“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 KJV
Love is the core of our existence as human beings. When God said in Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” He was expressing His nature of love. God went further to demonstrate His love for humanity by committing all that He had previously created in the world into the care of man. He gave man dominion, power and authority to rule over the universe. After creation, God gave man a test of love: to eat every other thing in the Garden of Eden where he had put them except the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17). Unfortunately, man failed the test of love; man disobeyed the instruction of his Maker. Obedience is a mark of true love – love for God. As a result of man’s obedience, he lost fellowship with God. Genesis 3:8-10, “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Sin always make a person naked and fearful before a holy God – Proverbs 28:1.
God who is rich in grace and mercy did not abandon man in his pitiable, sinful and fallen state: He provided a way of redemption and restoration of fellowship with Him. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 1 John 3:16 further says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” One of the characters that love displays is giving. God demonstrated His nature as a giver throughout the scriptures. Jesus Christ is God’s gift to us. His sacrificial death on the cross exemplifies God’s love.
Today, many people have the wrong notion about love. On the contrary to what true love is, what we see today is selfishness – many are after what they can get in relationship. People pretend to be lovers when in fact what they are displaying is lust. What many people call love is just a feeling – a display of emotional attraction and that is why it doesn’t last. Feelings, emotions are transient. Going into a love relationship as a result of emotional attraction is like building on a mere sand without pillars. When the chips are down and the pretenses exposed, then the relationship crashes. Many people including youths and teenagers have been deceived to pursue love with the wrong understanding.
What is the essence of love?
God is the source of true love. 1 John 4:7-10. The nature of God is love. As someone rightly put it: love is the oxygen of the kingdom of God, it is the culture of the kingdom – the kingdom in which we are expecting to reign within as God’s obedience children through Christ (Isaiah 1:18,19).
To truly love anyone, knowing God is imperative. Without knowing God, so-called love actions are mere emotional expressions. I make bold to say that no unbeliever who does not know God can show true love to someone else. We must be rooted in God in order for us to display the kind of love pleasing to God. Acts of charity without personal and committed relationship with God will only amount to self-righteousness which does not earn one a place in the kingdom of God (Isaiah 64:6).
As Christians, we should beware before going into a relationship – particularly marriage, if we are not sure of the other person’s salvation. The scriptures clearly warn against being unequally yoked with unbelievers – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Another feature of true love is that a person who has true love avoids sexual sin. People who engage in sexual sin bring damnation upon themselves and they are far from the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 15, 18-20 says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. …….. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid……. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
God the Father has shown us true love – expressed in giving us His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die for our transgressions. Love is the foundation of true Christian living. We must allow the virtues of love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) to be reflected in us as we await the glorious second coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
A Call to take a Decision
Beloved, have you entered into personal relationship with Jesus Christ by accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour? If you have not, you need to do so without delay. Inviting and accepting Jesus Christ into your life is the beginning of a glorious and eternally rewarding relationship with God, your Creator. It is a decision you can never regret as you walk with Him faithfully and consistently for the rest of your life. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ today by acknowledging that you are a sinner. God sent Jesus Christ to die for you and as you confess your sins to Him, He will forgive you so that you will not have to be punished for the same. Ask Jesus Christ to cleanse your heart with His precious blood, deliver you from sin and Satan and empower you by the Holy Spirit to henceforth live above sin and live totally for God. You can write and share your testimony via [email protected]