1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1jo 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
What we have here are some very searching statements of truth. If there was a test for "Born Again" it would be a love test.
The Word of God declares here that the one who is begotten of God walks in love. And if a person does not walk in love, no matter what their religious profession is, they are abiding in death and alienating themselves from God.
You see, we are familiar with the kind of love that the world has; the kind that is in the person that has not been born again. The world will love you today and hate you tomorrow.
How can I say this?
The love of God has been displaced in fallen man, crowded out by selfishness. But for the born again, according to Romans 5:5, have the love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
What does it mean, the love of God is shed abroad in our heart?
Well, it means that it has been sown there. The nature of God has been imparted in the born again believer. We have been given the ability to manifest it. We possess the God-given ability to walk in love and forgiveness.
Now I know that on a natural level, when someone hurts us, that the reaction is to strike back. On a purely natural, human level, that's how we all want to react when someone does us wrong.
But I want to tell you something today. If you're a born again child of the Living God, you have no business just reacting to things on a natural, human level.
Now I have heard some people say, "I'll forgive, but I won't forget."
That is not the God kind of love.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
That's the God kind of love.
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
The God kind of love forgives and keeps no record.
Listen, I don't care how long you have been in church, if you hate your neighbor, if you are walking around offended, abundant life is not dwelling in you.
There is a reason that Satan works so hard to stir up stress and hard feelings among believers.
And let me just say this; Satan attacks the home in general, Christian or not, because the home or family was ordained of God. And a loving home is a strong home, even in the natural.
Here is why the devil doesn't want you and I to walk in love.
Let me share some Scripture with you about the power of love.
To start with Galatians 5:6 says, Faith worketh by love.
Paul tells us in I Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1 John 4:18 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.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mt 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
The world is watching to see how the people who call themselves children of God will react.
It is important that we don't disgrace the Name.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
He didn't say it was a suggestion, but a commandment.
So here's what I see from what we have covered so far:
That as children of the Most High God walking in love we can expect to fearlessly walk by faith and
make no provision for failure.
Can you conceive a church filled with the life and nature of God?
Well, that is who we are.
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
God has called and equipped you to live on a higher level. He's given you the power to respond in a supernatural way when someone does you wrong. He's given you the power to respond in love.
How can I express this?
When I let love loose in my situation, I let God loose in my situation.
I need to start listening to my heart and not my head (mind) because the carnal mind is against the
Spirit of God.
The Bible says that Jesus didn't seek to please Himself.
A man told the story of how he would come home from a bad day at work and just put his wife through the wringer. He would criticize her and rant and rave.
One day when he finally shut up, she walked up to him with tears on her face, looked him in the eyes and said, "Some way, some how before this day is over, I am going to be a blessing to you."
He said that she might as well have reached into his chest and pulled his heart out and stomped it.
He never did that again.
It is important to remember why persecution comes.
Mark 4:17 says persecution ariseth for the word's sake.
Make no mistake, that is the devil's intention, to rob your heart of the promises of God. Sometimes he sends insensitive, unappreciative people across your path to offend you and mistreat you, for the express purpose of stealing the Word of God, and the anointing that goes with it, out of your life.
He wants you to get offended and cut off your supernatural power supply.
We need to realize that taking offense is serious. Offenses are sent by the devil to rob us of the anointing and block the flow of the blessings of God.
That fact alone should be enough to make us set a guard about being offended and not walking in love.
Well then, if we are not supposed to get our feelings hurt and strike back or go off in a huff, what are we supposed to do?
I Peter 4:12-14
I Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.
If you have trouble walking in love remember Luke 6:22-23.
Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
Lu 6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.
There is an account in the Bible of a man named Balaam who was hired by the Ammorites and the Moabites to curse Israel. Every time he tried, God turned the curse into a blessing.
Listen to this Scripture:
Deuteronomy 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
I want to encourage you today. If you have been hurt, if someone has stolen from you, if you have suffered loss, if insensitive, ungrateful people have angered you, SHAKE IT OFF, like Paul shook off the viper.
Walk in love and you will walk in victory and power.
Listen to this closing Scripture in the Amplified Bible:
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].