Username of the writer: janice01
Humans have always struggled to define love and they are constantly redefining it.
Love is a complicated concept. Is it a state of being, an emotion, an ability, a choice, a force, a gift, or all of the above? God’s definition of love is clear and it will not change.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, we read that love is kind, patient, does not boast, does not envy, and is not proud. It also does not dishonor others, is not easily angered, and is not self-seeking. Also, love does not keep a record of wrongs and does not rejoice in evil.
Jesus is the reason we know what love is. He laid down His life for us and taught us everything we need to know about this virtue. Love is not a temporary feeling of attraction or affection. It is generous, self-sacrificing, and unending.
In Matthew 22:35, an unnamed Pharisee, who is described as an expert in the law tested Jesus by asking Him which is the greatest commandment. Jesus answered by telling him that the greatest commandment is “love the Lord with all thy heart, mind, and soul! Jesus not only says it’s the greatest commandment but also reminded the lawyer that it’s the first and the greatest commandment. Jesus adds that the second commandment is “love thy neighbor as thyself”.
From this, we can conclude that if you love God and other people, you can easily keep all the other commandments. That is when you love God and your neighbor, you can’t kill or worship idols. With love, honoring your parents will be automatic. Still, you cannot commit adultery since you honor your body as the temple of the Lord. However, in Mathew 24:12, we find Jesus warning His disciples about the end times; when the love of many will grow cold. This will be a result of increased wickedness among people.
Paul also warns Timothy that during this time, people will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money. We can see that the world is at this point where many people do not care about the needy but are self-centered. But the scriptures say that even if one prophesies and lacks charity, it is all in vain. If one speaks in tongues and lacks love, it’s still in vain.
What is charity?
Practicing charity means voluntarily helping people in need, as a humanitarian act. Effective philanthropy is the use of reasoning and evidence to determine the most effective way to assist others. The Bible in James 1:27 says that the greatest religion is helping the orphans and windows. That is the religion that God recognizes more than fasting and sacrifices. Many religious groups have drifted away from this holy doctrine and focused entirely on benefiting individual quests; thus, making God depart from their gatherings. This clearly shows that we are living in the end times, as Jesus warned.
There is hope in Jesus! Despite all the worrying signs of the end time, Jesus tells His disciples in John 14:27 that my peace I leave and give unto you, the peace that is not as of the world. He still warns them that despite the terrifying signs of His 2nd coming, they should not be troubled or afraid; for He is the prince of peace.
Different people and denominations have different beliefs about this second coming but what is clear is that Jesus has given the Church the ability to discern the signs of His coming. The church ought to be spiritually alert to be in a position to watch, see, and recognize these signs. It’s also worth noting that just like in the Old Testament, God reveals these signs to His prophets.
Various prophets foretold that the world will experience great chaos, evil, war, and distress, meaning that the signs of the end time will be scary and horrible. Some of these signs are pestilence, famine, great storms, and earthquakes to name but a few. Some of these signs have come to pass for example wickedness is all over, nations are frequently at war, earthquakes hunger, and drought. Some of these signs will become more severe before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.
When the twelve disciples asked Jesus the signs to His second coming, the scripture Mathew 24:11 shows how Jesus warned them of false prophets coming in His name ready to deceive the faithful. Nevertheless, Jesus cautioned them to watch and pray without ceasing, for He will come at an hour when no one expects Him (Luke 12:40). Here we can see how a Prayer is a vital tool for a believer. It’s through prayers a believer can overcome all the wiles of the devil, which targets to make a believer miss the 2nd coming of the Lord. Believers are also encouraged to pray for one another as they watch.
Note that there are other signs of the second coming of Christ that are not dreadful, which include spreading the gospel. From Mathew 24:14, we see Jesus telling His disciples that before the end time, the gospel will be preached to the entire world in their own language for a witness unto to all nations. The world is full of heartbreaking news, and events need the word of God which is the source of peace. Telling others about God is a way of showing love to them.
Many young and old people lack hope in their daily life and this hope is only found in the word of God. God’s Love to mankind is that he should not perish in the calamities of this world but have the eternal life that brings man back to God and restores the lost hope.
It’s worth noting that as believers, we need to love God with all our heart, soul, and might so we can receive the fullness of God’s love. The Bible in Psalm 145:20 says that God preserves everyone who loves Him, but He will destroy the wicked. We do not love God to earn benefits. That’s unthinkable for God is impartial and does not take bribes (Deuteronomy 10:17). We should love God as an admiring and happy acceptance of His commandments.
Also, we need to love our fellow men. If you admire and worship God and find fulfillment in taking refuge in the Lord’s merciful care, then your behavior towards your fellow man should reflect God’s love. To fulfill the lord’s commandment that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:18), we should use the same ingenuity, perseverance, and zeal to pursue our neighbor’s happiness as we do our own.
For love among men to reflect the love of God, it has to include the love of enemies. Note that God’s love for Israel was slow to anger, unmerited, free, and forgiving a multitude of sins that created enmity between Him and his children (Exodus 34:6-7). God’s mercy extended beyond the bounds of Israel, as we can see in Jonah 4:2 and Genesis 12:2-3. Therefore, we should not rejoice when our enemies fall (Proverbs 24:17), and if your enemy is hungry, provide him with food (Proverbs 25:21).
As believers, keeping the commandments of God is crucial. In Revelation 3:15, God warns us about being neither cold nor hot. He says it is better to be hot or cold rather than lukewarm. So, believers need to be hot at all times by following God’s commandments, the greatest one of all being love.
The Greatest Gift Is Love
Username of the writer: janice01