Every person on this earth wants to be loved and accepted. We want to know we are valuable and cherished. Even the hardest of hearts has a weak spot… Love.
We celebrate love as a Nation every year at this time in the form of “Valentines Day.” Why? Because everyone wants to be loved.
Songwriters have written songs like; “Love is all you need,” or “Love will keep us together.” How about; “I’m all out of love, and so lost without you.”
Let’s remind ourselves of the One Who has loved us first and the most:
John 3:16 NLT
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
God loved us, so He gave… He gave up the very person he cherished the most, Jesus Christ, because God had to save the world from utter damnation. This is extravagant love. Our minds have a hard time wrapping itself around the thought of this. But God loved people enough to send His only Son to save us from spending eternity in Hell. This is powerful love!
We, as the World, need this transforming love in us and we need to show this love to others. We need to cherish people like God does. We need to love people into transformation.
LOVING PEOPLE INTO TRANSFORMATION
1. Love conquers all. Love covers all.
1 Corinthians 13:1 – 13 states if we don’t have love we have nothing. Love takes its time. It is not in a hurry. It comes with no expectations. It just is.
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13 together and discuss what it is actually saying:
1 Corinthians 13 (CEV)
“1What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
- Having the highest intellect or ability to speak languages known and unknown doesn’t mean a thing if you have no love.
- People are more important then boasting about our abilities and knowledge.
- What good is having the ability of speaking to any nation if you have no love for that nation?
- Noisy gong or a clanging cymbal makes a lot of noise but really has no other use.
2What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others.
-I have seen people “prophecy” in a very judgmental, critical tone and think it is okay, but there was no love in it, not even tough love.
-We can have all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and live a very lonely life, all because we choose to be selfish and not love others.
-God knows what motivates us to do things. If you are ministering or confronting people and there is no love, it will come across as harsh, stale, and mean.
-If you are correcting your children when they have done something wrong, but don’t have love, you are in the wrong. It will scar their lives forever.
3What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.
-What if we gave all that we owned to the poor, but our motive was not backed with love? It is all worthless. We wouldn’t gain a thing, and really either would the person you gave everything too because you would have spoiled them and they would expect more and more. [Matthew Henery Commentary: “If we give away all we have, while we withhold the heart from God, it will not profit. Nor even the most painful sufferings. How are those deluded who look for acceptance and reward for their good works, which are as scanty and defective as they are corrupt and selfish!”]
-When you think about it, being selfish is the opposite of love. If you find yourself thinking about yourself and wanting things your way, this is not love.
4Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. 6Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. 7Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
-Kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude: Can you place your love for others in these categories?
-Taking the time with others when they need your help is showing love.
-When you are waiting for someone to do something you want them to do, do you wait patiently?
-Do you show kindness and speak kind words, even when it is to your enemy?
-Do you get jealous when someone you love succeeds or do you rejoice with them?
-Do you remember the wrong people have done to you and bring it up to them?
-We need to rejoice in truth and not in evil. Don’t be happy when evil prevails. Fight for justice for yourself and for others.
-Do you remain calm when someone is angry, or do you get angry yourself which complicates matters worse?
-The New Testament word for ‘love’ is ‘agape’. It is not the natural love for a friend or a relative. It is the kind of love that God shows to people. We do not deserve it and we can never earn it. So, when we know God’s love, we should show that same love to other people. (www.easyenglish.info Bible Comentary).
8Love never fails! Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten. 9We don’t know everything, and our prophecies are not complete. 10But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn’t perfect will then disappear.
-Prophesies, and unknown languages are gifts from God for us today, but this scripture lets us see the importance compared to having love for others. There is no comparison. These gifts are important, but loving others is even more important. It doesn’t matter if you have these gifts yet never show love to others. Love is God, and God is love. It is the very essence of God. The gifts are just that; gifts from God.
-All these things will pass away, and all that is not perfect will pass away, but love will never fail!
11When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways. 12Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.
-Don’t think like a child any longer. Put away childish ways of being selfish and arrogant.
-Even in our pursuit of love on this earth, it really is a cloudy picture we have right now. Some sweet day we will see God face to face. We will see Him as He is. Then we will understand God’s love completely.
13For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love.”
