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God is Love

 

The Greatest is Love !

If I had the gift of being able to speak in tongues, and could speak every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but I didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever. I would only be making a lot of noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and understood all mysteries - knew everything about everything - but didn’t love others, what good would it be? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.

 

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins its way. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.

 

All the special gifts and powers from God will some day come to an end, but love goes on for ever. Some day prophecy, and speaking in tongues, and special knowledge - these gifts will disappear. For even our special knowledge and our prophecy are incomplete. But when the perfect comes [that is, when we see God face to face], the need for these special gifts will come to an end, and they will disappear. … There are three things that remain - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor.13: 1-10, 13).

 

We Must Love Each Other

 Dear brothers (and sisters), I am not writing out a new rule for you to obey, for it is an old one you have always had right from the start. You have heard it all before. Yet it is always new, and it works for you just as it did for Christ; and as we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in.

 

Anyone who says he is walking in the light of Christ but hates his brother (or sister) Christian is still in darkness. But whoever loves his brother (or sister) Christian is “walking in the light” and can see his way without stumbling around in darkness and sin. For he who hates his Christian brother (or sister) is wandering around in spiritual darkness and doesn’t know where he is going, for the darkness has made him blind so that he cannot see the way (1 John 2: 7-11).

 

God’s Manifest Love

See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children - think of it-and we really are! But since most people don’t know God, naturally they don’t understand that we are His children (1 John 3: 1). “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now - love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13: 34-35).

 

Obedience to Love

When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in His love.  … I demand that you love each other as much I have loved you. And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when a person lays down his life for his friends; and you are my friends if you obey me (John 15: 10 – 12, 14).

 

Love in Action

If we love other Christians it proves that we have been delivered from hell and given eternal life. But a person who doesn’t have love for others is headed for eternal death. Anyone who hates his Christian brother is really a murderer at heart; and you know that no one wanting to murder has eternal life within. We know what real love is from Christ’s example in dying for us. And so we also ought to lay down our lives for our Christian brothers. But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother (or sister) in need, and won’t help him (or her) - how can God’s love be within him? Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God’s side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord. (1 John 3: 14 -19).

 

Love Comes from God

Dear friends, let us practise loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know Him better. But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he (or she) doesn’t know God - for God is love. God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into this wicked world to bring to us eternal life through His death. In this act we see what real love is: it is not our love for God, but His love for us when He sent His Son to satisfy God’s anger against our sins.

 

Dear friends, since God loved us as much as that, we surely ought to love each other too. For though we have never yet seen God, when we love each other God lives in us and His love within us grows ever stronger (1 John 4: 7 – 12).

 

We know how much God loves us because we have felt His love and because we believe Him when he tells us that He loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him (or her).  And as we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgement, but can face him with confidence and joy, because He loves us and we love Him too (1 John 4: 16 – 17).

 

No Fear in Love

We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his (or her) perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he (or she) might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he (or she) might do to us, and shows that we are not fully convinced that he (or she) really loves us (1 John 4: 18).

 

Love is Real

Don’t just pretend that you love others: really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honouring each other.

 

The Command to Love

Pay all your debts except the debt of love to others – never finish paying that! For if you love them, you will be obeying all of God’s laws, and fulfilling all his requirements. If you love your neighbour as much as you love yourself you will not want to harm or cheat him, or kill him or steal from him. And you won’t sin with his wife (or her husband) or want what is his (or hers), or do anything else the Ten Commandments say are wrong. All are wrapped up in this one, to love your neighbour as you love yourself. Love does no wrong to anyone. That’s why if fully satisfies all of God’s requirements. It is the only law you need. (Romans 13: 8-10).

 

“Which is the most important command in the laws of Moses?” Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbour as much as you love yourself’. All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others”. (Matthew 22: 36-40)

 

“Do for others what you want them to do for you. This is the teaching of the laws of Moses in a nutshell. …” (Matthew.7:12)

 

The Freedom to Love

For, dear brothers (and sisters), you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other. For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself”. But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other (Galatians.5:13-15).

 

Love Your Enemies

But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5: 44-48).

 

Don’t seek vengeance. Don’t bear a grudge; but love your neighbour as yourself, for I am Jehovah (Leviticus 19: 18).

 

Continue in Love

God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5: 5b). Continue to love each other with true brotherly love (Hebrews 13: 1). Follow God’s example in everything you do just as a much-loved child imitates his father. Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him (Ephesians 5: 1-2).

 

 

  Jesus said, ‘your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples’ (John 13: 35). If the world cannot see the love of God manifested in us, why would they want to come to us? If we have nothing better to offer to them than what they already have in the world (selfishness, self-centredness, hatred, malice, slander, evil-speaking, and the like), why would they be attracted to us?

 

Nobody can have the love of God and keep it to himself.

 

Father, today, we pray, give us the grace to love like you do. Amen!!!

 

 

(PS: All quotations are from the Living Bible)

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© 2014 Ngozi Okike