“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres .8 Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
If I had only three words with which to summarize what the agape love of God is, I’d say- Love is not self-centered. Ah, that’s four words right? Lol.
At the root of all that the God-kind of love is not, is selfishness. Pride, impoliteness, boasting, jealousy, impatience and every other attitude or behavior that God’s love does not exhibit only manifests itself in our relationships when WE CHOOSE to be self-centered. But what more does the Bible say about why we should walk in love and what our love walk should look like?
“14 We know that we have left death and have come into life. We know this because we love each other as brothers and sisters. Anyone who does not love is still in death. 15 Anyone who hates a fellow believer is a murderer.[b] And you know that no murderer has eternal life.”
1 John 3:14-15 (ERV)
16-17 This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.
1 John 3:16-17 (The Message)
The above scriptures remind us that loving others is a proof of our salvation and that we’re called to love fellow believers sacrificially, meaning that it should cost us something to put the needs of fellow believers ahead of our own needs. But then again, it’s not just fellow believers we’re to love sacrificially. In the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ recorded in Luke 10:25-37, Jesus taught that we’re also expected to love and give sacrificially to anyone in need as it is in our power to act.
You may have heard/read all about that story but please read what Martin Luther King, Jr. said about his understanding of Jesus’ parable after he (i.e. Mr King) had traveled down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho-
“I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing……….. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.” And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking, and he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was,
“If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”
But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?“
Wow!! How different our attitudes and actions would be if we saw another person in need and immediately thought “If I do not stop to help this person what will happen to him/her?” That’s sacrificial love right there. No more no less. I pray you and I yield to the power of God’s Spirit as He leads us to love others as selflessly as Christ loves us.
How about we make this confession together 😉
“The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost. I shall endeavor to let that love nature dominate me. I have God’s love nature in my heart – in my spirit. Therefore, I’ll not let my natural reasoning dominate me. I refuse to allow the flesh to rule me. I’m going to walk in the Spirit by walking in love.
I am a lover not a hater.
I will practice and exercise the fruit of love so that it can grow and increase. …….I will make the love of God my great quest in life, for then my love shall abound, and God shall reap the glory.
N.B. The above confession is an excerpt from Rev Kenneth Hagin’s book : ‘LOVE: The way to victory’.
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