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Three little words that mean so much
allow me to share some love with you—the love of God

Every human being has the capacity to both give and receive love.
We also have the ability to reject love and turn it into something other than what it really is.

Christians can easily talk about the love of God and refer to classic scriptures like John 3:16 but not really understand true love.
It says
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
It was one of my first “memory verses” that I learned soon after my salvation experience. Doubtless you can quote it also and for good reason. It gives us some insight but only a tiny glimpse into the degree of love God has for us, because He gave. God is a giver. Love causes one to give and many times this act of giving can cost something.

I learned something slightly different about love that I would like to share with you. I have wondered if I at least have taken this for granted, giving little consideration into this aspect of the divine. The bible says that God is love. 1 John 4:8 says this so plainly, we cannot miss seeing it—but do we See it?
In fact, John says that every one who is born of God, loves God and that if we do not have this element of love, we do not know God at all.

In this chapter, from verse seven onwards, John mentions love in some way or another at least 25 times. It has to be important. He said that if we love one another, God dwells in us and that His love is perfected in us. This implies that if we do not love each other, our love is not perfected and God does not dwell in us.

This made me rethink the viewpoint that all we have to do is say the sinner’s prayer and regard it as an automatic ticket to heaven.
There may be more to it than that. It’s food for thought.

He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. 1 John 4:8

It is His love that is the criteria. We were as lost as a goose in a fog until His love sent Jesus to us. This love kept Him on the cross without rescue and this love raised Him from the dead.
In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 
In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

Paul said much the same thing-
While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly. 
Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die. 
But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. Romans 5:6-8

The next few verses tell us that this manifestation of the love of God has brought us into a wonderful position of being in right relationship by Jesus’ blood and that we have been acquitted of sin. No more guilt. No more shame. No more condemnation. No judgment and penalty. No more being on the receiving end of God’s indignation and wrath.

That’s what God’s love did and continues to do. It is not simply a matter of having Him do something once, but an ongoing process of continually working out His love in us, to us, for us and through us. What makes this so amazing is that it is a free gift. Its all of God. Any attempt on our part, other than to receive it and let it be worked out in our lives offends Him, because we in essence are telling Him that what He did at Calvary was not good enough and we can do it ourselves.

I can’t get out of John yet. He said in verse 14 that the Father sent Jesus to be the Saviour of the world, but we know that everyone in the world is not saved and will never be saved. It’s not automatic. We are not all the brotherhood of man, but we can be… Only those who really are born from above can call each other brethren. I can not call you my brother by natural birth, because our earthly parents are different. That blood line is just not there. When you and I personally apply the blood of Jesus however, we are then made to be brethren, because of His blood line that is applied by faith.

This is seen much in scripture. It is seen in typology in Exodus chapter twelve when the Passover Lamb had to be slain and its blood applied to the door-post and lintel of every house. If the head of a house did not apply that blood, they died. It had to be personally applied. It made no difference if they were descendants of Abraham or not—God said that He had  to see that blood, or they would not be saved. God’s love has never changed. It was the same then as it is today. He is still looking for the personal application of the Blood of the Lamb.
John explains it like this-

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15

It applies to the whosoever’s. When a whosoever person confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God comes in and starts to live in him and he in God.

That word confesses has nothing at all to do with religious confessionals. They are man made ordinances.
This word confession is actually talking like God, or saying the same things that God says, coming from the Greek word homologeō. This is a derivative of two other words. One is homou that relates to the same thing and arriving at the same place together. The other is logos that means saying or words, especially those that are spoken in a covenant relationship.
We are in a covenant relationship with God, but it is a God we have not yet seen.

The closest I have been to “seeing God” was on my first visit to heaven when a “tunnel” opened in the sky one evening and I was whisked up and out through my bedroom window into this “tunnel” at fantastic speed. If you saw the Star Wars movies that show them jumping into light speed that is probably the only way I can describe it. I was taken upwards towards what looked like a gleaming and dazzling white marble throne adorned with precious gemstones and “someone” was sitting on it. The throne seemed to be miles wide, but this “person” filled it up. I could not see his features, because the light that emanated from him and surrounded him was too brilliant to look at. I do not know who this was, but I do believe it was a glimpse of the Great White Throne and I will not speculate any more.

