Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
I have to keep reminding myself that today is Valentine’s Day, the day when we celebrate love, the love day.
However, for the children of God, the day of love is today, tomorrow and everyday. As believers, we are called to love one another. Why? Because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God, or fathered by God. For many of us, loving each other does not happen naturally outside of God. But if God is our Father, we are expected to behave like Him, because His spiritual DNA runs through us. We are sons of God, and as sons, the characteristics of God our Father must be seen in us.
In John 8:44 AMPC, Jesus’ rebuke of the Jewish leaders provides us with an insight of how the spiritual father son relationship influences our actions:
You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.
We are the children of God. God is love, therefore, we should “practice” the things of God. Our desires should line up with the will of God, and our actions should reflect our obsession with the need to “gratify the desires which are characteristic of” our Father God. One such characteristic is love.
Galatians 5:19-23 gives us a list of the practices of the devil (lust and desires), and a list of the things of God, namely the fruit of the Spirit, or, as the NET bible study notes put it, “the fruit the Spirit produces”. The writers are of the view that Galatians 5:22 could be written as “love” followed by a colon, making the other eight characteristics – joy, peace, patience, etc. – definitions of “love”. This is food for thought, and further study, especially, when you examine the fruit of the Spirit with the characteristics of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
If we can get a glimpse of the love that caused our God to sacrifice His Son for us, acknowledging the fact that we are undeserving of this love, and at times so ungrateful, then it becomes easier to love that difficult person next door.
We do not need to try and love the person, we need to choose to love the person and allow the Holy Spirit to operate through us. It is a choice we make daily. In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus’ response to the question, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?” was, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven. This meant an unlimited amount of time. When you are walking in the love of God, be prepared to forgive as often as it is required.
May the love of God continually pour from each of us unto others this day. May our love for each other bring us into a rich continuous relationship with God. Blessings.
Prayer: Father, open our hearts Lord, so we can be patient and kind. Holy Spirit may we love as Jesus loves. Amen