Love is the finished product. We cannot wake up one day and decide to love everyone. It may work temporarily. As soon as the object of that love does something hurtful, we stop loving. That’s our nature.
Jesus said, “You can do nothing apart from Me.” He means it. All our efforts to love, our self-will and determination will fail.
Only God’s love lasts forever, unchanged. Even when the object of His love turns their back on Him, God still loves them. For the Bible tells us nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. Hell can’t, heaven can’t, our fears can’t, and even our mistakes can’t. God is love, therefore, His love remains forever.
If we crave more love in our life the answer is found in Jesus Christ. First John 4:15 says, “whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God.” As long as we abide in God, we can love others. First John 4:4 says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus said in John 15:10, “If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” First John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
As a result of abiding in God, and He in us, we will love one another because it is His Spirit in us doing the loving. John 3:6 tells us we must be born again to receive this Spirit. When He comes to live in us He is responsible for guiding us in all truth, convicting us of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come, which helps us stay on track with God’s commandments.
Then the fruit appears. Galatians 5:22 tells us the first fruit of the Spirit is love. Everything the Spirit of God does is loving. Once we accept Jesus Christ into our life, God gives us His Spirit which empowers and equips us to desire and do what is pleasing to Him. That means we have the ability to love others as our self and love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Just because we have received God’s Spirit doesn’t mean we automatically love all the time. For God designed us each with free-will. We can choose to walk by the Spirit of by our old worldly ways. The Bible calls this walking by the flesh.
God gives us every opportunity to love. He has equipped us to love, but the choice is still ours. Next time we are tempted to ________________________, (you fill in the blank), S.T.O.P. Before you react, respond or rehearse how you might react, think of this acrostic.
S eek God’s perspective
T urn to God’s Word
O pen your heart to truth
P ray for God’s leading
Hiding God’s word in your heart and mind is a great way to guard against temptation. You may be tempted to become easily angered, be rude, be selfish or any number of other ungodly things. Whatever your temptation God always provides a way out. Seek Him before, during and after the trying time and you will have peace that surpasses all understanding.
Thank you, God, for helping us to love as you have loved us. Thank you for your Holy Spirit to guide us along the pathway of life and righteousness. Thank you for making us right in your sight by the gift of Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
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