A major theme in God’s holy word, the bible is love, and in fact without the proper love in our life we spiritually cannot grow. We will become spiritually dead.
As 1st John 4: 7-8 reminds us God is love. It reads;
Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
These verses simply but succinctly summarize the theme of love as revealed in the bible. This theme definitely has much more to it and there will be eternity to learn and experience it but I’d recommend starting today if you haven’t already started.
What is the proper love that we need in order to experience growth in Christ? Jesus instructs us in Mathew 5:44;
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,
If we try to follow this on our own, we’re bound to fail, that’s why we must rely completely on God’s love in us and his assistance, asking for help through earnest prayer.
God’s love is selfless, not selfish like our own. Jesus served, by healing people, feeding them when they were hungry and lovingly teaching them despite many occasions of fierce opposition.
The proper love is revealed in John 13:34-35;
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another. By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.
Again, we can accomplish this by having God’s love in us and not our own. We are sinful and our love is messed up. Relying on ourselves, gives rise to a selfish love that spiritually destroys us and distances us from our savior Jesus Christ.
Some examples of the improper love that develops in us, if we rely on ourselves can be found below. Please look up the verses so that you may get some deeper enjoyment from discovering things for your self.
2nd Timothy 3: 2-4 is a key text. It outlines that men will be self-lovers, money lovers and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. This makes total sense and is in complete agreement with the first verses quoted in the article. If God’s love is not in us then we don’t know God. How could you love someone that you don’t know? God’s love is replaced by our own messed up love that leads us to love things like money and pleasure. As well this kind of love can easily distract us from building a solid faith in God.
John 12: 42-43 describes men who loved the glory and honor of men more than the glory of God. These people had incorrect priorities in life and each of us may have as well. Is God and serving Him our priority or is it something else like our career? Is it simply embarrassing that the people around you realize that you’re a Christian? Again relying on Christ’s love rather than our own will help us avoid this problem.
Does seeing injustice and inequity all around you cause your love to grow cold as pointed out in Mathew 24:12? If it does then we’re relying on our own improper love, which can quickly and easily dissipate.
People loving the darkness rather than the Light is another example of our love gone bad and is written about in John 3: 19-20. This kind of love relies on an incorrect understanding of Jesus Christ and His mission. The Light didn’t come to judge and condemn people but to save them. Jesus provided many examples of this saving mission, such as the Samaritan woman at the water well and Mary Magdalene, to name a couple.
Spiritual growth in Christ depends on having Him as our main priority in life and having His love in us rather than our own. If we can successfully implement this in our lives we will have many blessings in our lives. Pray that this can be done in your life.
praise our Lord,