The point I want to make is that no man has really seen God in the same way we can see each other. In Exodus 24, God called Moses up telling him to bring Aaron, Nadab, Abihu  and seventy elders with him. At that time, Moses only was permitted to draw close to God and he then wrote the words of the law and made sacrificial offerings and sprinkled the blood on the people. Again, the approach was through the blood. After that, Moses took those specially chosen or invited men up the mountain and in verses ten and eleven, they saw the God of Israel. They ate and drank something. What was it and more importantly, who provided it?
It was after that , God called Moses higher to give him the tables of stone.

He can always call us higher...come up hither. I share that to illustrate that God took the initiative and He took the initiative to send Jesus here to you and to me.

Our part is to accept the invitation!

God was as always working to a plan and that plan was to shower His love upon us. He told Moses to build a tabernacle—so that he could dwell with His people. See Exodus 25:8.

It, as I have said many times before, had to be built according to His pattern and this principle still applies to the Church. This is why I keep saying that we have to return to the original pattern. God wants to dwell with us—and in us.

He loves us so much, He wants to make us His temple. I’ve already touched on this in John’s epistle.

Let’s continue.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12

The Greek word for perfected is teleioō and it talks about being complete, fulfilled, finished and consummated in character. When Jesus cried out triumphantly on the cross, teleō, meaning it is finished, our union with God was made complete and perfected. God could now live in us and He does this as John immediately added afterwards-
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:13

The Holy Spirit is the one who reveals it all to us and He...now lives inside us. He “arrives” because we “invite Him in” when we accept the offer of salvation. He then starts His work in us, empowering us, teaching us about all we need to know and to make us like Jesus.

Let me recap with this-
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:14-17

This status is entirely possible in the rotten here and now and not in  the sweet by and bye, because He said so. This love is not a feeling or an emotion, but we can have the feelings and emotions along the way.
This love, is the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts, not in good deeds, charitable acts, or religious observances of any kind.
This is God’s love inside us, that has the potential to reproduce itself in the same way that an apple seed reproduces an apple or a grape seed can grow into a grape vine, by virtue of the way God designed it. He designed all seed to reproduce after its own kind way back in the garden. His love therefore had to be the driving force and it is still the driving force today.

The love that Christians talk about, or should talk about is this kind of love. It is not a gift, but a fruit.
All the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 to 14 are motivated by love. Charity, or love, is the nature of God.
...the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…Galatians 5:22-23

Our part in this is to allow the fruit to grow and not let the weeds of the old life and sinful nature choke the seeds.


I have found that many professing believers don’t really understand where we stand in the economy of things, despite the indwelling of the Spirit. He can only do what we let Him and we can only learn what He reveals in the word.
It is what the word of God says about us that works, so if there is no word in, there is no real growth and development. Lack of this produces fear.

Love and hate are not opposites. Love’s counterpart is fear.

When sin entered, Adam and Eve hid themselves from God because they were afraid and said so. They tried to cover their spiritual nakedness in every way, other than God’s way and this is the trait that exists in religion. Oh, yes, there can be much fear in religion. Religion makes a sacrifice to appease God.
It tries to deal with the old nature of Adam by covering it with anything and everything imaginable, but not the way God ordained.
According to 1 John 4:18,
perfect love casts out fear.

If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment and it shows that we have not fully experienced God’s perfect love.

Some religious door-knockers came to my house recently and all that they could talk about was end time doom and destruction, Armageddon and the like. They asked me what I thought of such things and if I was afraid and I told them I was not worried about a thing...because if it did happen, I would be gone! I’d be with Jesus and they could not understand it. That’s a type of fear and it is rife. Another kind of fear is the fear of lack and poverty. Love is not perfected. We do not ignore what is going on around us, or the needs of our families and so on, but we learn to cast our cares (or fears) on Him, because He cares and loves us. If we do our part, He does His part.

