"faith, hope, and love abide... but the greatest is love" (1 Cor. 13:13)"for if we are in Christ, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed working through love" (Galatians 5:6) "By this all men shall know that you are my disciples, that you love one another..." (John 13:35) "Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire love" (1 Cor. 14:1)
I could go on and on... and on with scriptures on love. I know I've gone on and on and on writing about love and yet I still find myself often having to take a step back and realize I have yet to understand the full extent of this love thing. I still mess it up. I still have to battle flesh. But oh how I want to love like He loves.
"God is love"
My Father whom rescued me, saved me, changed my life, prizes me, possesses me, the One and Only God, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, most powerful One, the God in control, Creator of the Universe, Holy and Righteous One, my Best Friend, Love of my soul, One who comes near and wraps me in His loving arms, and yet still reigns on a mighty throne. This God... is love. Every ounce, every bit, never ending, unconditional, unmoved, unshaken, love. Love that endures all, love that keeps no account of my failures, love that is patient in my stubbornness, love that is kind though I have been rude, love that always wants what is best for me, love, pure, holy, love.
This God, this Jesus, prayed and asked that we may love as He loves. "I give you a new commandment that you should love one another just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another" (John 13:34) "...that the love with which You have loved me, may be in them..." (John 17:26)
Loving Him and loving others is such a big deal and the enemy will do everything possible he can to keep you from walking in love, because walking in love, is walking in the Spirit. He may not be able to get you to turn your back on God, or stop loving God, but he can sure try to challenge your love for people.
Will you walk in love with that co-worker after they've persecuted you? Will you walk in love with your spouse? Will you walk in love with your children? Will you walk in love with your friends? Will you walk in love with the person in Wal-mart who cut in line? Will you walk in love with your enemies?
There is no place in the Bible where we're ever given permission to walk in anything less than complete God-love. There's no an exemptions for mistreatment. There's no pass for blatant unreturned love. There's no where in the Word where I can point to and say, "SEE I can be rude, I can be mad, I can be dishonoring, I can hold onto this grudge, I have a right to be offended, I can ..."
Love is the greatest power source on the planet, because God is love, and once you unhook from the love walk, you've detached yourself from heaven's order. Paul singled out love as the greatest thing on the planet. Why? Because love never fails. Love can melt the hardest heart, it can heal the wounds of the broken heart, and it can quiet the fears of an anxious heart. Love has the power to change people and circumstances. Love is stronger than the strongest thing you can imagine, it's far beyond the watered down "love" society has offered us, it is indeed a supernatural gift.
Walk in love. Love God first, then love others. Love those around you well. Love those that are easy to love, Don't mistreat them, don't take them for granted, don't abuse returned love. Love deep, and love deeper, and keep loving deep. Returned love (from God and others) gives you the ability to love those that are hard to love. Loving the addicts, heathen, adulterers, murderers, rapists, rude, persecutors. There are no exemptions to love.
We can do a lot of things for God, but if we have not love, we are nothing. (1 Cor. 13:1-3) Reduce us to love.
Be Blessed, J. Tate