“And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of them all is love’ (1Corinthians 13:13 KJV).
Just as the scripture says in Proverb 4:7 that, “wisdom is the principal thing,” we can also say of the above scripture that love is a principal thing.
Love is important, and everyone responds to it. It is not a mere feeling. It’s a verb, an action. It connotes giving. God demonstrated this when He sent His beloved son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sin.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV)
The scripture above told us of certain love- God’s love for humankind. But it wasn’t just that love. With that love comes a gift. He gave his only begotten son because he loves us, so that we may be saved.
The value of real love cannot be substituted for any other virtue. In fact, the scripture stated,
“Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it; If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised” (Song 8:7 NASB)
Lesson on the True Love of God
Love is paramount and important for all people. God is love and wants every Christian to have a real love for other people. Unfortunately, some people abuse love, and they mistakenly conclude that some personal gains must always be obtained from when it is practiced.
However, love is not selfish. Whatever a person considers as true love must not be self-centered. God gave a commandment in Mark 12:30-31,
“And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. The second is like, namely this, thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandments greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 KJV)
If you profess Christianity, or at least you honor the word of God, then you wouldn’t hurt your neighbor.
If we start acting according to the word of God and we build our lives around His commandment, then every form of backbiting, slandering, gossip, jealousy, hatred will be replaced with the fruits of the spirits, which are, joy, peace, patience, love, kindness, gentleness, fruitfulness, and self-control.
Having these fruits does not mean we won’t have differences, disagreement, or misunderstanding, but we will be able to deal with them in the most appropriate ways.
Love is not desperate and self-focus. It does not only consider things of its own. Love thinks about others and seeks their welfare. Of course, love does not mean that a person should ignore himself and be completely sold out to others. While he cares for himself, he must also be relevant to others. Loving your neighbor does not mean dying to self or denying yourself as if you need to destroy yourself.
As a matter of fact, you need to love yourself before you can love your neighbor, because the scripture says,
“love your neighbor as yourself.”This means you must love yourself first before you can love your neighbor.
There is a measurement in that scripture. The length to which you must love your neighbor is how much you love yourself.
You cannot give what you do not have. If you have no love in you, you can’t give it out to others. Jesus came to die for each and every one of us. He valued us enough to go through what he went through; therefore, we owe it to him value ourselves. To value what he values.
He loves us, and we need to love ourselves as well. But we must remember that when we love ourselves, we must not be self-centered about it.
In short, whoever claims to have true love must not be consumed in him or herself only.
Also, love does not equate to sexuality. Love is selfless, caring, impartial, and godly.
Therefore, everyone must evaluate whatever he or she regards as love.
If the result of the evaluation does not satisfy God’s criteria of righteousness, then it is not love!
Love is not desperate and self-focus. It does not only consider things of its own. Love thinks about others and seeks their welfare. Of course, love does not mean that a person should ignore himself and be completely sold out to others.
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8-10 NKJV)
Ask God today to flourish your heart with genuine love – real love – that will benefit other people and me. Also, ask that the demonstrations of your love result in the glorification of his name.
Ask for that love that is selfless, impartial, truthful, and fruitful!
One of the mysterious things about God is that he has never failed and will never fail. He’s not a man that lies or breaks promises.
People change, but our God does not change. He is the same today, tomorrow and forevermore.
Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. (Psalms 119:90 KJV)
He is ever faithful. A man can make a promise today only to wake up tomorrow and change his mind. Our God isn’t like this.
Unlike man, God is consistent and one-faced. He’s always true to His words, no matter the circumstance. He is ever faithful; he keeps promises.
God will remain true to his words, and he will keep them under whatever circumstance so that all people can glorify his name.
Yea, there are times when it seems what God has said concerning you isn’t coming to pass, or you can’t see the manifestation of what He has promised. This only happens when you have failed to do your own part. Yea, there is a part you to play: you need to have faith in him.
The Reiteration of God’s Faithfulness
A direct reference to this topic can be read from the Bible when King David witnessed many goodnesses of God and recounted some of them in return appreciations (to the Creator).
King David, the man of God recounted Jehovah’s efforts that lead Israelites out of the land of Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land – A land flowing with “milk and honey.” David stated,
“When they went from one nation to another, And from one kingdom to another people, He permitted no man to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.”(1 Chronicles 16:20-22 NKJV).
God’s faithfulness can also be traced to his relationship with the Hebrews/ Jewish people.
Thousands of years ago, He made a covenant with Abraham and that still holds till today.
Let’s take a look at more examples of God’s faithfulness in the Bible.
To Noah – God made a covenant with Noah that he would protect him and his family when he wanted to destroy the earth. God said,
And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shall come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. (Genesis 6: 17-18)
And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, thus shall thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. (Exodus 19: 3-5 KJV)
Remember: God is ever faithful and he keeps his promises under whatever circumstance.