What does it mean to love someone?

Most of us know of three different kinds of love, but there are more.
There is phileō that is like brotherly love. It is affection, an expression of sentiment or feeling and a kind of personal attachment.
Jesus used this word in Matthew 6:5 talking about those who love to make a show of their religion, especially prayer. This is the love Peter had in John 21 when Jesus asked him if he loved Him.
The Lord was talking about one kind of love (agapaō) but Peter had a different kind (phileō).

There is another kind most people can understand and it relates to the natural senses. It is called eros and we get derivatives like erotic from this word, especially in regard to human sexuality.

It is the agapaō love that I am referring mostly to. This is the God kind of love.

He expresses this towards us as you may know, but the Lord expects us to have this love for each other and mentioned this in places like John 15, where he commanded us to love each other.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:1-17

Here is a great example of how seed bears fruit after it own kind. If we really are part of the vine, it is inevitable that love will be the fruit ad it is also inevitable that we will be pruned occasionally. Pruning hurts! It cuts, but it cuts off the things that are unproductive. Sometimes to get better fruit, certain branches must be cut away. Sometimes the early flowers and immature shoots  are plucked off to make sure that all the nutrition necessary to produce the best fruit gets there and is not wasted unnecessarily. God does not want the sap of our love to be diverted elsewhere. He gives us all of His attention, so why not expect us to return it in like manner.

In Deuteronomy 6:5, we find what some people find to be a very odd commandment.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all of your soul and with all of your might”

How can you force yourself to have a feeling? The Biblical “love” in this verse is different from the “love” or feelings that we find in romance books and movies.

The Hebrew word for love in this verse is ʾhāab. It does not refer to amorous love, or brotherly phileō love or even agapaō love, but absolute fidelity but what then is fidelity? This is faithfulness and trustworthiness in all areas.

We think of people having affairs and infidelity, but that relates to eros more than  agapaō. One meaning is exactness and accuracy in detail.  If you consider that God made Adam in His image likeness, the man was created in exactness  and accuracy of detail...or in a state of fidelity. The many meanings of fidelity include allegiance, loyalty, devotion, piety, faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty, strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty. When a man and a woman stand before a minister on their wedding day, they make a declaration to each other and to all who witness that they will love, honour, cherish, treasure, care for and remain faithful to them for life. They promise their mutual fidelity to each other...before God.

I have shared all of these things to lead to this. God...has declared His love and fidelity to us so often it is almost mind boggling. He has repeatedly stated, “I love you” to us in so many ways we would be amazed if we could see it all.

His love is almost beyond description. We can only grasp a portion of it by what we glean in His word. This is much more important than I even realized. Reading and meditating the word of God (speaking it aloud, muttering and pondering over it) comes into the category of being a commandment!
Catechisms, prayer books, the rosary and other man-made aids can not be any substitute and I can state this based on what God often says about the matter. In Psalm 138 for example, David said that he would give thanks, sing the praises of God and praise His name for His loving kindness. We know that the Name of God is the highest name in existence and that it takes on scores and scores of meanings according to His covenant and nature—Jehovah Jared, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jehova Shalom, Adonai, Hashem, El Shaddai and more. We also know that Jesus has a name that is above all names according to Philippians 2:5-11, but David made a profound statement.

He said that God has magnified His word above His Name.

God has magnified His Word above His Name

The Hebrew word for name in this instance is Shēm. It appears cover 860 times, so it ranks with the names YHVH and Yahweh.

Often times shēm Yahweh appear together so often, it is bound up with the being of God as if it is a literal appearance of God.

If His covenant names are so important and God has magnified His Word above His Name, surely this reading and meditation of the word has to be a very important part of our lives. That word for magnify is gādal that means grow up, become great or important, promote, make powerful, praise, magnify and do great things.
These aspects are revealed elsewhere in passages like Isaiah 55:2; Jeremiah 3:15; John 6:51; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 4:12-13, 5:8-14.

If therefore God is love, one of His Names has to be Love and if He has magnified His word as we have just seen, His word is higher than His love. Think about this for a moment… Now let me ask you this, “How do you know that God loves you?"

