Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Faith is propelled by love. Unfortunately our understanding of love may be skewed. Is love flowers, cards and chocolates? Is it a day set apart for celebration? Defining love is not a simple task because love is a person or the nature of the person. Pastor Paul Dawson in his message, plainly teaches us what love is not. I can assure you it will be a shocking revelation to you. If you want to grow in faith, you need this understanding on love.
We are here to enable and equip the saints to know two foundational truths. Firstly, miracles and believers can not be separated. Secondly, we must live in the light of eternity. When these two are focused on, we become the incomparable people. God is training us to live in this mortal body to be ready for life in the immortal body. God is a just God and our actions will determine everything even in eternity.
Remember the apostles worked very hard with both fervour and zeal in this world. They knew that labour in this world will give them rewards in the world to come. We must be careful how we labour in the world today. We must be balanced with all our labour as the Righteous Judge will reward us for it all. The apostles gave us guidelines regarding this.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 reveals the key guideline, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.” God Himself teaches us to love each other and encourages us to progress more and more in the area of love. Some stagnate in the area of love thinking that they have enough love but we must not be satisfied with the level we are in. Christianity is a process of continuous labour. While in this world there can be no stagnation. Saints must increase more and more in love.
In Galatians 5:6 we see that only one thing profiteth, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Just as a car runs on petrol, a diesel machine works using diesel, faith relies on love. In the environment of grace, we receive everything by faith and it is love which makes faith work. If you don’t have real understanding, faith will not work for you. All day and night we can make confessions, quote Scriptures and fast but it will amount to nothing if we don’t walk in love.
Only when we examine ourselves, the Holy spirit can convict us. So 1 Corinthians 11:28 urges us, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” We are so accustomed to the natural realm and its hindrances that make us incapable of experiencing faith. If love is not there, faith is hindered. Just like a car without sufficient petrol will keep jerking and not provide a smooth ride, insufficient love acts like a block in your faith walk. Increasing more and more in love simply ensures increasing more and more in faith. To begin with we must understand what love is not.
Love is not judging others.
Saints of God do not jump to hasty conclusions regarding any matter or person. Keep your mind pure. Do not allow your mind to be polluted. Love does not misunderstand others. Imagine a believer who is looking to a rich man for financial help. Either directly or indirectly he has conveyed to the rich man that he needs money but there has been no response. Immediately the believer begins to judge the rich man as a miser with no compassion. That is a beggar mentality where the believer is depending on man. He blames the rich man for not responding but maybe God has not spoken to the rich man to give the money. The believer must stop depending on man and look to God as this attitude is highly displeasing to God.
When you judge another, you walk out of love. Misunderstanding others ensures no growth in your faith level. Another simple example is of a person you meet at church or office. This person does not relate to you but you want him to. The tendency is to write him off as an arrogant or proud man. He may not even be aware of anything and might be going about his own work quietly. However, these thoughts of yours are not loving thoughts and block your faith from working.
Love does not have bitterness.
There can be no hate in love, no matter what that person did to you. Love typically will not rest until it forgives others. It is very uncomfortable when it has unforgiving thoughts. In fact the heart of love may burst if it does not remove unforgiving bitterness.
Love has no spite or tit for tat nature.
When you have to retaliate according to what is done to you, it is spite operating. You can not say he spoke about me so I won’t rest till I do this to him. Love is sadly missing here and therefore your faith will be ineffective.
Love is patient and bearing.
Loves bears others’ faults patiently. It is long suffering by nature even when it knows that the other is doing stupid things. Such a person is on the path to perfection. His faith level is exploding. This is the love that God expects from us.
Love does not get angry quickly and drives out anger before the sun sets.
Love must work on not allowing one’s negative emotions like anger to get the better of them. Every anger is not wrong as is seen in how Jesus got angry with the people trading inside the temple of God. Be angry but sin not as is recorded in Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Love will eject anger out of the heart. It is highly uncomfortable when seated at the table with anger. One of them must vacate by sundown and it must be anger that goes.
Love is kind and gentle.
Someone who gets irritated very easily is not loving. 1 Thessalonians 2:7,”But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children”, shows us that the apostles were a gentle group. Love is no doubt gentle.
Gentleness and kindness go hand in hand. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Often there are people whose speech is harsh; their approach or look may be harsh and they may exhibit what we call gruff behaviour. They may be loving but their mannerisms need to change. They tend to give a bad impression of who they are. Nobody can see what is inside of them, people only see what is manifested. My advice to you is that God will help you change. All things are possible to him who believeth. The Holy Spirit will help change you.
Love is not selfish.
Love is concerned about others. It treats others property as its own. This further helps one to increase in love more and more. Concern for other’s losses must be there in a loving person.
When such qualities are found in believers, family problems will cease, there will be no spouse problem, adjustment problems and no need for family counselling. If there is a problem in a saint’s house, it is simply because love is missing.
Love never gossips.
Gossiping is speaking about others. Have you ever seen anyone gossiping about their own children’s faults? Their children may have acted very badly but the parents hide it. They keep quiet about it so that no one would come to know about it. That is human love in action. However, when it happens to be a co-brother or co-sister, the phone calls make the rounds. Love others as yourself and as your own children.
What do you get by gossiping? What you get is this – your faith is going to stumble. Love on the other hand never gossips. It treats others as its own.
Love does not take advantage of people.
Finally love bears the infirmities of the weak. God expects this from the saints. You who are strong, do not keep quiet. Romans 15:1 confirms this, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” It is the job love must do. We must choose to help the weak.
Now we have seen 9 things that love does not do. Perhaps you are saying, “I don’t think I have love.” That is not true because according to Romans 5:5, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Love is in you. God Himself has placed it there. You can excel in all these areas. Cultivate these traits as you would a garden which you desire to be a blessed garden.
Remember we are people of extreme faith. Extreme faith needs extreme love. Don’t worry about your weaknesses. You were chosen because He had faith in you. He trusted you even when you were a rebel. He came for you and saved you. He has a mighty plan for you. Just surrender yourself to be moulded by Him. He moulded
Moses for 40 years and made such an angry man, the meekest man in the entire world. God will use His power to mould you too. We must put on the Lord Jesus and make no provisions for the flesh. We must grow more and more in this love.