1 John 4:7, 8 NKJV
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
The word, love, is used so loosely and out of context today that it signifies to anything other than its real meaning and content. Love is a gift, the likeness of God that restricts a person from denying another. Love is to give someone without demanding a reward. The Bible encouraged all believers to love each other, to respond urgently to another’s need without attaching sentiments or conditions. “God is love” (1 John 4:16).
To often, people have misinterpreted love to suit their own selfishness. But true love proves itself when a test comes. An example is the kind of relationship God wantS with us, His children. “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.” (John 3:16 NIV). This love is the true meaning of the love God wants from each and every one of us; giving to save another, without first putting self, first! Agape love. Such love can not fail.
Various people have various definitions for Love, with that in mind, I want to lay the Biblical qualities of the love that is approved by God, and let you answer the great question; ‘DO YOU KNOW HOW TO LOVE?’
“LOVE is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 NIV).
Do you love? If you are not so sure, you have to read and master these ten ways to love. Remember that love is the perfection of all your imperfections, the power that conquers all fears. Love gives life, and saves the lover.
TEN WAYS TO LOVE
1. LISTEN WITHOUT INTERRUPTING: A good listener is a good friend. Many good friendship have lost its bond because of lack of communication. Learn to listen to others, even when you think it does not make sense. Surprisingly, you may discover the truth about the questions you need answers to. “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.” (Proverbs 18:13 NKJV)
2. SPEAK WITHOUT ACCUSING: any accusatory word draws an accusatory response. Be patient expressing yourself, and make it as palatable as you would want the other person to speak to you. Only the devil accuses! Don’t be his representative in any manner, it will lead to quarrel. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” (James 1:19 NIV)
3. GIVE WITHOUT SPARING: every giver will always have their hand on top of every receiver. If you train yourself to be a giver, you will never lack something to give! Spiritually, God will deposit a bank of wisdom on how you can replenish your storehouse. God loves a cheerful giver. “All day long he (the wicked) craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” (Proverbs 21:26 NIV)
4. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Be an intercessor, pray for all men, including for the repentance of all your enemies. Do not be fooled, God knows how to reward the enemies of His children. “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,” (Colossians 1:9 NIV)
5. ANSWER WITHOUT ARGUING: Arguments cause enmity. Stop presenting a defensive attitude all the time. Lose some, and win some. Life is not ‘winner takes it all’. How will feel if you lose all the time? Then, put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Stop arguing, it kills a good moment. “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” (Proverbs 17:1 NIV)
6. SHARE WITHOUT PRETENDING: Sharing is a virtue. If it comes from the heart, it gives joy. Do not be a hypocrite in your giving. Make it a dance, with the receiver praising you! “Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” (Ephesians 4:15 AMP)
7. ENJOY WITHOUT COMPLAINT: Some of you are so serious even to the point of denying yourselves the blessings and gifts of God. Believe this or not, life is more than every other thing one can have. If you have one today, spice it up, and enjoy it. This might be the last. “Do everything readily and cheerfully no bickering, no second-guessing allowed!” (Philippians 2:14 MSG)
8. TRUST WITHOUT WAVERING: Be careful, reject your past controlling your future. Most bad experiences in our lives have infiltrated into our brightest future. This should be checked. Do not let an unfortunate experience from your past destroy your ability to trust and love. Where there is pure love, trust must be the foundation. Without trust, there is no agreement, and without agreement, there is no unity. Start trusting again, and let the past serve as a learning experience “[Love trust] All things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7KJV)
9. FORGIVE WITHOUT PUNISHING: Forgiveness is the key to eternal freedom. If you do not know how to forgive, learn how to forgive crying. It is not easy, but it still remains the ‘narrow way’. Suppress your anger, speak up, and let it go, even when you are not listened to. Unforgiveness causes sickness, and research has shown that it leads to cancer. “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13 KJV)
10. PROMISE WITHOUT FORGETTING: Let your yes be yes. Do not be remembered for empty promises. You will not be taken serious and can potentially cause quarreling. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 KJV)
BIBLE VERSES ON LOVE, YOUR FIRST PRIORITY IS TO LOVE GOD
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; (Deuteronomy 7:9)
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.(Deuteronomy 6:5)
O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. (Psalms 31:23)
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. (Proverbs 8:17-18)
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)
Scripture of the day: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.(John 13:34-35)
From Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
TLWMI. Copyright Reserved, 2011.
(must use with a written permission)
~SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG~