The Litmus test.
What does that phrase mean to you?
Merriam-webster online defines it as “something (such as an opinion about a political or moral issue) that is used to make a judgment about whether someone or something is acceptable”, also “a test in which a single factor (as an attitude, event, or fact) is decisive. Google.com defines it simply, as “a test for acidity or alkalinity using litmus.” Grammarist.com more thoroughly explains, “Litmus is a substance, made of lichen-based eyes, that is absorbed in paper and used to test acidity. Blue litmus turns red when exposed to acidic materials, and red litmus turns blue when exposed to nonacidic materials. This is the origin of “litmus test” in its figurative sense – i.e., a test that draws broad conclusions based on a single factor. By extension, it also refers to a single factor that is useful for drawing a broad conclusion.”*
We were made for love. Easy to say…not always easy to live. Not always easy to sow…not always easy to reap.
Jesus spoke, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NASB) And, His even more famous instruction in the verse before, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)
To the Galatians, Paul taught, “for you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13, NASB) Paul instructed the Ephesians, “I…implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love…” (Eph. 4:1-2)
Paul commended the Thessalonians, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater…” (2 Thess. 1:3)
Peter gave these two instructions: “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart…” (I Pet. 1:22) and “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins…” (I Pet. 4:8).
John wrote, “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…” (I John 3:11) In the following chapter, John explains, “Beloved let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (I John 4:7)
I Corinthians 13, of course, gives a definitive description of “love”. Although I am personally a New American Standard fan, I like the eloquence and contemporary-term clarity with which The Message translates this portion of Scripture: “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up; Love cares more for others than for self; Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have; Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others; Isn’t always ‘me first’; doesn’t fly off the handle; doesn’t keep score of the sins of others; doesn’t revel when others grovel; Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth; Puts up with anything, trusts God always; Always looks for the best, never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies…” (I Cor. 13:1-8, The Message)
In August of last year, the Lord moved Lauryl to share a prophetic encouragement. In part, she shared, “He is in love with you. His desire is for you, right now, it’s just burning, and He wants you to receive it…I see this huge pot, it’s just filled with gold, and it’s tilting over, and it is just about to rain down on you; and as He’s tilting it, I think we think it’s going to be heavy, or hot, but it’s not; it’s not…He is starting to tip that over and it is eventually going to unbalance itself and it’s going to rain down like a waterfall. And you aren’t even going to know what to do. You’re just going to stand there and even if you thought you weren’t going to get showered, you are going to get showered. And you’re not going to be able to contain the Love of God…and we say yes…let it pour, Jesus, let it pour over us…fill us so much with Your Love that we don’t even know how to contain it….”
We were made for love. The litmus paper is being dipped in…pulled out. Dipped in…pulled out. Let us boldly embrace the path set before us, wet in the River of His Spirit, as crystalline as the sea of glass before His throne.