So this blog post will make better sense if you read this post on God loving us wholly.
The weeks following that post has seen God moving beyond teaching me about His love for me to teaching me about His love in me for others.
My sister was in Lagos for the past 3 weeks or so and so we both moved down to my brother’s place to spend time together and thus the love lessons began.
As an aside though, can I just comment about how God has everything planned and knows the exact thing to do at the right time?
I stayed in Ekiti this year alone and basically that was the isolation period of my life… you know the period where God works on you and moves you away from everyone and everything…
So then it was time for me to come back and be re-integrated into life with people but of course God knew that my time alone had made me withdraw A LOT into me, myself and I… so basically since I came back to Lagos, He has been placing in in places where I have to live with others… in His programme for me, I’d love to think of it as a “let’s re-introduce her into the life of living with others again” and that re-introduction includes giving her a course on Love… the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love.
I don’t know when I moved from caring about the little things in people’s lives to glossing them over but it happened.
And God wanted to correct it and let me know that no, everything you do without placing people first in love is NOTHING.
“IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory , but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 AMP
So after my mini issues with my friends… and then I had to go visit my brother, I then started the main deal on love.
Now, the deal with the kitchen stuff became serious!
Serious in the sense that God just did it in a way that I’m responsible for cooking the meals for the house..my brother, his friend, my sister and me.
Which means that I have to go shopping in the market, then ask all the questions of what will you eat and act accordingly…
So I’ve been blending into the role and as is normal with me, asking God what He wants to teach me with these things… (nothing is a coincidence you know? Every season has a lesson imbedded in it…)
And turns out that what He wants me to learn is how to love people again… not to “love for mouth”, but to go out of my way, relegate myself to the background and love even if it pains my flesh.
There was a particular night that my brother’s friend (who is a serious trouble maker. Haha. Let him read this first)… we had a mini-crash and I ignored him when he asked me a question…
I went into the kitchen and this conversation ensued between the Spirit and I…
Him: Love is kind, love isn’t rude, etc…
Me: arrgh! Why do you have to bring that up right now…
Pause for a moment…
Me: Okay, I’m sorry, it’s not like I’m being stubborn and don’t want to be corrected, it’s just… arrgh!
After a while…
Me: Okay, I will apologize…
And I did!
I even asked him if he would eat anything so I could make him something to eat… and that was when the Spirit opened my eyes to see that God wants my love gauge to increase again.
So I knew it was time to read Kenneth Hagin’s Love the way to victory which I blogged about here.
I was reading the book the next day while waiting for something I went to get when 1 Corinthians 13 hit me in the Amplified version.
God said “He wanted my love to get to a point where people offend me and I don’t even take it as nothing..”
Love takes no account of wrongs…
And as I read that verse, everything a friend had done to me came tumbling down in my heart.
I kept hearing her words that hurt me and it was almost like a knife was twisting in my heart.
Still God said “love takes no account of wrongs done to it”.
It was painful… I almost held my chest in public, the pain was that bad as I kept hearing her words in my head.
And God wanted me to forgive with out an “I am sorry” or without me even bringing up the topic with her to trash it… He wanted me to forgive and forget it like it never happened.
I went to Church that day and guess what the topic was?
And I was like “Lord I get it!”.
That was last week Wednesday and this study on love was supposed to have gone up then… you guys know I work with what God lays in my heart per week and even this week, I believe this love study is even more still relevant.
Every December seems to be a time when God comes up with the lesson of love for me… remember last year’s lesson on love from my brush with my mom?
This year’s own lesson has been more intense and has spanned for weeks and is still going on because I still have brushes with my family and friends that God requires me to say “I’m sorry” even when I don’t want to do so.
In fact, I have noticed that it’s when we have arguments that the Spirit even wants me to be kinder to them!
And another aside, hope you see the reason why a man and woman have to be born again believers before marriage…mhen, it just makes things easier.
Imagine if there’s no Holy Spirit in the person reminding them to forgive and love their spouse the way 1 Corinthians 13 says?
Today’s study is not a “formal kind of study”, it’s a relational kind of study.
I don’t know if you’re living alone right now or living with family like me… but I believe that in this season God wants us all to relate with persons that we come across in love… in the God kind of love.
Now, we must understand that this love is a fruit of the Spirit so you can’t walk in it in your flesh… you can only walk in it in the Spirit…
Our flesh does all sort of rubbish…
Our flesh wants to yell at someone for that little thing they did to us…
Our flesh wants to revenge because he committed a sin against us…
Our flesh wants to “show them say I nor be gentle person, them dey use me dey play..”
But the Spirit of love says…
Love isn’t rude…
Love does not fly into a rage…
Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others…
Our flesh will fall down and die under such a burden of love but the Spirit says “Love never weakens nor relaxes it’s hold”.
“Love bears all things to the end…”
So I encourage us, a course on love isn’t always the sweetest… you should see me arguing with the Spirit when He says “tell him you’re sorry” (its such a funny sight I tell you)
But this course is the most important course in our Christian life.
Every other course – great sermons, great faith, praying extensively in the Spirit are all gymnastics when love isn’t there.
I shared practical examples from my life right now to let us know that love isn’t only in the big things like giving someone 5 million naira, love is in the little things like living with others in the same house.
As Christmas draws closer and you start thinking of what gift to give to others, give them the gift of the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love first.
Look for ways to let the fruit of love in you grow.
Maybe you always retort back when you are spoken to, well, you can decide to walk in “love is not arrogant” today.
Maybe you take offense at everything thats done to you, you can decide to walk in “love keeps no score of wrongs today”.
You can decide to forgive…
Forgiveness is a funny thing to do.. sometimes your heart still breaks at the thought of the issue.. but I’ve found out that if we would speak to God every time we feel the pain, tell Him the struggles even after forgiving the other person… He would help us and after a while, in His grace, the pain dims till it goes away totally.
The words they said will stop ringing in your head… but first you must decide to walk in “love forgives all things.”
The love walk can be painful and annoying sometimes…
You’re like “Lord but he/she did this and did that…”
But we did this and did that too before Jesus came for us… we still do this and do that sometimes now too, still He loves us and as He has loved us, He says love others too.
So look for the little things in this season, and let God’s love in you shine through to others.
Father thank you for this call to reminder on what’s important in our walk with you.
Help us to never forget that love is the greatest. Help us to not stifle this fruit of love in our lives but let it grow and be a blessing to everyone we come across with in Jesus name, amen.
Till our next online Bible study,
PS: Last year I sent Kenneth Hagin’s “Love the way to victory” to some persons and would love to do same this year.
If you’d love to read the book, comment with your mail below and I’ll send the PDF file to you soonest.
PPS: Yesterday our visit to the correctional facility was done… and twas amazing!
Thank you so much for all your support!
I owe you guys the post on this one and the book reading… they will be up before the week runs out.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8 (Amplified)
“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceitedâarrogant and inflated with pride; it is not rude (unmannerly), and does not act unbecomingly.
Love [God’s love in us] does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it âpays no attention to a suffered wrong. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never failsânever fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end. As for prophecy [that is, the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose], it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [that is, it will lose its value and be superseded by truth”
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