What kind of love never fails? You and I know that our human love cannot withstand when it’s violated. But, it is the Love of God, “Agape” (Greek word), that is unfailing. It is the high-level love. There is nothing higher, wider, deeper, wider or more powerful.
“Agape occurs when an individual sees, recognizes, understands, or appreciates the value of an object or person, causing the viewer to behold this object or person in great esteem, awe, admiration, wonder and sincere appreciation. Such great respect is awakened in the heart of the observer for the object or person he is beholding that he is compelled to love it. In fact, his love for that person or object is so strong that it is irresistible.” (Rick Renner – Sparkling Gems from the Greek)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
When God gave us this new command, He powerfully demonstrated it first when He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, so we can be fully reconciled back into His loving arms. He made us holy, blameless and worthy by the power of the Blood of the Lamb to come boldly before His throne to obtain mercy and find grace in time of our need. It is our need to be accepted and loved by our Heavenly Father that makes us whole and complete in Christ. Only then we are graced to love others the way He loves us.
We were created according to His image and likeness and HE IS LOVE. Therefore, we were woven and wired to love, just as He is. This is the reality of our identity, “Loved to Love”!
In this world that we are in, we know that there are people who are easy to love while others are not. But if we love only those who are lovable, what credit do we get? (Luke 6:32) How can we be His peculiar people, separated unto Himself, as He called us to be when we also do the things that everyone is doing?
But He redeemed us for a greater purpose. He gave us the divine capacity to love our enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then, He said, our reward will be great, and we will be children of the Most High, because HE IS KIND to the ungrateful and wicked. Truly the world will know that we are His when we love the way He loves. He called us to be merciful, just as our Father is merciful.
When God gave us Jesus, He knew that Jesus on earth will not be welcomed and loved by everyone unlike an earthly king on the throne who is lavishly revered and accepted. In fact, when He was born, Herod gave an ordinance to kill all those who were of Jesus’ age. What a welcome!!! Even at the crucifixion, Jesus was mocked, yet His love still made a way when He said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
But nothing can stop our Father’s love for you and me. Surely He knows the end from the beginning yet He never withheld anything from us, not even His only begotten Son, just as so the mystery of reconciliation will take place. His grace saved us and it is His grace that empowers us to stay saved. It is NOT by might nor by power, but by His Spirit.
We are to carry His love that He deposited in us and diffuse it to whoever He calls us to touch. We have been graced not to withhold it especially to those who seemingly wronged us or to those who from our point of view are not worthy to be loved. Well, the good news is, none of us is worthy of HIS LOVE for us, but still He gave Himself to us. God’s love never fails, never runs out, and never gives up. It is unstoppable and irresistible. When our hearts are open to be infused with His love, His love-power that is supernaturally flowing in will effortlessly gush out through us like a fountain where no amount of resistance nor opposition can stop. Once diffused and delivered, only He knows the full extent of its coverage and effect.
I was once offended by someone whom I so admire, honor and revere. There were gestures and words that I have seen and heard that hurt me. It wasn’t just once or twice, but it was going on for quite sometime. Well, I am speaking from my point of view. It may be unknown to the person concerned, but honestly I was bothered by it.
Every time something happens, I would just ask the Lord to keep filling me with His love, until one day, my heart couldn’t take it any longer. Yes, I was offended, but my desire is not to STAY offended. I inquired of Him on how I would be able to clear the air. I thought of consulting somebody who is spiritually mature, but I kinda knew deep within me that the advice would be to talk directly to the person. And so, instead of consulting, I prayed for the perfect time to do it.
Last week, as I was praying, the Lord unveiled my eyes to see this verse, “if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. ” (Matthew 5:23-24) Hmmmm … ouchhhh! It does not even say “if you have something against your brother!” What it says is directly what my situation is, “if you remember that your brother has something against you.”
For me, I think it is easy to apologize if I did it. But if someone did something to me which even has a high possibility of him knowing nothing about it, it was quite a challenge. But then again, as we open our hearts with an intention to yield and surrender to what the Holy Spirit has been spoken in His Word, it is He Who will make a way. He graces and empowers us. My only response that night was, “Lord, please open the way.”
I had one particular day to do it. When the time came, yes, I saw the person, and yes, my heart was pounding. But, one thing I noticed was, there was such a tug in my heart to go and approach without hesitation. I politely asked if I could have a few minutes to talk and yes, it happened. We both apologized. We both forgave. We both agreed to close it in prayer. And yes, we both got FREE! What empowered us to do it? “Because He first loved us, we love.” Thank You, Jesus.
Offense is of the enemy that brings division, but only the Love of Christ heals and unites us all.
Lesson learned: “Don’t let offense gain a foothold in your heart. Ask the Lord to fill you with His love. Once filled, there is no other way to go, but for His love to flood out through you.”
“Love NEVER fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for continuously filling us with Your love that dislodges the enemy’s schemes of bringing division to Your people. Jesus, thank You, for showing us Your way of love and compassion that we may imitate You and make the world know that we are Yours. Holy Spirit, apart from Your presence and power, we are nothing and can do nothing. Truly You have graced us to do what You have called to do. You never leave us nor forsake us to do what You have commanded us, “to love just as You have loved us”, in and of our own ability which is an impossibility. Amen!