“Oh, love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure— The saints’ and angels’ song.” This is a chorus of a song written in 1917. It has a beautiful melody. How do we define love? God is love!
I Corinthians 13:4 – 7 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” This passage of scripture defines God’s love.
1 John 2:5-6 (NLT) 5 “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in Him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” Verse 6 in the NKJ says, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” These are simple instructions for all believers who say they love God. They should walk as Jesus Christ walked in the flesh.
As believers, we must love God and love our neighbor as we love our self. Mark 12: 29 – 31 gives the details. God’s love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. If we do not love others and allow hatred to enter our hearts toward anyone, we are walking in darkness.
In this passage of 1John, he goes on to write, “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
Hate is a strong word. The definition is a feeling of intense or passionate dislike. The above scripture says the person who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness. John goes on to write that the hater does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. This is a strong description of where the hater is spiritually.
John continues to write about God’s love and loving one another. In 1 John 4: 20 – “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 – And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
1 John 3: 14 – 15, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
God proved His love to us by coming in the flesh and allowing himself to be crucified for the payment for our sins. God was manifest in the flesh. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God proved His love to us by His actions. This is exactly what He requires of us. He says, “If you love me, keep My commandments.” His Word tells us repeatedly to love one another. God says the world will know us by our love one for another. John 13:35 (NKJV) 35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If we allow God’s love to flow through us by the power of the Holy Ghost, we will walk as He walked. The Word teaches us to be kind one to another, tenderhearted and forgiving one another. We are to do all we do heartily as unto the Lord. We are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. How we treat others is how we are treating God.
It breaks my heart to think that there are people who claim to be believers and yet have hatred (intense dislike or passion) toward their ‘brother/sister’ in the Lord. That one feeling of hatred makes them liars, murderers and they are walking in darkness. These are strong words, but it is God’s truth. John does not mince words regarding loving God and loving others.
I beg every reader to ask God sincerely, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139: 23-24 NLT).
God’s love is so rich, pure, measureless and strong. When we keep a clean pure heart in His sight, we have the hope of eternal life with God. We will rule and reign with Him forever and ever over the new heaven and the new earth.
I refuse to allow hatred and bitterness to invade my heart. I choose to forgive the pain of the most atrocious sin against me by others and allow God to be my avenger in His timing. I surrender all of my being to God because I do not want anyone else to control my eternal life because of hatred. God said if we confess our sin to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin. Hatred is a sin. I will allow nothing to separate me from the love of God!
Carol Clemans is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, anointed Bible teacher for churches/conferences, Christian Life Coach. She provides nationwide confidential counseling by phone/Skype (636) 448-0121. Go to: www.carolclemans.org for bio, 100+ articles, teaching CD’s, DVD’s, book: “God’s Design for Marriage.” Em: firstname.lastname@example.org.