Among the many things God’s gracious salvation bestowed on us is the shedding of His love by His Spirit abroad the heart of each and every one of us, Romans 5:5. With this, each of us is restored to the original moral character likeness of God. For a better understanding of the implication of this we must visit what transpired in the Garden of Eden. From the Scriptures, we learnt that God is Love among others. This God who is love created man (male and female) in His own image and likeness, Genesis 1:27. This implies they possessed natural and moral likeness of God including Love though in a lesser degree; for they were personal beings with spirit, mind, emotions, self consciousness and will power, Genesis 2:19-20; 3:6-7; 9:6; Ephesians 4: 24. They are holy, possessing wisdom, and a heart to love. On the basis of having God’s image, they could respond to and have fellowship with Him and uniquely reflect His love, glory and holiness. They lived in a personal fellowship with God that involved moral obedience and intimate communion, Genesis 2:15-17; Ephesians 4: 24..
When Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God’s commandment, they died spiritually and their moral likeness to God became corrupted, Genesis 6:5. Their spiritual death implied among others that they became disconnected from God the source of their spirituality, holiness, purity, love, wisdom. Man was also driven from the Garden of Eden God planted for them into the other part of the earth where Satan rules. With time, as man remained under the rule, that which remained in them of God’s spirituality, holiness, purity; love, wisdom and the doing of his will finally dulled off and was replaced with carnality, unrighteousness, sinfulness, worldly wisdom, hatred and gross disobedience and rebellion.
However, God in His infinite mercy and love for mankind redeemed man through His gracious salvation through His beloved Son Jesus Christ back to Himself and spread His love abroad our hearts, John 3:16; Romans 5:5. With God’s love in the heart of each believer, each believer possesses God’s love likeness – God’s type of love. With this we can uniquely love Him and reflect His love to other creations.
God did this for our outmost best because His love in our hearts is our greatest need in our sojourn on earth and our spiritual life and our journey to eternity. Unfortunately, most of those who are born again, are not making the utmost use of this very important gift in our hearts to our own detriment. Before we go further let us know what love of God is all about.
WHAT IS LOVE OF GOD?
This implies God-kind of love known as the Agape love. It is the greatest and the highest love. To understand what love of God is one has to look at the operations of His love as revealed in the Scripture. At creation in Genesis chapter one, the love of God is revealed as a powerful and creative love, a love that initiates and plans and created everything in total perfection for the good one loved, 1 John 4:10. It is a love that is the most benevolent. In Genesis chapter 3 when Adam and Eve disobeyed and sinned against God, He judged them and clothed their nakedness. This revealed that love of God is a righteous love, one that chastises the one loved when wrong and shows mercy at the same time. The giving of Jesus God’s only begotten world as a sacrificial lamb for the remission of our sins in John 3:16 shows the love of God as an unconditional immeasurable love. At calvary when Jesus the sinless willingly died for the sins of the whole world, the love of God is revealed as a selfless, self-giving and sacrificial love which seeks the highest good of others. When we consider the fact that God does not deal with us as our sins deserved and has not stopped loving us despite all the sins committed, we know that God’s love is kind, suffers long, and never ends, Lamentation 3:22-23.
Agape love demands a personal deliberate assent of the will. This is because it is something one has to choose to do just as God chose to love us in Christ Jesus. It is something that needs to be sought and honestly acted out. Agape love is something that involves one’s totality, body, soul (feelings, emotions, thoughts and will) and spirit and expressed in words, actions or deeds. It involves living it.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOD’S LOVE SPREAD ABROAD OUR HEARTS
1) Love of God helps us to respond to God’s love appropriately; Surely God is good and His loving kindness is to everything He created especially to man that He created in His own image and likeness, gave everything that pertains to life and also dominion over all things He created. His gracious salvation through His son Jesus Christ whereby He redeemed fallen man back to Himself is the peak of His unspeakable acts of love to man. Every act of God’s love deserves being reciprocated by everyone for all things and in all things and at all times. Unfortunately, one major problem confronting mankind is their inability to respond correctly in gratitude to God’s goodness and loving kindness to us. Often times, His acts of goodness and loving kindness are ignored, taken for granted or misunderstood. The spreading of His love abroad our hearts by His Holy Spirit enlightens our heart and enables us respond appropriately in love and ceaseless gratitude to God’s for all and in all things and at all times knowing that His goodness and loving kindness never comes to an end in our lives no matter what happens. Doing this is what pleases our God.
