
Let us see an example of how the spiritual currency of Love and fear is used in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ The gifts conferred upon humans enable us to live a life with purpose. The gift gives the person passion, meaning, and joy in life. The gift is divinely deposited in the person’s heart and mind. With that in mind, a person crafts a plan or design corresponding to the person’s talent. Let’s assume the gift of wood carving. There are two realities, the first is the word carver can carve an exquisite work of art using wood. First there is the physical/material manifestation of the gift. Then, second there is the spiritual manifestation, the spiritual reality. Recall, the spiritual manifestation consists of two realities and directions which drives a person’s gift – Love or fear.
We saw that the path of Love is further dissected into two routes: Love for God first, and then our Love for our fellow humans. (Matt.22:37-40). So firstly, there must be an underlying commitment to use our gifts for spiritual reasons, for God’s purpose as we have seen analogized in the parable of the bags of gold. Peter said, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another”
(1 Pet.4:10). And we ought to always display the enduring spirit of acknowledgement that our accomplishments, consistent with our gifts, are made possible only because the gifts conferred upon us by our Maker. This spontaneous and thankful attitude of mind ought to be instinctive and organic, as Paul said, “Be persistent in prayer; in every situation, be thankful to God” (1 Thess.5:17-18, AMP). The act of gratitude and acknowledging God’s provision is an expression of our Love for Him.
When it comes to our relationship with fellow humans, we ask how does our gift interact with other people? Does Love inspire our actions or does fear lead the way? In the ‘spiritual marketplace’ what is the spiritual goods and services the spiritual currency of Love is being exchanged for? Paul answers this way, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph.2:10). Yes, we sow the seeds of Love, by using the currency of Love, with which to reap the harvest of “good works.” Recall, one of the many fruits of the Spirit is “goodness.”
All the fruits of Love shown in the Spirit’s Love-fruits produce one goal: “good works.” On the opposite pendulum, a person can use the currency of fear we saw above and produce “evil works.” This was no different from Jesus’ life which the Bible records as saying, “With the Holy Spirit and with power, Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Act.10:38; Matt.4:23). I emphasize the words, “doing good,” or “good works.” Peter said, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (through “good works”) (1 Pet.4:10).
People have been known to “cash-in” on their talents. Is our relationship with people to get something out of them? Is that the motivation for our relationship with others as it intersects with our gifts? Does the wood carver create his/her piece of artwork purely for the sake of money, or other non-monetary rewards, for instance? People have charged exorbitant prices for their work (gift) than is justified. Our actions through our gifts must be filtered through God’s Love. (1 John 4:16)
People are known to be meanly transactional in their relationships with others, where in extending a helping hand they expect a premium in return, a ‘I scratch your back and you scratch mine’ mindset. However, Love is sacrificial in its outlook where our perspective is for the wellbeing of others. Love expects nothing in return, for Love is its own reward, for the Scripture tell us, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16, 8). To exist in the divine “Love Personality” of Christ is to be complete, lacking nothing.
People can turn their talent into a self-centered ‘ATM money machine.’ I believe the servant who buried his/her Master’s one bag of gold (Love) was such a person who acted and utilized his/her gift purely for selfish reasons (fear) and using the platform of his/her gift to trade in the currency of fear for the self. People have used fear to get things done. Jesus told the unprofitable servant who buried his one bag of gold, “You should have put My money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest” (Matt.25:27).
In other words, the servant could have done the bare minimum and placed the bag of gold (Love) in a fixed term investment at a local bank. But instead he/she made a complete about turn and went to the the extent of exchanging the Master’s gold for ‘fool’s gold’ or fear, self-centeredness, and sin and acted foolishly. The Scripture says this about Lucifer’s original sin, “You defiled your sanctuaries (heart) with your many sins and your dishonest trade” (Ezek28:11-19, esp. V.18).
Am I saying it is wrong to charge for a service a person renders? No, the Bible says clearly, “The worker deserves his wages” (Luk.10:7). Again, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Tim.5:18). So, a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is a biblically sound fiscal principle. And when done out of Love, we are shining the light of His glory.
So, it is the underlying motivation…that is the question. Is it done out of fear or Love? Our foundation must always be Love. As Paul told the Romans, “Do not owe anyone anything, except to Love one another, for the one who Loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom.13:8). What “law”? The law of Love. We are to be under obligation to no one–the only obligation is to Love one another. Our goal is not to earn more physical wealth, but to multiply the spiritual wealth of the Master who has invested in us. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt.6:19-21, 33).
As far as material wealth, God has promised to supply our needs and even desires with the understanding that we “seek His kingdom first” (Matt.6:33, 25-32; Psa.37:4). And God’s kingdom is about Love, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). The platform of your gift must be motivated by Love. We can work for an employer for a price (wage), but the underlying motive must be Love. What drives us is God’s Love, not fear. What is the content of the product we’re helping to produce? Does it promote Love or fear? Does it promote ‘good works’ or ‘evil deeds?’ That question ought to guide us philosophically.
I have used the case of the wood carver above as an example from which you can extrapolate the principle onto your case individually as it relates to your gift and situation in life. When we use our gifts to dispense fear, negative fruits grows and proliferates and become stronger. The same works for Love. The dispenser of fear has magnified and intensified the currency (spirit) of fear in his/her life and in the lives of others. God wants His children to dispense Love and grow His Love everywhere. This is how we live in freedom day by day as God’s people and children.
Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life*. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever.
You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination, or divisions one may espouse – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:
Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”
Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.
Personal Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
Farewell for now!
*Triune Life”: Relationship with God has no meaning without Love. By its very nature, Love cannot endure in solitary existence. So, when God said “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” He was revealing Himself as existing in His trinitarian existence. That is, His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen.1:26; Matt.28:19; John 14:10, 16; 16:7) The Hebrew word for ‘God’ in the creation account is “Elohim.” It describes God as a Trinity – the Tri-Personal Godhead, which other scriptures attests. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14) So, God is Trinitarian in His Love nature. Love by its nature is relational as God is in His Tri-Personal Being. Hence, a human being was created a relational being.
Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family to raise composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Being. The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2; Eph.5:23-27, 32; Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Being.
It’s noteworthy to understand that Eve was not created an individual creation from the dust of the earth as was Adam. She was not created apart from Adam as an individualized separate human being, instead, she was taken out from Adam’s side to show she was biologically one and indivisibly part of Adam. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity. When Adam saw Eve, he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Gen.2:21-23).
Each one of us was created as an indivisible relational human being incubated and given birth from Adam’s mold as one species, for God created humanity to reflect the eternal likeness in His triunity. We are born for relationships with the divine triune Love as our guiding principle. All this show that humans were created to be indivisibly one to reflect God’s Tri-Personal image of Oneness, not solitary separateness. When God sent Jesus His eternal Son, He became human in order to unify humanity spiritually to the Triune Being of God once for all time. Hence, when the prophet Isaiah proclaimed Jesus’ coming, He was given the prophetic name, Immanuel. (Isa.7:14) The name means “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Humanity is ‘organically’ one with the Triune God, just as humanity is one with Adam.
Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the Trinity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate, but of one substance from Adam. Likewise, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus Christ who took our humanity upon Himself and joined it to the divine triune existence forever.
The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
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