God is far stronger and better than any human being.
Perhaps one out of many contrasts between a man and God is that man is fallible in nature, but God is not.
Man can make a promise today and change his mind tomorrow, but God does not change his mind! He keeps his promises always.
God’s has reiterated his faithfulness several times in the Bible. For example, He said,
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. (Deuteronomy 7:9 KJV)
Believers are encouraged to keep their faith in God and remain hopeful for the fulfillment of his promises.
Jehovah will fulfill his promises over us. He will do whatever he has promised!
God has promised his people his divine healing and protection during any period such as Coronavirus pandemic.
He will keep us safe and heal those who are sick. Truly the sky may look dull and dark as if a terrible situation will never cease, but the good news is that a tough time will not last for a child of God.
Jehovah will stand by his children like a mighty warrior to make his name glorified. He will help his children in the time of trouble, and he will honor them beyond any human comprehension.
God is ever faithful. Trust him, and his promises will stand sure on you.
Many people live their lives to please others. They are obsessed with what people think of them. They are very cautious about their way of life because they want everyone to praise them. Some even give up on their goal because they feel if they fail, there are a lot of people waiting to criticize them.
Let me put this straight to you – whether you fail or succeed, people will always see fault in you. It isn’t because of your flaws, but because that is the nature of man.
Sometimes, people will lash their tongues because they are jealous of you.
The real purpose of your living isn’t to please others. It’s just embracing that person you are and walking the path where your passion and desire lead!
If you live your life in such a way to avoid judgment and criticism, your journey will be full of aggravating moments. And this will lead to depression. When you start seeing these signs, it means you have put off those things that your soul yearns for.
You should always expect criticism because people don’t understand your journey. The real person who truly knows your life journey is you, and the real person who can be inspired to live it appropriately is you!
Sometimes, some criticisms are good for us. There are times when we need them in order not to forget who we are.
We can’t ignore people’s opinions every time just because we don’t live our lives for them. Criticism can sometimes help us gain valuable insight into our actions and help us see those things we are missing.
Use these 14 tips to confront and overcome criticism
Don’t take criticism personally
Focus on the road, not the wall
Don’t respond immediately
Assess criticism and the critic
Understand their point of view
Respond on your terms
Are they qualified to criticize you or your work?
Step back to see the big picture
Let go of your ego
Look for the nugget of truth
Shield yourself against unwanted negativity
Practice to ignore criticism
Leave, think, and return
Beat your critics with some proper actions. Get better and get stronger!
The last time you attempted to praise God, did you do it out of emotion, or you did it out of reasoning? You don’t have to respond loudly, but you were likely got caught up with emotion and based your praises on it. Continue reading Should Emotion Drive Your Praises?
Always remember that your pastor is a fellow human being who puts his problem aside to try to be of help to you.
Never take the kindness of your pastor for granted – Appreciate him!
Your pastor has a spiritual responsibility to watch over your soul. He watches over you in prayers. He feeds you with the word of God. He also tries his best to offer you moral support and other help whenever you need one.
Appreciate Your Pastor
Get this fact straight: your pastor is not God; you must not worship him!
You must give all glory to God, for he deserves it! However, never forget that your pastor, who represents God in your life, must be appreciated!
Hebrews 13:17 (NIV) rightly addresses this,
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” – Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)
Even if everything is going well with your pastor, you should always consider it important to encourage and minister to his needs.
Pastors are human, just like everyone else. They have needs, and they need some encouragement.
How Well Can A Pastor Be Appreciated?
Some pastors get paid some stipends to care for their needs while some others don’t get any payment.
Under whatever condition, you, as a church member, must understand that you have the personal responsibility to take care of your pastor!
Take it or leave it, no pastor can be well compensated for his services because the title carries enormous responsibility with ranging impact of brain drain, emotional impact, and psychological impact.
How May I Appreciate My Pastor?
As a church member, step-up to the plate and shoulder your responsibility. Do your due diligence for your pastor!
Anyone who lays a strong emphasis on the word “I” is a proud person. Satan lost his beautiful position in heaven because of “I”. Anyone who intends to satisfy God must be humble; his emphasis must be in “Him” (That is, in Christ Jesus!)
Satan is a prime example of pride. He initiated pride and fell for the sake. Satan lost his position in heaven because of pride.
“And war broke out in heaven… So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
Just as Satan is an example of pride so is Jesus an example of humility.
Jesus Christ is the prime example of humility. He humbled himself and was willing to do the will of God at all costs. (Revelation 5:1-4; Philippians 2:5-8). Therefore, God awarded him the highest honor as the king of the entire universe (earth and heaven inclusive).
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth…” (Philippians 2:9-11).
