Faith
Wednesday February 17, 2006
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
FAITH COMMENTARY
"The Power of Love"

God addresses love as love appears in the King James Bible in 280 verses; 124 times in the Old and 156 times in the New Testament. Love describes a condition that must exist for you to acquire eternal happiness. Christ is the Light, the Way, the Word and the Truth as He makes His love available to you. There are no strings attached, however action is required on your part.

You must understand that love is something generated from within and cannot be forced. Love must be freely given as it is not a bargaining instrument. You know when it is present and you feel its absence. There is nothing more powerful, yet many misunderstand this power that love represents.

From the scriptures, Paul describes love to us by utilizing the word charity. A little research reveals why Paul describes love in this manner. Webster’s (3rd edition) gives the following definition;

Christian love: a : the virtue or act of loving God with a love which transcends that for creatures and of loving others for the sake of God b : divine love for man : love in its perfection c : the act of loving or the disposition to love all men as brothers because they are sons of God : love of fellow men.

The Strong’s Concordance offers the following translation of “charity”;

From the Greek word agapao - love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast :- (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

Paul writes in 1 Cor 13:2:KJV

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”

Here you see that God, through Paul, is showing you the power of love as he compares our faith and understanding to the strength of your love. You see that love is fully capable of standing on its own.

1 Cor 13:4-5 KJV continues:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil”

Here, God describes the simplicity and purity of love as it reaches deep into your life without drawing attention.

1 Cor 13:8 KJV sums up the staying power of love:

“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”. Love never fails. God is letting you know what He seeks and provides you this simple recipe to show your intentions.

 

 

 

 


 

The apostle Paul also describes a different love, a “Tough Love”, where God expects you to exercise discipline and correction. God speaks through Paul in 2nd Thessalonians 3:11-12 KJV:

[11] “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

[12] Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”

These verses instruct you to exercise discipline and take note of these lazy ones…the ones who are able and capable to work. Making them eat their own bread is “Tough Love” and “Tough Love” is God’s love. God requires able-bodied people to work as it gives physical evidence of their love.

Paul concludes this “Tough Love” message in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 KJV:

[14] “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him,

[15] that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”

God’s message is clear: when you admonish your able-bodied lazy brother, you help him to see his wrong. “Tough Love” shows a way back to God by joining a productive Christian life.

God needs and seeks your love. You are not to take it for granted by realizing the important role God plays in your life. God clearly makes this point in the 1 John 4:20-21 KJV:

[20] “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

[21] And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

Now learn this one thing….God not only expects us to love one another…He commands it.

 

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Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at billy@lakeshorebible.info or viewed online at www.lakeshorebible.com