Maturing in Love
We continue with our monthly theme the more excellent ways. God has designed us with purpose. We are called individually to serve God in different ways. And we are called as a body of believers to function in a certain way so as to complete the work that God, through Christ, began on this earth.
Healing Wounded Love
From the texts today Joseph in his wounded love, had to avoid bitterness and learned how to forgive. He had been repeatedly hurt, but he didn't develop a trace of bitterness. His own brothers had planned to kill him, but sold him into slavery at the last moment.
The Violations of Love
The weight of evidence not only makes it possible to believe in God's existence???it makes it very hard to ignore our own.
The Attributes of God's Love
Today's Theme “The Attributes of God's Love” Marks a continuation of last week's theme of love: The nature of God. This clearly means God is love, and love is His nature. Therefore we cannot fully comprehend the attributes of Christian love without appreciating who God is! God is love. His love is manifest in his attributes within the shared experience of the believers in the common wealth of their life together. Love is NOT passive but an ACTION that must be experienced in human interactions and even within human activities that touch on our relationship with the entire creation.
The scripture clearly speaks out a vivid and unassuming declaration of the identity of God, that God is love. It means then if the attributes of God are in great measure manifested in our lives, then God actually becomes a PRESENT experience. Therefore we literary “TOUCH” God through acts of love through other people as we experience our human interactions – God is love! [1 John 4: 16b].
It follows then that our knowledge of God is limited to our human experience of love in our interactions. We know God through acts of love from other people. Titus 1:16 declares that “they profess to know God but they deny him by their works”. Therefore knowing God is not just limited to our profession but living the attributes of love within and out of the Christian community.
We must appreciate with humility that love puts a demand on our lives to live within certain parameters that declare and describe God's love as attributes that should NOT just be memorized as tenets of faith but should be able to influence the Christian practice of faith. Christian witness is a matter of orthodoxy and praxis. God's love therefore put a demand on the lives of believers to live differently in a world that is so much ordered by chaos, hatred, jealous, cruelty and many more vices. Paul's delves into the subject of love in 1 Corinthians 13 in a way that creates a balance between the spiritual gifts that are vital in the exercise of Christian ministry.
However, he is quick to point out that such gifts get their empowerment through love. He points out that gifts can cease while love is indestructible. Finally, we can conclude that the gifts of the spirit are continually sustained by love who is God as source of all good attributes that are above any human law.
As we endeavour to grow into evidence of God's grace, let us aim to be mature in the attributes of love that display Christian maturity in patience, kindness, trust and hope among other attributes. May the Lord grant growth in these attributes to His glory as we grow in love.
The More Excellent Way: Love - The Nature of God
Today we begin a new series titled “the more excellent way” focusing on God's love. We will be examining how different God's love is from human love, and how we can appropriate God's love into human situations to mitigate our circumstances. We shall be examining the difficulties encountered in situations where God's love is not sought, and obtained.
As we kick off today, we focus on love as being the nature of God. In the first reading, we are told that “love is from God” [1 John 4: 7]. This means that God is the source of love, and everyone who loves must procure it from him. This leaves us with no choice but to pursue him in order to obtain this precious gift. Secondly, it says “everyone that loves is born of God...” [1 John 4:7]. This means that in order for us to love, we must be regenerated by the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit must infuse our very being, remove all elements of selfishness and bitterness, and perfect us with the pure love that issues forth only from God.
Thirdly, he says that everyone who loves “knows God” [1 John 4:7]. The word “know” in this regard refers not only to acquisition of information, but the experience of the divine attributes of God. We must interface with God in order for Him to produce in us the elements of divine love. This comes from intimacy with God.
Fourthly, it says “let us love one another” [1John 4: 7]. This means that we cannot love one another appropriately unless and until we have been enabled divinely by God through the Holy Spirit. The Command to love can only be fulfilled when we choose the way of God and He sills us with His love, which we can then shower one another with.
Fifthly, it says, “anyone who does not love does not know God” [1 John 4:8]. And therein is the truth brutally spelt out before us. We cannot make excuses for not loving one another, we either love or we don't. When we love, it shows that we know God; when we do not love, it shows that we do not know God.
Sixthly, it says “.... God is love” [1 John 4:8]. This is the core of our message today. That all that God is and has can be quantified and qualified in one word – love. Therefore if we do not reflect the godly qualities of love, we are not connected to Him and we are living a lie.
Seventhly, God decided to demonstrate His love for us. It says “In this the Love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only son into the world, so that we might live through Him” [1 John 4: 9]. In this gesture, God demonstrates that love is a word that must have meaningful and godly actions.
When we love, we must act in a manner that reflects godly attributes. In these actions, God is represented to a world that is hungry for love and thirsty for direction and fulfillment.