As you advance in days, weeks, months, and years, you will soon discover that you are not near as perfect as you thought you were when you were younger! In plain terms: We ALL possess strengths and weaknesses. The latter tends to be more pronounced with aging ... It is just the way it is on earth!
LOVE's growth on the other hand is inversely proportional to our earthly time. In truth, LOVE is eternal! The "Apostle of love" - 'John the Beloved' - inspired by the Holy Spirit, described Who the Father-GOD is. He wrote: GOD IS LOVE | 1 John 4:8. Not that God has love; no, GOD Himself is LOVE!
The aged apostle went further to state that true LOVE audibly speaks! That true LOVE is demonstrative. That LOVE is a doing word: "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" (vs. 9).
Is your love demonstrative? Does it absolutely cost you to love? Or it's the 'same, same', status quo, filling love-quotas minimally?
Now, not only is true, Godly, agape love demonstratively very costly; furthermore, it was 'paid upfront, in full' by GOD's own Son, Jesus the Messiah even while we yet lived riotous, rebellious lifestyles against GOD. This was the commencement of this irrational, inexplicable, overwhelming love of GOD! Jesus explained that our FatherGOD shines both the sunlight and sends rain-showers upon the just and the unjust, alike! | Matthew 5:45. Doesn't the Scripture also say that "the goodness of God leads to repentance" | Romans 2:4?
Mary of Magdala from whom the Lord Jesus Christ had cast out seven strong demons grew to love the Lord, h-a-r-d. Read Jesus' comments about her loving HARD in Luke 7:47 thus: "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 2 Samuel 24:24 is quite a remarkable memory verse: the Lord had me drill that into my spirit as early as twelve years of age. Here King David was about to raise an altar to the Lord of the field of Araunah the Jebusite after a terrific plague. The erstwhile submissive subject had freely offered the King his inheritance. David had replied him: “ 'Nay; but I will surely buy it from thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing.' So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver."
Ponder within your soul, these questions:
'How much have I been forgiven?'
'How do I love Him: Rough-shod, often showing Him no regards, OR softly and tenderly like Mary Magdalene?'
'Is my offering/gift unto God costing me my all - or nothing at all?'
Most of you are going to be 'playing' loving the Lord, safely! Stop doing that! Love Him back h-a-r-d!
Lastly, the Apostle John described perfect LOVE. He says: It casts out fear. And has no torments | 1 John 4:18-21. I often run into people who blurt out to me "I have trust issues!" That is a hugely, complete statement! This translates into any - or all of the 'summations' below:
I am wounded. And I will wound back!
I have been lied to, gossiped about, and back-stabbed. I will punish you if you attempt to talk evil about me!
I'm quite a piece of ammo, I'll explode in your face if you dare detonate me!
I'm a time bomb tik-toking to explosion!
I'm mean - and I know it: I'll cut you to the quick, and won't be sorry that I did!
Why should you be happy? After all, I am not ...
I will never trust anyone again! Or you may spend a lifetime convincing me to trust you!
Which is your 'summative'?
Do you know why people have trust issues? It is because of FEAR!
Fear of betrayal. Fear of abandonment. Fear of being 'dogged'. Fear of loneliness. Fear of being vulnerable - because once they become vulnerable, they open themselves to vicious attacks from the wolves among humanity. Fear of evolving into an abuser of the same as they had experienced. Fear of brokenness. Fear of this; fear of that, and many more ... FEAR. FEAR. FEAR.
But the God-kind of love cures and heals your heart, soul, and mind from ALL kinds of fears and its enslaving shackles! This love of GOD doesn't stop at healing and restoring you: He empowers you, despite your visible scars, so as to be able to show empathy, compassion, and understanding to many more of God's humanity without even waiting for a reward! (Cf. 1 John 4:17).
See, when true LOVE grows older, it waxes stronger. It renews. Re-plenishes. Re-invigorates, like sweet new wine!
Written by Sammy O. JOSEPH.
Photo credit courtesy PULSE Publishing House, UK (copyrighted). Order the book 'APPRECIABLE Gifts' to learn more on how to approach, cultivate and grow the different types of relationships today at the link:https://www.harvestways.org/product-page/your-new-beginning OR order from anywhere books are sold in the world!