2) It is the most needed in our relationship with God. Through God’s gracious salvation through His son Jesus Christ those who come to Him in faith become His sons, John 1:12. This implies God has become our Father and us His sons. This implies we are in a Father/son love relationship. This is in fact the greatest of all relationships, 1 john 3:1. As His relational being, fervent Love is the expected and mandatory response from us in our relationship with Him as our Father. God’s (Christ) love was shed abroad our hearts because He knows that for us to enjoy an unbroken father/son relationship with him we must be of same type of love with His son Jesus. It is only with His type of love that we can love Him with all our heart, all our soul and our entire mind. Our Lord Jesus our perfect example maintained a fervent love relationship with God His Father by obeying Him and doing His ”will” even unto death on the cross of calvary, John 5:30. Jesus and His Father are one and they shared same interests and do same works John 5:23. He lives by the father and Jesus loves spending quality time with Him John 6:57. He had unbroken communicating with Him. He spoke lovingly of His father’s love for Him to others. He dwelled in the love of God in everything and glorified Him in everything. He did all this for us to emulate. When a son appreciates the love of His father towards him appropriately, a powerful bond is created this is done the heart of the beneficiary is confidence, trust and total dependence is developed towards our benefactor.
3) Love of God in our hearts make us better worshippers: God’s gracious salvation through Jesus Christ also makes us priests unto God, Revelations 1:6. This implies we are in another wonderful relationship (God/worshipper) with Him. As his worshipper every act of our worship must be done in fervent love. He backed this up with a commandment Deuteronomy 6:5. Our Lord Jesus affirmed saying “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all the strength” Mark 12:30. Checkout the names of some of the true great worshippers of God in the Bible and you will discover they are those who loved the Lord greatly. Men such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, King David, king Hezekiah, Daniel and the three Hebrew boy’s apostle Paul, John the beloved, Apostle Peter and several others. They are men that responded in love to God rightly in obedience, thanksgiving and praises. They were men that worshipped God in all situations and circumstances of life even death threats and persecution could not dissuade them from worshipping. They stood for God in the midst of ungodliness. They remained true and faithful to God and did not turn to idols.
The truth is that no man can worship God as He commanded in truth and Spirit without His love in the heart. Love of God makes one forsake one’s will for doing of God’s will. Love of God enables one to spend time with Him in personal prayers and devotions, evangelism and to give generously to promote His kingdom on earth. Love of God makes one remain faithful, committed and dedicated to God in this world of sin full of distractions, temptations and afflictions.
4) Love of God is the most needed in our services to God and men, Deuteronomy 11: 13; Galatians 5:13. As Christians we are not called to redundancy but to service in God’s kingdom. Each and every one of us is called to serve the Lord in one capacity or the order as the Lord as equipped us for whether as an evangelist, minister of the word, preacher, missionary, Sunday school teacher, helper, a leader or a Christian worker of any kind. What makes one a true Christian worker who serves with a perfect heart is not educational background, wisdom, eloquence, organizing ability, but a love passion for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. This implies the degree of our love for Christ determines everything we do. It determines how far we go, what we endure and how we do everything. It determines the level of our obedience in following after the pattern He showed us. The Love of God in our hearts is what enables us to render service to God with our body, all out heart, all our soul and our entire mind and with all humility Romans 12:1.
WATCH OUR FOR PART 2
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO 1