You are welcome to the Month of April Edition of Elshaddal Heritage!
Introduction: The word “Love” is commonly used word among all and sundry. Looking at the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Love means a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, while the Oxford Learners dictionary also defines love as a strong feeling of deep affection for somebody or something especially a member of family or friend.
Considering the use of kinship/ personal ties/ a member of family /friend in the above definition, love can be adduced as one of the elements or forces that enhances our relationship in all facets of life; everyone wants to be loved or share love with one another. As children of God, we are expected to exhibit His divine love in ALL that we do which includes our service to God, relations at home, in the workplace, and as individuals. This God’s kind of love is known as the AGAPE love and goes beyond mere affection. Its’ qualities as revealed in the bible make it clear that many acts of love we profess today are not acceptable when compared with the standard shown in the bible.
Love As God’s Nature
1 John 4: 16. ..” and God Is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him”. As a believer, just as we know that God is holy and pure, the same way, God is Love. Showing love in all we do and say has the following benefits.
- People identify us as God’s children when we show love to them, even to the undeserving
- We enjoy God’s abiding presence in our lives when we show love to others(…dwelleth in God and God in him)
- It’s a command from God that we love even our enemies(Mathew 5:44 & Luke 6:26)
- Love Covers multitudes of sins 1 Peter 4:8. We are able to overlook people’s unkindness and selfishness and seek the best for others
- In Exodus 10:37 “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and that keep my commandments”. This implies that a person that loves God, keeps and obeys God‘s instruction, and would enjoy the mercies of God.
Consider the attributes/ characteristics of this God’s kind of Love
Let’s study 1 Corinthians chapter 1: 1-13.
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-4 “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal… “The following are insights from the chapter:
- Whatever display of great knowledge, given in any form that is not borne out of love, is baseless, useless, not approved of God, and equated as nothing has been done.
- We must therefore weigh our motive in our minds for doing all that we are doing at all times.
- Our spiritual display without love is nothing and has no record talk less of reward with God.
- Love is the greatest among all the three- Faith, Hope, and Love, because this is what guarantees our place in heaven with God.
B) 1 Corinthians 13: 5-7 The attributes of love include:
- Love is patient
- Love is kind
- Love is not envious,
- Love is not boastful or proud
- Love is not easily angered
- Love takes no record of wrongdoing
- Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth
- Love always protects trusts, hopes, and preserves.
C) I Corinthians 13:8 also states that “love never fails, but where there are prophecies, they cease… When compared with other spiritual gifts, Love is enduring and creates long-lasting impact both in our lives and others, so practice true love.
Love is a Fruit of the Spirit
In Galatians 5: 22 states thus “and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering…first and foremost, notice that the first fruit mentioned is the “love”. It is expected that every born-again child of God / Disciple of Christ should manifest this fruit of the spirit as we yield our lives to God daily. If all the attributes highlighted above are missing in our lives, we are not showing genuine love. Let us return to God in genuine repentance of heart and ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit to enable us to manifest the true Christ’s love in our lives.
In what Ways Can We Show Love?
- In 1 John 3;18, we are admonished not to love in word only, but in deed and truth. Therefore, as believers, our love should not be in our confession but in our acts such as in sacrificial giving, helping, visitation and genuine counseling, etc.
- Without pretense but sincerity of purpose. Romans 12:9 Let Love Be without dissimulation”
It should be noted that our greatest responsibility is to Love God. Reading from Matthew 22:37 and Luke 10:27, the bible says “Thou shall love the LORD thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and all thy might”. It means God requires our deep and passionate affection for Him as well as expressing our love to Him not wholly and not partially. This is done by our total obedience to Him (1 Samuel 15: 22b). God exemplified Love in Christ Jesus as revealed in the Golden verse of the Bible: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life”
- God’s love covers the entire humanity irrespective of our race, colour, language, etc.
- It was love for humanity that was the basis for Christ mission on earth(His death and resurrection). It had nothing to do with anything good we have done for it was while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
- The gift of Jesus Christ was a sacrificial one. He gave his ONLY begotten son. There is no greater love than this!! Halleluyah.
- It is in your believing in Christ that the work of our redemption through Christ is made real in our lives.
- We have a guarantee of access to God and everlasting life through this gift of Love to us (Ephesians 2:18).
Coincidentally the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is being commemorated this season (EASTER) all over the world. Don’t be left out, Let the season’s purpose be accomplished in your life by accepting the gift of love that God is offering you.
Written By Pastor Taiwo Ojo.