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Love: The greatest of all

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Love, it’s the greatest weapon that has ever existed. Love has the power to deliver, restore, bear up, heal, conquer and even fulfill the law. "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (Romans 13:10) Love contains no hate or evil and can only be true.

Our first duty as Christians is to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind. We are to love God with all inward affection, all consciousness and all thoughts. This isn’t saying every thought you have should be about loving God, it’s saying when you are thinking about God, no thought should ever be contrary to that of love for Him.

So why are we supposed to love God in the first place? To put it straightforwardly “We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19) God has redeemed us from death to life. He has made possible again what we already rejected: eternal life in peace and perfection. He gave His only Son for us who suffered horribly to make atonement for our sin. He protects us when we trust in Him, and many times even when we don’t. Is that not enough reason to love someone? When it comes to loving God, it ultimately boils down to what Jesus said: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21) That is the key to loving God; keeping His commandments.

Loving God is not just reading the Bible every now and then. Loving God is not being able to quote scripture. Going to church every Sunday is not “loving God” like many believe. Loving God is keeping His commandments. His commandments include reading the scriptures and going to church, but aren’t only limited to those two acts. God has many commandments and He expects a lot from us. Ultimately, keeping God’s commandments means staying away from sin.

1st John 5:18 says “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” In other words if you are truly born of God (thus born again) you will fight and abstain from sin, because you love God. Loving God will keep you from sin because loving God means keeping His commandments. If you keep His commandments then you will walk in His love, you won’t sin, and the devil will not be able to touch you! Oh how important love is!

Now secondly, we are to love one another, even as we love ourselves. Loving someone else as much as we do ourselves can require practice, I’m sure many of you already know that. Nevertheless when we are able to do that, we will be walking in the perfect love of God! When you’re walking in the perfect love of God you’re walking in the perfect will of God! When you’re walking in the perfect will of God, you’re walking in the perfect blessings and protection of God! Love, my brothers and sisters in Christ, was designed this way on purpose!

If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12) Again, if God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us, then His love will accomplish many wonderful things in our lives. Get a hold of this, love is the key!

What is love?

So what is love? “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) (NIV)

This love is the kind of love that is to be exercised when “loving your neighbor as yourself.” Remember, “your neighbor” is not just referring to the people who live next door. Your neighbor is every human being on this earth besides you.

Love: Is forgiveness

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44)

It’s easy for us to love someone who loves us back however it can be very difficult for us to love our enemies. Just like loving your neighbor as yourself this may take some practice and lots of prayer, but it is to be done. We must learn to overcome anger and hate with forgiveness, because it is forgiveness that sets us free. We must learn to love those who hate us, bless those that curse us, and pray for those who use us. Doing these things will perfect our love and open the flood gates for the blessings of God to flow freely into our lives. Now the blessings of God will indeed flow, but remember the reason for your acts of love. You are not doing what God demands only for blessing, but simply because God demands it. If God calls for us to do something, we are to do it whether we get something in return or not.

A few weeks ago two men broke into my car smashing the passenger side window and denting the door. They stole my CD player along with a few small items. Now initially I was angry, but before even calling the police I prayed for those men. Every time I started to get angry I would pray for them instead. Satan was defeated instantly, and a spirit of peace finally fell upon me that could only come from God. Today I’m not angry at all, I just feel sorry for the men that did it!

The main point here is that it’s ok to be angry, but its not ok to stay angry. Pray for your enemies and God will deliver you!

Love: The conqueror of fear.

Love is a mighty conqueror! “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) Perfect or perfected love flushes out fear! If you are complete in and therefore made perfect in love, then there will be no room for fear in your life! If you’re full of love fear can’t even get inside you! Fear is a “faith-killer”. That’s right, if you let fear creep in your life it will completely stop faith from functioning. Fear will open the doorway to satan like faith opens the doorway to God. Fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real! On the other hand however, love is a fear killer!

We should not be entertaining fear because fear is not from God. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) Fear is to be rebuked and conquered by perfected love!

You become perfect in love by loving God and keeping His commandments. If you keep His commandments you will already be loving your neighbors and loving your enemies like you should be. Everything will fall into place correctly if you put love first. Love sorts everything out into its proper place.

Love: The activator of Faith

Love not only conquers fear but activates faith because “faith worketh by love." (Galatians 5:6) Now that is something to hold on to! Our faith works by love. So if we are out there loving God, and our neighbors and our enemies, and walking in love every single day, oh how much more will our faith produce results!

Love: The Over-comer

Love is indeed the key to all! The Bible gives a very special promise to those who love God: “… all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Loving God will bring His favor upon us. The scripture does not say immediately, but it does say “all things”. If you love God, then you can trust Him when you are in a time of need. God has a track record of keeping good on His promises for the last 6000 years; I believe it’s safe to say that our God is a dependable God!

Love Revealed: The Identity Of Love

Love does have an identity. Love is not just an emotion or a feeling. Love has a true form! Read these two scriptures very carefully:

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1st John 4:16)

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1st John 4:8)
God, is Love! What a marvelous scripture! If you were to look back through this article at all the sub-headings in bold and replace the word “love” with “God” this is what it would say, and what an astonishing truth it is:

“God”: The greatest of all! (“God” is patient, “God” is kind. “God” does not envy, “God” does not boast, “God” is not proud. “God” is not rude, “God” is not self-seeking, “God” is not easily angered, “God” keeps no record of wrongs (when forgiveness is asked). “God” does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. “God” always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.) “God”: is forgiveness! “God” is: The conqueror of fear! “God” is: The activator of Faith! “God” is: The Over-comer! Halleluiah! God is love and love is God and God is the key to all!

Finally friends, let this sink into your spirit. Let this scripture rest with you; these are truly words to live by. Love will bring you from defeat to victory, from trouble to triumph over and over again. Live your life in love, but "Let love be without dissimulation (deceit). Abhor (despise) that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:9-21)

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