Monday, January 16, 2023

Let Love Loose

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul reveals to us a very important foundational truth concerning Christianity, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." (Galatians 5:6) The Apostle John tells us, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18) Let us never forget the wonderful yet challenging words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) 

Without faith, we will not be able to love as God loves, yet, without love we will not operate in the kind of faith that pleases God. This is why faith working through love is the quintessential of Christianity. I believe that faith without love or love without faith on the part of believers has been so lacking in the church, that it is the main cause of all the division. The love that was in Jesus revealed throughout the four gospels, is the love that is to rule the church, every believer. When believers are ruled by love; motivated by love; owned by love; they become imitators of the one who is love, "...God is love" (1 John 4:8) and as Jesus said, "...all will know that you are My disciples..."   

The Apostle John has some strong language for the church concerning love that we should not only think about but take to heart and act on. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15) One of the things that John addresses is coming to grips with our love for the world and the things of world. This is not just toward material things, but the ungodly attitudes and actions of the the world. Let's be honest, most people who consider themselves to be Christian, would not admit just how much they are rooted in the world; How the cares of the world have become more important to them than the things of God. John tells us that one of the ways we can know how much the world has captured believers is revealed in the fact that they do not love as God loves, because God's love is not in them.

Next, John says,"...Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother...he who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:10, 14-15) Unfortunately, there is extremely to much unforgiveness in the church. Let's face it, if you cannot forgive another believer, you have hatred in your heart. John says, hating another believer is spiritual death. In other words, the person who hates a brother or sister of Christ, proves by their hatred that they are not truly saved. 

Unfortunately, many people in the church will say, "But I confessed with my mouth that Jesus is my Lord and Savior so how can you say that I am not saved?" I did not say that you are not saved, the Holy Spirit said it through John, plus we must also remember that though one confesses with their mouth, they must also believe in their heart. (Romans 10:9-10) John continues to reveal to us another problem that causes people to hate a brother or sister rather than love them. "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8) Simply put, if a person hates, they do not know God.

So, how can we let go of any ill feelings that we may have toward a brother or sister. It is by simply remembering and acting on the following, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Remember, no matter how good you may think you were before making a confession of faith, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Jesus died for all even when we were antagonistic toward Him. "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:9-11) Put these scriptures together, we have, "faith working through love." The way we love as God loves, is applying faith and live through Christ, love personified. 

Finally, take at least two times every day for forty days without missing one day, and slowly read aloud to yourself the following, "Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMP)  Let the God kind of love dominate your life, "By this all will know that you are My (Jesus') disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) Amen....

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