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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
“Owe no man anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Love is the most important thing to me in my walk with God. And to be honest, I’m not that great with it. I do a good job at times, but I’ve realized that if I don’t constantly keep the importance of this in my face, it’ll slip away from me. It depends on our personality. Some people were born with the gift of love. Me? Not so much. So I’ll show you what I do to get into my ‘love state’.
Study the Scriptures
This step is crucial. We must be in our Word if we want to change our ways. For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Don’t you know the song? “There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.” It’s true. The quickest way to see results is to spend time examining the character of God and the ministry of Jesus.
There are a whole lot of scriptures that express God’s love for us. The scriptures say He chose you before the foundations of the world that you would be holy and blameless before Him in love (see Ephesians 1:4). Because of His great love for you, He made you alive to Christ even while you were dead in your trespasses (see Ephesian 2:4-5). You’re the apple of His eye and He has your name tattooed on the palm of His hand.
Not only that, but it’s who He is (see 1 John 4:8). He can’t be anything else; only the pure essence of love. No matter how big you think your sin is, His love swallows it whole and leaves nothing left. He doesn’t condemn you or guilt you into coming up higher. He loves you in it.
The Bible states that we’re God’s children. If you’re a parent then you know nothing matters more than your child. You would do anything for them and your deepest desire is to see them succeed at life. There’s no good thing that you would withhold from them. If we know how to love our children in our imperfect state, how much more does God know how to love us?
Meditating on scriptures about God’s love for me helps me the most (besides prayer) when I’m filling up on love. I struggled with loving myself for a long time. I flat out hated myself before I met Christ. It was so freeing for me to learn that God loves me and accepts me. And He loves you too!
The reason I’m focusing intensively on how much God loves us is because you cannot give away that which we do not have. You must receive God’s love first and become so full that you begin to overflow. It should come down from heaven and out of you.
The rest of the fruits are characteristics of love and are maintained by self-control. As a Christian, I really believe love should be our main priority. When the Pharisees asked Jesus which is the greatest commanded of the law His response was, “‘You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and the great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-39).”
The two greatest commandments, the whole law summed up, are to love God and others. Isn’t that amazing? By doing those two things, you will not break any of the ten commandments. Jesus spoke this to the men who were testing His knowledge. Later, among His friends He repeated it to them. He assigned them a new task as His followers:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
That task is still relevant today. The world is full of hurting people. They don’t need criticism and hatred. They need the love of God which can change their lives like it has done to countless others.
Stay Prayed Up
Loving people isn’t a one time deal; It’s a lifetime commitment. And if we’re honest with each other, sometimes it’s unenjoyable to have to be nice a person who doesn’t treat us well. It could be a co-worker, a cousin, or even your kids. People can be annoying at times. It seems like some of them push our buttons on purpose. Yet, this is when it’s vital to love people.
God’s not impressed when we love those who love us. That’s a natural human instinct. Godless people adore their families. When we are overtaken by hardships and troubles and continue to remain loving, then it gets attention.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the goods, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?”