 It cannot be according to your feelings and emotions because they change. It cannot be according to your location, conditions and circumstances because they are all variables.

We know this because He said so—but if we do not read what He says, how can we know that He Loves us and how can we determine the extent or degree of this love? I have compiled a few illustrations that may help you.

God's love is eternal God's love is established by covenant God's love is lavish God's love is personal

I have not touched much on the aspect of our love for God and only but touched on the various forms of expression of human love.

What I endeavored to do is to give you a taste for discovering more about the Love of God that is personal, deep and intense. He is very possessive of us, but in  good way. He is also very jealous over us, again in a good way.
Many years ago, I had been going through a tough time when I was being treated unrighteously by fellow believers. It is strange, but often times non believers can treat us better than Christians. It should be the reverse, but that’s how it is. Associate ministers were not treating me right and I was hurting big time, so much, it could have caused me to stumble. One evening, the Lord appeared to me and He was angry! We do not think much about this side of Him. He was angry about two things.
The first was how people were saying that the devil was attacking them. I know that things happen, but he was livid, saying that they were worshiping the devil by default, giving him more credence than they should. He spoke as if through clenched teeth with blazing eyes, saying, “How dare they? How dare they? They are as good as telling me that Calvary was not good enough.”
As for the second thing, I had been crying to him about the way I was being treated and He said, “Welcome to the club. They did it to me and they will do it to you.”  He reminded me of what He said about a prophet not being accepted. What He said took me by surprise. He all but spat out, “They touched you—and no one touches you.” They were not really touching “me” but the anointing! Some folk including people in the church had lied and stolen from me and a small group embarked on a smear campaign. The ring leader was exercising a dose of spiritual envy and jealousy making numerous telephone calls to spread rumours about me and it got so bad, I was considering taking legal action until the Lord told me to drop it and allow Him to handle it. That was the best advice I ever received.
That stuff happens. Some of them are gone now. Some of them have apologized.

The important thing is that the love walk has to be maintained and it is not up to us to seek vengeance, but to pray for them and let it alone.  When we stew over things, we can revert to the old man inside us and the fruit of the flesh nature seen in Galatians 6 takes over.
It can consume us and steal our joy and the anointing can leave as a result.

The Lord wants the fruit of the Spirit to motivate us. I saw then how much His love for us is all embracing. It is possessive and it is intense, so we are to reciprocate in like manner by loving each other, which we cannot really do without His help. If you look at Galatians 5, Paul said in verse 14 to love others in the way we should love ourselves, warts and all. He then told us that if we bite and devour each other as they were doing to me, they would be consumed which happened.

Paul then told us to walk in the Spirit (capitalized) so that we would not be controlled by the flesh.
In verse 22 he said that the fruit of the Spirit is love!
When we allow the Holy Spirit to live in us as God wants, His nature which is love, produces the joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness and all the other attributes seen in that verse. God’s love is now known in and through Jesus. He is God’s beloved Agapētós Son according to Mark 1:11; Luke 20:13 and Ephesians 1:6, who was with the Father from the beginning in a relationship of mutual love. See John 3:35; 14:31; 17:23.

As I said earlier Jesus was sent because of God’s love for mankind.
Jesus demonstrates love for people with acts of healing and forgiveness. This is described in different ways. We see this in  Mark 1:41,where He had pity on the people.  The hardness of human hearts grieves Him as seen in Matthew 23:37, but Jesus loved us so much that He gave His life for us, His friends. See John 15:13; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 3:16. God pours out his love through his Spirit according to Romans 5:5 (compare this with 2 Corinthians 13:14), so the love of God is at work inside you right now.

I’ve given you numerous scriptures to weigh up, hoping I suppose to encourage you and be a blessing to you. I enjoyed myself when researching this topic and have to admit that the more I look into it, the bigger it gets.
I’m going to practice what I preach, do more homework and put it to work. I hope you do also. I will close with this-

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 
Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,  for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 
So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 
God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. 
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 
For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:3-11

Robert


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