Abound in love



‘Gen.29:20, ‘’20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.’’

Jacob was a blessed man of God. Though he started off by deceiving his brother and father, God drew him near through repentance and bestowed upon him all those promises which was given to him. He left his father’s house soon after receiving the birthright blessings from his father. His mother, Rebekah, seeing the hatred for Jacob in Esau’s heart, sent him off to her brother, Laban’s house. There he sought shelter in their house and in the process, he fell in love with Rachel, Laban’s younger daughter. When Jacob asked Laban for permission to marry Rachel, he was asked to serve Laban for seven years for same. And Jacob served Laban for 7 years. It’s written that these seven long years seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

Let’s note here that any service not driven by unconditional love, will soon turn out to be a mere work. And work always demands wages in return. Wages might be in form of recognition, position, fame or even substance. Let’s identify as to whether we are serving our Lord or working for him. A loveless believer is a powerless believer and so is a loveless church, a powerless church. Apostle Paul has written this fact in a beautiful way in 1 Cor.13. 1 Thess. 3: 12-13, ‘’And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.’’ Abounding means to ‘’overflow’’. Apostle Paul always stressed on love. He asked the church to grow and abound in love. We all might be having love, but it’s essential for it to grow and to abound. Let’s see the hazards of love that does not abound.

 Hazard of being overcome by lawlessness. Mt.24:12-13, ‘’ And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. ‘’ The growing hatred and dislike for each other both within the walls of the so called churches and outside is a sign of end days. Today, we see the crime rate raising like never before in this world. Even within the church boundaries, we are witnessing raising number of divorces, unforgiveness and betrayals. Churches are being divided  and trust is being lost. And the only way to endure such challenges is to make efforts to be focused on Christ’s love and to grow in same. Note the verse. Love of many grows cold because of abounding lawlessness. In other words, the only way to endure in the love of Christ is to abound in love that has great power to overcome every lawlessness. Surely there is no one greater than Christ, who faced five trials before being crucified. No court gave Him justice but yet His abounding love for all enabled Him to pray for all who persecuted Him. He could not be overcome by abounding lawlessness. Instead, His love overcame the abounding lawlessness.

 Hazard of being immature : 1 Cor.3: 2, ‘ I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and [a]behaving like mere men?’’ Corinth church was bestowed with amazing gifts of the Spirit, but apostle Paul called them carnal. Any gifted person without love is carnal as per the Word of God. Such a church easily gives way to envy, strife and divisions. Maturity in Christianity is not measured in terms of being capable of preach, prophesy or do ministry work. Instead, it’s the ability to love and forgive others like Christ did. That’s why the Lord perfected His ministry on earth on the calvary cross, not by performing any miracles or by any preaching, but by crying out to the heavenly Father to forgive all who were crucifying him. In the books of Acts, Stephen who did mighty works of God ended up his ministry by praying for forgiveness for all who were stoning him to death. Apostle Paul was abandoned by many who were with him towards the end  times of his life. Yet he was not discouraged nor offended. He rightly identified it with the suffering of Christ.

Hazard of being left behind : Rev.2:4-5, ‘’Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. ‘’ The Lord who commanded us to love God with all our heart, mind and soul also commanded us to love our neighbor like ourselves. This relation is directly proportional to each other. Leaving the 1st love for Christ is followed by leaving the first love for all else. And this is enough for one to be left behind when the Lord comes, irrespective of what one does for the Lord.

The only way to abound in unconditional love was by focusing on the life of Christ more. His love overshadowed  every work. That’s why hearts were touched more than just the issues of the people. Jesus did not mind going out of His way to save a Samaritan woman, neither did He hesitate to go to Zacchaeus’s house just to see the joy of salvation filling that house. No persecution and betrayal could stop Him from loving. No pain could stop Him from praying for others. No amount of books will ever be enough to express His love in mere words.

On the other hand, our love is restricted to innumerable boundaries which we ourselves have drawn around us. Let the power of His Spirit fill us so richly that the boundaries are broken for the love of God to reach out to lives and places yearning to be touched by same. As we are witnessing a new world being challenged by every side, a normal free life is now  difficult to be even imagined. Innumerable lives are becoming victims of fear, uncertainty and hopelessness. Many are being deceived and misled. Any of us can easily be ensnared by the various tricks of the evil one, unless we determine to grow in His love. Rom.8:37-39, ‘’Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’’ Only the abounding love of Christ made apostle Paul a conqueror. And so can we if we choose to do the same.

God bless us all
(http://thebrokenbread.wordpress.com/)

 

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