The Love of God
Our Salvation is obtained by the love of God. We cannot expect to be of any value without the genuine love of God working in our life. I hear many times, as you introduce yourselves, you say that you are saved, and you love God. This is truly a wonderful thing. All that God has blessed us with is through His Son. So the love of God is shed upon our hearts through Jesus, our loving Savior. It is through Jesus, who died for us and His blood, that we can have life more abundantly. It was God’s love that drew us to Christ. It is the love of God that brought us to Salvation. It is the love of God that places us in the body of Christ. Without His love, we have nothing. You may have the ability to quote the Bible perfectly and/or speak the words of truth profoundly. But without the love of God working within us, we have nothing. We become God’s servant if we invite Him into our hearts and love Him with all our might. The love of God does so much more for us than anything else can.
Romans 8: 38-39
“38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The love of God is so important. God wants us to have this promise so we know nothing can separate us from God. The love of God within us will cause us to behave differently from those who do not have His love. So this love that God gives us is extremely important.
Let us look at Biblical principles that show the evidence of God’s love in our lives. 1Corinthians, Chapter 12, is full of explanations of the spiritual gifts that exist within the body of Christ. These gifts are needed to help the Church or the body of Christ stay strong. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about these spiritual gifts, and approaching the last verse of chapter 12; he noted the following:
“But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
In this chapter, Paul discussed being a prophet and the gift of healing, but in the last verse, he says, “I show unto you a more excellent way.” In chapter 13 of 1Corinthians, Paul tells us of the more excellent way, saying, although one can speak well or have the gift of prophecy and understand all there is to know of the word of God or give all one’s goods to feed the poor, but have not charity—all this profits nothing. Charity means love, so Paul recognized without the love of God within him, all he could do would have no value or be worthless.
Let us discuss the characteristics in the next verse Paul shares with the Church explaining the importance of the love of God and what it is. Paul spoke to people who were saved, the Church, and he said all these spiritual gifts are essential, but what is more important is the love of God within.
1 Corinthians 13:4
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,”
What is suffering long? It says here love suffers long. The phrase suffering long means having patience or putting up with others who are weak or ignorant in the things of God; you are patient with them or the situation. The ability to suffer long given to us by God helps us have patience with our friends, family, or other people around us.
Many times young people have a hard time being patient with their younger siblings. Young people may find this very difficult to do, but God calls us to use the characteristics of His love –to suffer long with those around us. Looking at 1Corinthians 13:4 again, we learn another characteristic of love, and the Bible states it this way, “..and is kind…” Are you a kind person? This is part of our example to others. Being kind means, we are not saying things that hurt, degrade, or put down another person. The Bible also teaches us to be kind to our enemies. Are you suffering long, and are you kind? If one were to ask your parents or younger siblings if you are a kind person, would they say yes? Kindness should flow through us because of the love of God within.
The following three words in verse four of 1Corithians 13 introduce another characteristic of the love of God. “…charity envieth not…”. To envy is to want something that is not yours. God’s love within us will cause us to feel happy for others who achieve what they work toward or acquire things you may want as well. Maybe someone receives a new bicycle, and you feel a little envious of not having a bike yourself. God wants us to be thankful for God’s blessings to others as well as ourselves. Next, “…charity vaunteth not itself is not puffed up.” This means the charity is not proud. Have you ever met someone, who whatever you might say, had a better story? Who always bragged they were smarter than you or got better grades? With the love of God within us, we don’t brag or walk around thinking we are better than others. The last part of verse four says, “is not puffed up.” When I look at this, I think of someone who is inflated or has inflated importance of themselves. I believe the love of God helps us understand that we received nothing and deserved nothing meaning everything we have belongs to and comes from God. God wants us to be humble and to remember what we are like without Him. Let us continue to verse five.
“Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;.”
We see yet another characteristic of God’s love within. The phrase, “Doth not behave itself unseemly. “, is good for young people. This means observing good manners. Here in America, we teach our young people that good manners are saying please, thank you, and excuse me. We also teach our young people to open the doors for those that are elderly. We encourage young people not to burp out loud in a group of people. So this love of God helps us to keep ourselves in good manners. What if your mom makes you something for dinner, it is the same as what you had the three days before, and you say, “I don’t like that!” Good manners would be saying, “Mom, thank you for dinner. It was good.”
There are four things at least that I would like you to remember from this lesson.
- Charity or love suffers long. It is one of the fruits of the spirit. This means we put up with and have patience with each other because of the love of God within.
- Love is kind. Meaning we are kind people. I’ve learned that people want to be with kind individuals.
- Charity envies not. Meaning we do not look at others wishing we had their things or what they have and feel envious because of this. Instead, we are thankful they have received blessings from God.
- Charity is humble. Charity does not vaunt itself.
God wants to fill us with His love, and God’s love will begin to show these unique characteristics so others can see Him within us. I pray that each of you will allow the love of God to come into your heart and then let the characteristics of His love show towards others.