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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Regina OtegoDecember 23, 2015 at 11:46 am
Hey Frances…..am also currently learning about love.
please send me Kenneth Hagins book
Frances OkoroDecember 23, 2015 at 12:14 pm
Hi Regina… yes, it’s really the season on learning about the God kind of love…
Sending you the book now..
Highly FavoredDecember 23, 2015 at 1:59 pm
Francis, this is one of my most favored post of yours. Yes, we are commanded to “love even if it pains my flesh” The fact is TRUE love does NOT feel good or comfortable. Ask God how he felt forgiving those who taunted him and accused him. Ask God how it felt to be beaten, disgraced and crucified for a people who turns their back on him and is constantly unfaithful. In the end it’s not about our will/feelings. Demonstrating love is all about our Fathers will for being living examples and testimonies of who He is.
John 13:34-35 (ICB) âI give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.â
The fruit of the spirit is LOVE. Love embodies joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
It’s my prayer that I will continue to be reminded of these facts and be empowered by the grace of God to Love especially when it hurts to do so.
May God Bless us and take us to higher heights of Love in the days and years ahead.
Frances OkoroDecember 29, 2015 at 9:16 am
Amen and amen Highly Favoured..
Personally I know that if I go with my feelings, I’d love no one according to the Word. It is indeed important to fix our eyes on Jesus, see what He went through to show His love for us and follow His example.
MobolajiDecember 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm
Hmm. This post is timely o. Cuz truth is sometimes we forget to love those closest to us. Like, why can’t I reply my sisters or ignore my mum when she’s annoying me. But God wants us to love them and forgive the way we’d do to outsiders. This season of love shouldn’t be by mouth, but indeed as you’ve explained.
God, teach us to love like you!
Frances OkoroDecember 29, 2015 at 9:18 am
Talk about the being rude to my sisters just because I think they are personal persons and I can behave anyhow to them..but still we are called to love our family, not just cuz we take them for granted but as 1Corinthians 13 says… God indeed teach us to love like He does and help us to imbibe it and learn…in Jesus name, amen!
ikechiDecember 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm
One of the great thing about your post is the way you tie your personal experience with the topic.
This post you have shared shows the deep love that God has for us. What you are going through and the lessons you are learning are so inspiring to me.
Thanks for the reminder that God is love. Keep up the good work. Happy holidays and merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Frances OkoroDecember 29, 2015 at 9:20 am
It’s just like God to teach us with our everyday life, those are the lessons I get and I am glad that they speak to you too 🙂
Compliments of the season and oh, I wish you a blessed 2016 ahead!
VickyDecember 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm
As I read through, maybe I finally come to the realisation that the ability to forgive and let go easily is a gift o.
I used to pray one silly prayer..God teach me how to be angry because people seem to take advantage of the fact that I won’t get angry…my friend will say, ah, Nachi, how can you not be angry. Recently, a friend said something one would consider quite hurtful, hurtful enough to keep me away especially as I did nothing. My friends were shocked on my behalf and trying to show me the big deal in what she said but somehow even though i wanted to be angry, I couldn’t find it in me, I even took steps to reconcile and apologize just in case I did something which she made clear that I didn’t.
Sometimes I want to be angry, hold it for atleast two days before we talk of forgiveness. Lol, it’s silly right? Now I understand that.
Yes, so love is the greatest gift of all and it’s in the little ways that we give them out to family and friends that makes it binding, awesome and reciprocal. It’s God’s grace plus our willingness.
And yes I want the book.
Frances OkoroDecember 29, 2015 at 9:24 am
Hmmmm Vicky, “God’s grace plus our willingness”
Cuz truly the Spirit will nudge us to obey but won’t force us..
And thank God you’re better appreciating your ability to forgive, it’s not easy oh, but for one who has risen above it like you do, so much so that you feel nothing at a perceived wrong, that’s all God!
TioluwaDecember 23, 2015 at 10:23 pm
This message is really timely. We all need some serious lessons on how to love especially when we are most definitely going to get ‘no love’ in return. God bless you for this. I would love to have those Kenneth Hagins books.
