Be Love – Like Your Father in Heaven
When you are less than love you are less than your potential
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John 4:16-18)
A few days ago, I was driving home on the highway that goes by our house. I entered the highway and began approaching a car that was traveling in the left lane. I knew the left lane would end soon and the car would be forced to merge right, into my lane. I backed off and gave him space to safely change lanes. The same thing happened again later further up the highway and I again backed off and made space for the same car. When we approached the tollgate, I once again let the other car go before me. At that moment, the tollgate opened a second lane for people to pay their toll. I was in perfect position to enter the newly opened lane. I passed a long line of cars in the other lane that were waiting to pay the toll. I quickly went through the tollbooth and continued without any waiting.
Do I believe that Lord was rewarding me for being my brother’s keeper? Yes, I have seen things like that happen many times. However, I have not always been that nice. There have been times in the past when I was in a hurry and I would pass many cars on the highway, thinking that I will get there sooner. When I came to the tollgate, I entered a long line and had to wait. Then the tollgate would open another lane and I watched as all the cars I passed earlier go by me while I am stuck in line. I have also seen the same thing happen to other people many times. The Lord is speaking to us every day and in many ways. Every day there are situations when we must choose to love or not; love is a decision.
However, just because you are trying to do the right thing does not mean everything is always wonderful; remember Job. Sometimes when I do the right things, I still end up waiting in a long line. However, at those times, I have the joy and peace from God for doing the right things and I am patient because I know that time is in God’s hands. I know I can trust Him and I wonder if maybe he is delaying me to keep me from being in an accident up ahead.
As I look back over this last year, I can see that the Lord has been teaching me many things but it is all about one subject, love. I feel like I have been in an intense school of love and I know this is true for the body of Christ everywhere. This school of love will continue for believers into the new year and may be even more intense. We are maturing into His image as a son or daughter. God is love and the goal is that we each become love, like our Father. Faith works by love, when our love is perfected, we will also have great faith.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust….Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV)
When you understand that the end goal is to become love it helps you see what God is trying to teach you through life circumstances. Wherever you are and whatever position you find yourself in the goal is the same; that you would learn to love God with all your heart and love the people around you as yourself. The goal is, as He is so are we in this world; to be love.
Love is obeying God, what may be love for one person may not be for another. We each have a unique position in the body of Christ. Commands are given from the love command center, the throne of God, through the Holy Spirit to us. We also have the written word of God, the Bible tells us what love is and what it is not. True love always agrees with God’s word. Jesus says, “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. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:10-11 NKJV) The fruit of love is always joy and peace in the presence of God. God can only dwell in an environment of love. Love creates a home for God to live in. When we obey, we are walking with God in love. The ways of God are the ways of love.
And what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, to love loving kindness, and to walk humbly with your God! (Micah 6:8 ONM)
The greatest love includes sacrifice. The greatest symbol of love is Jesus on the cross paying for your sins. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:12-14 NKJV)
When we choose to obey God, even when we do not want to we are sacrificing our lives for Him. With God, the reward is always so much greater than the sacrifice. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV)
When we forgive people who hurt us or offend us we are making a sacrifice of love. Forgiveness requires us to reject our pride and embrace humility; a dying to yourself decision. However, God gives grace to the humble and that is when you will experience His life, His love flowing into you. Therefore you must immediately put on, as chosen and beloved saints of God, hearts, inner thoughts of compassion, generosity, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other if any would have a complaint against someone: just as also the Lord forgave you, so also you must forgive: and upon all of these, love, which is a bond of perfection. And the peace of the Messiah must continually rule in your hearts, into which peace you were also called in one body: and you must constantly be grateful. (Colossians 3:12-15 ONM)
If you are born-again you already have love inside you. Love is a decision. You must release love and let it touch someone. Even if you do not feel like it, say a kind word to someone who is difficult to love in your life. Give to someone in need. When you begin to make the sacrifice of love, you will begin to experience the joy of love. I mentioned in an earlier message about how the Hebrew word for righteousness has the meaning of “actions of loving kindness”. I pray that this New Year will be a season where you come into an increased awareness of the love God has for you; and may you live in the manifest presence of His love. May it be that as He is, so are You in this world. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John 4:16-18)