Message from Pastor (Dr.) E. O. Abina,
The General Overseer of GOFAMINT
THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE
1 John 4:7-11
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”.
Preaching, teaching and talks on the subject of love cannot be too much over-emphasized. It is probably the most important ingredient that makes life enjoyable, easy and pleasant among families, groups and people as a whole. It is the trade-mark that differentiates the church among the so-called religions in the world. The Lord spoke on this subject perhaps more than any other subject when He was with His disciples.
He demonstrated love throughout His stay on earth even in His death on the cross when He prayed for His enemies that nailed Him to the cross saying: “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” (Luke 23:34). Jesus was a teacher, a leader who actually practiced what He preached and taught.
In His teachings in what is generally called the Sermon on the Mount, He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:43-48).
This seems difficult for what our human nature can absorb but it is possible for us as Christians – Christ’s own people or followers. Remember, love is the mother of all the fruit of the Spirit if I may so say, see Gal 5:22. Our love for others should start from the church among the brethren whether he/she is lovable or unlovable. This should be extended to our neighbours. It is by this kind of love that rates Christianity above any religions in the world. Charity begins at home we generally say, and that is why our love should be unconditionally demonstrated among our Christian brothers and sisters in our local church and other Christian groups all over the world, then be extended to our neighbours and all humans. We all know the ‘dos’ and ‘donts’ of love as contained in (1 Cor 13:4-8). The Lord Jesus told His disciples, “By this, all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). The Lord’s church, where the agape love is demonstrated is the one that is recognized by the world and which the Lord Jesus Himself approves. We are to love each other as Christ Himself loves us. It is true that there could be some unfaithful members in the church yet, we should love them but we may not trust them. Hatred is not a good behavior in the church it is the work of the flesh. We should love one another and pray for one another.
Several years ago, I used to see certain inscription which read thus: “Love all but trust a few”. Perhaps I may say, love and pray for all children of God and also for pretenders to become true children of God and He will bless you by so doing.
- Father, help me to love the unlovable.
- Every mark of hatred in my life; be removed in Jesus name.