God debased Satan to the lowest part of the earth with a promise to eternally condemned him to hell fire on the last day.
Be humble! Aspire to live your life in Christ Jesus; train your mind to declare, “I am what I am by the grace of God!”
Emulate Jesus Christ who is the prime example of humility.
Make humility your lifestyle to enjoy God’s premium benefits in every aspect of your life.
See some questions and answers on Pride versus Humility:
What did Satan lose as a result of pride?
He was instantly judged by God and condemned to a permanent place of punishment called hell fire.
“…The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone… will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
He was banished in heaven and cast to the earth pending his permanent punishment of hell fire.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!… you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).
He became a “Lesser Personality” to all creatures. (Revelation 12:11; Isaiah 14:15).
“Those who see you will gaze at you… saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble… But you are cast out of your grave Like an abominable branch… Like the garment of those who are slain… Like a corpse trodden underfoot” (Isaiah 14:15-17).
What did Jesus Christ gain as a result of humility?
He was awarded the highest authority in the universe – The King!
“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).
He became the only channel of salvation for mankind.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
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Paul asked his Christian friends to support him in prayer so that he could have more opportunity to minister the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Paul had done so much for the kingdom of God but still believed the Creator deserves more; therefore, he was determined to dedicate his complete life to propagate the gospel.) Paul needed spiritual help to fulfill his mission. He asked the Colossians,
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak” (Colossians 4:2-4).
Prayer Is Effective For Both Spiritual And Physical Exploits
Children of God must cultivate the habit of praying always. Prayer cannot be too much; we all need it to prosper for the kingdom of God.
Every Christian needs prayer! We need prayer in form of intercession to support one another. Through prayers, we can have the strength needed to effectively preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and prosper for God’s kingdom.
Prayers will help a believer valiantly prosper for the kingdom of God! Anyone who desires to prosper in all ramifications of life should explore the benefits of prayer!
Prayer Is Needed For Physical Success
Christians ought to explore the benefits of prayer to receive the miracles of God in our lives. We have the right, as Christians, to request for God God’s blessing. God will surely grant the request of his own children. However, despite Christians entitlement to receive God’s blessings through prayer, we must ensure not to centralize our requests on material wealth only. Our primary goal is to make heaven and bring as many people as possible along; therefore, we should consider it important to pray for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so that we can effectively preach the gospel and prosper for the kingdom of God.
A Christian should daily ask God to give him (or her) the strength to effectively communicate the word of God with unbelievers and lead them into receiving the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our continuous praying exercise will incapacitate Satan and diffuse his influence in unbelievers’ lives. Our prayers will ignite God’s fire in unbelievers’ minds to be receptive of the gospel and take the step to surrender their lives to Jesus. In other words, the more a Christian prays for spiritual strength, the more opportunity he (or she) will have to lead others into Christ’s salvation. In a simple language, our effective prayers will aid evangelistic efforts to bear some good fruits for God’s kingdom.
Prayer and evangelism are the key to aiding the unbelievers to hear the truth, understand the truth, and surrender to the truth of the gospel. 🙏🗣🤲
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to please make me a prayerful person! Do not let me be a selfish person; let my efforts lead to the salvation of others. Please, help me to pray (intercede) on behalf of my fellow Christians so that they can be successful in their evangelistic efforts.
I am using this medium to pray for myself and my fellow Christians throughout the world that you please anoint and empower us by the Holy Spirit to effectively preach the gospel! Help us to prosper for your kingdom as we endeavor to spread your good news throughout the world.
Also, please enlighten the unbelievers’ minds to overcome their limitations; repent of their sins, and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. For I have made this prayer request through faith in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!
I give you my life oh Lord! I give it to you in all situations.
I give you my life though rain may not fall!
I give you my life though war may surround me!
I promise to trust and serve you in every circumstance because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made by you!
Some people bow their heads in sorrow thinking life has no value because of their present circumstance. The only reason anyone would entertain such thought is because he has forgotten that God owns his life.
If you truly understand that God owns your life, you will care less of your present circumstance and care more about God.
Dare to verbalize the fact that God owns your life and he is in charge! Declare your identity with God and state,
I owe my allegiance to Jesus Christ
God you’ve gotten my attention
I will give everything I have to serve you
Some people turn from God (or at least give God a lesser attention)
Because of problem
Because of enjoyment
Because of persecution
Learn How to Verbalize Your Faith In God
Declare it again and again until your spirit agrees:
God owns my life even though rain may not fall
God owns my life even though war may surround me
God owns my life whether there is food on my table or not
I am certain that God who owns my life is able to take care of my situation
Once more, never forget that:
You are not defined by your problem
You are not defined by your success
You are defined by God
Your situation that seems challenging today will soon take a positive turn if you can confess your faith in God. ✌️👍🙏