Frances OkoroDecember 29, 2015 at 9:26 am
“More especially when we are going to get no love in return..”
It’s really hard in loving despite the above Tioluwa but God says that when we should love the more..see why it can only be the God kind of love that can love this way… ha! God help usss
And yes, book has been sent to you 🙂
lizzyDecember 26, 2015 at 9:12 am
Thanks for this message. Wud love to have the book also… Thanks a lot
Frances OkoroDecember 26, 2015 at 6:41 pm
Aite Lizzy, sending soonest…
gbemisolaDecember 26, 2015 at 9:32 am
I’ve read the book before but I promised to get it for some of my friends so I would really appreciate if you can send it to me. email@example.com
Frances OkoroDecember 26, 2015 at 6:38 pm
Okay Gbemisola..will do so soonest 🙂
Frances OkoroDecember 28, 2015 at 7:45 am
Okay Gbemisola…its a great book to send to friends, will send to you now and you can continue the cycle 🙂
let’s spread the love around…literally
DebbyDecember 26, 2015 at 8:26 pm
Ah! Frances! I need dat Kenneth Hagin’s book. Badly! Also, ur book on Walking in Purpose #CurrentlyInAStageOfSelfRediscovery . I’ll really appreciate it. Thanks. #KeepItUp
Frances OkoroDecember 28, 2015 at 7:43 am
Okay Debby… sending…
ItunuJanuary 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm
This is like so me right now!
ItunuJanuary 5, 2016 at 2:18 pm
Okay so the first comment was testing so that I won’t go and type one long comment and the site will just come back and tell me one story.
Kai, babe love is hard. It was like when I typed in that last post of the year about love and strength and intimacy, the devil just saw it and decided to come try me so as to see if I’m actually what I preach. Funny enough the person who treated me unkindly is one of the people I’ve been preaching love to o. Someone I met where God has placed me recently. We used to gist and laugh and i try to teach her about loving God and Jesus and even about love and something happened and since then, you need to see the way she has been acting even after I apologized. When she kept claiming right and even saying things to my face, the thing pained me ehn!!! I went to my room and I wanted to say everything that I can say. I wanted to claim right too. I wanted to justify myself because at a certain level I was right and I felt the lady was just taking advantage of the fact that I don’t usually retort or cause trouble or the fact that I felt there was no right to claim. At a point I wanted to tell God that ‘please I don’t think I can do this thing again o. Maybe you should find someone else to work with. This love thing is hard now, how do you expect me to cope? Okay how do you want her to realize that what she’s done is wrong? She has to know that she’s wrong, she just has to. And the flesh keeps going on and on. Sigh. I just resigned myself to Gods word that reminded me to behold his face. Stop looking at those mundane things that don’t even matter. Okay what justification do you seek? Is it compared to the glory that shall be revealed in you? Is it even worth it? Yes my pride was hurt, yes God sees that I didn’t mean any harm and even apologized even when I thought I was helping. Then leave it for God to justify you. This morning I was reading a devotional in the bible app that told me to keep the life I have. Meaning that isn’t my purpose to mirror the life of the Son? Please don’t let anything defile it or spot it. Don’t let anybody to have that power over you. Sometimes I just want to curse this flesh!! Seriously. Rubbish of a thing.
Hope my post wasn’t too long. May God continually strengthen us in this love business. Amen. Wonderful post Frances
Frances OkoroFebruary 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Choi Itunu, the things this love business can cause…the worse is when the flesh keeps reminding you of the person’s words and for you to go and meet the person and you keep seeing red because the love of God is constraining youuuuu. it can only be divine love that can help us in this walk..only divine love. Cuz like you said ehn, this flesh, it raves and raves, we must dominate by the Spirit if not we’ll be claiming right everywhere and satan makes it easy to do so, he places strategic happenings/things our way..but love conquers all..yes!!! Thanks babes…may God strengthen you (us all) in this walk in Him in Jesus name, amen!