-Verse 13 *Faith, hope and love seem to have been a well-known group of qualities. Paul speaks about them in other letters. For example, 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Colossians 1:4-5. These three words explain the whole of the Christian life in this world. Christians have ‘*faith’ that God will forgive them because of Christ’s *sacrifice. They have ‘hope’ for the future, because of Christ’s *resurrection. They live a life of *faith and hope among Christian *brothers and *sisters whom they ‘love’. Of these three, only love will remain into *eternity. *Faith will no longer be necessary. Hope will become knowledge. Love is the greatest, because God himself is love (1 John 4:8). A friendship with him will never end, but it will continue into *eternity. (www.easyenglish.info Bible Comentary).
1 John 4:8 (NKJV)
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
If you are struggling to love people, take a look at your relationship with God. Do you really know Him? Chances are you don’t because God is love! He loved the world so He gave…. If we want to be more like Jesus, we have to embrace people and love them with the love He had given us. If not, we will just be a noisy clanky gongs and live a miserable life.
Now after reading 1 Cor. 13 and studying it together, turn this passage of scripture around and see this is how God is towards us. Substitute the word Love for God in verses 4 – 8 and it will read like this: 4
Love God is kind and God is patient, God is never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5rude. Love God isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It God doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others we do. 6 Love God rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. 7 Love God is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love God never fails…”
2. Love sees the other person through God’s eyes.
Even if that person is rejecting you or behaving badly, the love of God in you helps you to continue in a relationship with them. You are praying and believing God will change their hearts and outlook. You know that the same Holy Spirit Who works on your heart is working on theirs. God pursues us constantly. He doesn’t force us to love Him or even like Him. Yet He relentlessly pursues us. We are valuable to Him. He never gives up on us.
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love, With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
God is constantly pursuing us. He draws us with His love. His love is everlasting, and never-changing.
How did Jesus forgive the very ones who were crucifying Him? With Godly love. It wasn’t human love that held him to the cross. It was the love of the Father that gave him strength to fulfill the redemptive plan to save this world.
We are ignorant to the fullness of God’s love He has for us. Yet, we can taste a little of His love on earth by opening up ourselves and receiving His love. Often times we reject God’s love thinking, “We are not good enough” or “He could never love me after what I have done.” These are just excuses for not receiving His love. His love is unconditional. It doesn’t have attachments connected to it.
God just puts His love out for us to receive it again and again. Eventually, through circumstances and finding the right pieces to the puzzle, we see how much God loves us and we start receiving His love in our hearts. When we finally receive His love it fills us to the point we even wonder why we fought it in the first place.
God’s love is contagious. People will sense and see something different about you. You are walking in God’s love, which is not of this world, and the people will be drawn to you. Not because of anything you have done, but because of the Love of God in you.
Ministering to people, without having love in your heart for them will not have the abundant fruit you are looking for. We, as ministers, have to be full of God’s love, and out of the overflow we will minister successfully to others.
3. Don’t Fake The Front
People know if you are fake or genuine. We can’t “Fake The Front” and still be productive in the Kingdom of God. Faking the front is when you pretend you love someone and act like everything is okay when it is not.
God sees your heart and He knows you are not being genuine. Ask God to teach you to love with the love He has given you.
1 John 4:8 (NKJV)
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:11 (NKJV)
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
We can love others with Godly, Agape love. This is genuine love that will never fail.
4. The love of God in you will open doors of opportunity.
Once you start loving people with the genuine love of God, you will see open doors before you. Why? Because God’s favor goes before you. You are oozing with God’s love and it can’t help but minister to others.
People will want what you have. They will see you are different from other people. You will get promoted at work over others that are more qualified, all because you finally have received God’s love and show it to others.
God opens these doors because you are His hand extended. You have been transformed by His love and now can be trusted with greater things.
Your demeanor changes. Your countenance changes. You are more pleasant to be around. You value people more. You show appreciation towards your work and the things you do at your job all because the love of God is flowing in you.
5. Love people as you minister to them.
This has been taught and instilled in me from a precious Godly lady. She has shown genuine love for others and the Love of God flows out of her as she ministers.
I have seen this in my own ministry. People won’t care what you have to say until they see you care. It would only be a clanging gong if I ministered out of head knowledge and not a heart of love.
People take time to change. There is a process for healing. There is a process for understanding. There is a process to changing. All people have a higher level of potential they can climb to, but the very thing that is blocking their accent could be the lack of feeling loved or cherished.
Love people as they are transforming to be more like Jesus. There will be hard times, times you will want to give up on them, but don’t give up. You might even be misunderstood, but it is all worth seeing someone receive the love of God which will empower their lives.
Pastor Kris Belfils