THE DYNAMICS OF LOVE
(UNDERSTANDING THE LOVE OF GOD)
Pastor Wole Gbogboade
Text: Mark 12: 29-31Jesus was asked to tell the Pharisees and teachers of the Law the most important of the commandments. The Lord invariably told the reasons for the commandments which are: love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with your entire mind and with all your strength. The second one is to love your neighbour as yourself. The Lord was simply teaching them to emphasize LOVE and not the LAW. Deut. 6:2-9. Even, in the Ten Commandments, God is not laying emphasis on the commandments but on love. If you love God, you will reverence Him, you will honour Him in your heart, your mind and serve Him with your strength. Secondly, you will not do anything that does not please God either to Him or your neighbor by stealing, killing, lying, fornicating or coveting your neighbour’s wife or stuff etc. The love of God will compel you to avoid whatever displeases God. Exodus 20: 1-17. Only through God’s love can we forgive, even pray for our enemy and love those who hate us. Only through God’s love can we forgive, even pray for our enemy and love those who hate us.
Manifestations of love: If you follow the commandments from your heart, you will love God and you will not hurt your neighbour (parents, family, leaders and fellow human beings). The end of the law is love, not just to observe rules and regulations. The love of God and our neighbour will breed godly relationships between us and God as well as our neighbours.
How come the Pharisees said He has spoken well yet, they didn’t love Him nor follow Him despite the fact that they claimed to be serving God and they were the custodians of the Torah (word of God from Genesis to Malachi). They were mere religious leaders whereas God wanted a relationship. The Bible says, “God is a Spirit. And those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.”
In the Church today, many Christians either misinterpret the concept of biblical love to suit their own selfish purpose or there is outright ignorance of the word love. Some are confusing worldly and biblical meanings of love altogether. For the avoidance of doubt, Christians need to know the different types of love:
1- Eros: The Greek word means love by feelings. A kind of affection or feelings a man has toward the opposite sex.
2- Philia or Phileo: Brotherly love. This is the kind of love among blood relations like brethren of the same mother and father or relatives.
3- Storge: Love for things. It can be sports, money, gold, silver or town. Etc.
4- Agape: This is God’s kind of love. Agape is sacrificial love. The others are determined by flesh, emotion while Agape is from God’s perspective. The others are usually beneficial to the person’s soul but agape is always drawing you to give: spirit, soul, financial or material. “For God so loved the world, He gave…” John 3:16. Agape moves you to give sacrificially without expecting reward from the recipients; you give as unto the Lord. God never said, you will reap where you sow instead; He said you will reap what you sow. When you make God your source, you will not depend on man who is a mere resource. God can use anyone to bless you, continue to hold on to God as your source. Your service is as unto the Lord not man, not man pleasing but God glorifying. Col. 3:17, 23-24
Biblical Love: Love in the kingdom is hinged on obedience to the word of God.
“And this is what demonstrates love: that we live according to God’s commandments. Just as you have heard from the beginning what he commanded, you must live by it.” 2John 1:6 (ISV)
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born from God, and everyone who loves the parent also loves the child. This is how we know that we love God’s children: we love God and keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:1-2 (ISV)
Love therefore has boundaries. Love operates within the ambit of God’s command. Therefore, as God’s children, we can only love what God loves and approves. We love to do only what is pleasing to God. 1 Cor. 13:7. Love hates evil but loves the truth. The attribute and character of God is to love the truth and hate evil.
JESUS is our example. He exhibited complete love for the Father by His total obedience; the Father’s work and His command:
The Father’s command: John 5:19, 30-31. John 14:31
The Father’s work: John 4:34, Mark 1:35-38
The Father’s word: 1 John 5:7 (KJV), John 8:18, 28, John 10:32. John 14:10-11
Jesus so loved the Father that He had a mindset of absolute obedience towards the Father even, He humbly obeyed His Father to death. Phil. 2:5-8.
Jesus was tempted at every point: spirit, soul and body by the devil but, He didn’t budge because of His relationship with the Father. His love for the Father would not let Him listen and do the devil’s bidding. Hence, at every point, Jesus always overcomes the devil and confounds him despite all his antics toward Him. Matt. 4:4-11. Heb. 4:15
He said to His disciples, “…for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do…” John 14:30-31.
Truly, in this world there are troubles but, in Christ we overcome the world. The love of God made the Father send the Son to come and save us. John 3:16
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (KJV)
But, Jesus overcomes the world through love. Love is a great weapon that can and will always be used to destroy the armory of the devil. The Bible says,
“Submit yourselves therefore to God (love God absolutely). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
In conclusion, as we submit ourselves to God and we know that God is Love then, we can through the love of God overcome the enemy of our soul. How? By our love and obedience to His commands, our love for the word of God. And as we live the word, it attracts God’s love and connects us in intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. This makes us to war in righteousness and we become warriors of righteousness and not just beating about the bush. 2 Cor. 10:3-5, Rom. 12:17-21
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19
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