When we love and want to be loved, it must not be as the world loves. We must, as Christ did, learn to know the meaning of ‘Agape’ – that is the love which God has shown us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
The Son was hung on the cross because of love, for it is the love God has for us that caused Him to allow the Jews to kill Jesus. (Romans 5:8). So you cannot say ‘I love someone’, if he or she hurt you and you never forgave or forgot the hurt.
We are going to look at seven points which are contrary to love:-
1| Corrupt words: when we allow our tongue to rule our body (Eph. 4:29).
2| Grieving the Lord: when you see someone who might wrong you, and immediately your heart is hardened against them.
3| Bitterness: when you hear something good happens to someone other than yourself, and you feel hatred. (Eph. 4:31).
4| Wrath: A woman once told me that she discovered her husband going with another woman, and she decided to go out with other men until he changed his behaviour. When you cannot forget the past, that means you are also sinning. (Eph. 4:31).
5| Anger: being easily provoked, annoyed and lacking in self-control. (See 2 Tim. 3:3 and Eph. 4:31).
6| Clamour: whenever you wish to speak to your husband or wife, children or others, you shout – a state of causing confusion both in the Ecclesia and in the home.
7| Malice: a desire to harm someone because you feel they have offended you and you must hurt them in return.
In Matthew 5:44 it is recorded that Jesus says, “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.”
Let us see how God loves: He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. A man or woman who needs shade can go under a tree for shelter, but the tree never rejects the bad ones: that is the love of God. He gave us His Son Jesus Christ who always loves us and died for the forgiveness of our sins.
We read in 1 Corinthians 13 the true meaning of love:
“Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become like sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail, whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (verse 13) And now abide faith, hope, love – these three, but the greatest of these is love.”
Bro Gaius Egwu (Ohafia, Nigeria)