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This week we particularly explore the Virtue of Love as the one of the significant hallmarks of Christian Virtues. In 2 Peter 1:7b '… and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.' LOVE is the greatest and most definitive characteristic of the nature of God that we must nurture in our expression. It leaves a permanent impact of those to whom we express it.

The Apostle Paul affirmed that '.Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.' 1Corinthians 13:13 (NLT). Furthermore, Love is the manifestation of the very nature of God. If we indeed are disciples of Jesus and we are being transformed into his likeness we must manifest love as a matter of course. Jesus Stated '... By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another - (John 13:36b (NIV). Apostle John observed that 'God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. ... God is love. Those who live in God's love live in God, and God lives in them. '-1 John 4.16(NIV)

How do we grow in love?
Is it even possible to grow in love? Love is a virtue and though we may not grow in quantity we should grow in the quality as in the maturity of our spirituality? Love is the fruit of the spirit manifested in nine intertwined virtues. [Gal 5:22] We have the nature of God in us .This nature of God is love which is deposited in our hearts as love. [Romans 5:5] Like sugar deposited at the bottom of a cup of tea, unless stirred we and others will never truly know the sweetness of Love.

How then do we stir up Love and give it mature and effective expression?
Fearlessness - Yes Fear is the number one hindrance of the expression of love. When you fear rejection, failure, been taken advantage of, being hurt, looking foolish etc you withhold the love of God in your heart from being expressed. The Bible states “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”-1 John 4:18(NIV). Note then that the opposite of LOVE is not hatred, bitterness, low self-esteem, revenge, jealousy, envy etc. as we often believe. The opposite of LOVE is FEAR! It is that fear that gives birth to these negative expressions. Ask yourself today, IF YOU ARE NOT AFRAID of what people may say or do after you LOVE genuinely would you truly love? Right there is you ticket to growing in love. You will be surprised that often our fears are unrealistic and unjustified. F.E.A.R often means False Evidence Appearing Real. LOVE is more REAL that FEAR.

Prayer -When you pray you open your self to the manifest presence of the spirit of God who fills your heart with love. [Phil 1:9] Have a mature spirited believer pray for you to grow in love especially when overwhelmed with circumstances and situations. Forgive and release your persecutors and deliberately pray for them.

Fellowship: Getting in Christian fellowship is like a piece of charcoal in the jiko. It draws the warmth of
collective heat from others coals and burns on longer. When it is removed from the jiko and exposed out alone, temporarily it may glow as wind blows on it alone however after some time it will burnout. The nature of love needs nurture in right company. In Hebrews 10:24, 25 and 1 John 1:7-8 Apostles Paul and John
admonish believers in this regard as key to stirring up love. In knowing God through fellowship with Him we truly know and show love, which is His nature.

The Word of God: When your heart and mind are entirely captivated by the message of God’s word it will ignite a love for God and keep you growing in love toward Him and others John 14: 23-24. His word is worth in every sense. As you read the Bible frequently, it will transform you misgivings, fears, despair, and frustrations into a meaningful experience of life.

Pastor's Weekly Corner

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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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