Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life ~ Jude 1:21.
It’s that time of the year again when many people demonstrate their keenest interests in increasing their personal growth, productivity and impacts on earth, beseeching the throne of God with prayers and fasting, just to break through the limits of the past and make the new year better than ever.
Sadly, however, too many good people simply relive the “same year” many times over, year-in year-out, till they grow old and die. They shrink their dreams to fit the sizes of their fears and indulgences. But, that’s not how God intended us to live.
Yes indeed, no matter the season you’re in right now, you can still upgrade your life significantly and make this year the finest year of your life yet. However, this won’t just happen, you must accept responsibility and do something about it.
Though, there are many steps to take in this regard; albeit, I strongly believe that the place to start is to examine and reorder the status of our hearts towards God whose throne we've been bombarding with all manner of prayers since the beginning of the new year. Are we truly reciprocating His love for us (1 John 4:19)? Do we genuinely love Him in our hearts?
As far as I know, the most unfailing winning idea ever is your personal love for God. It generates a peculiar supernatural force that can make any man great on earth. This is a fantastic mystery!
No doubt, God’s love for us is expressly overwhelming (John 3:16). However, how we respond to it matters most to our destinies. God so loved us, and we must reciprocate it. Reciprocated love is the tonic of any relationship.
Genuine Iove for God is that compelling desire to please Him, to keep His commandments and to say yes to His Will (John 14:15; 15:10). It is an attribute, attitude and a lifestyle that every serious believer should vigorously pursue, without which no man can ever fully appropriate God’s love personally.
The greatest heroes and heroines with loads of outstanding achievements in the Scriptures were people propelled by their positive force of genuine love for God in their hearts. They demonstrated great courage and noble moral qualities, and had lived in the minds of God and men for successive generations.
David followed this route, and we clearly see how his life contrasted with that of Saul in 1 Samuel 13:-13-14. Saul was foolish in disregarding the commandments of the Lord, his reign was aborted and David was chosen to replace him.
God found David in the wilderness, and said that’s my king. When David was anointed, he left the wilderness for the palace, and he became an instant phenomenal personality (Psalm 89:20). A teenager became a national hero through the Lord’s uncommon favour, overnight!
If we may inquire here, what qualified David for this uncommon favour he enjoyed with God? It was simply his heart for God: he loved God and His kingdom. Although he was a bush boy, God brought him into divine limelight, because he demonstrated a commitment of love for Him in diverse ways.
Your commitment of love to God is what will single you out amongst the crowd, and make you extra-ordinary among ordinaries. When you are committed to God, even angels will run errands for you. Let’s all determine to be militant in our love for God on earth!
The Gains of Loving God
Basically, anything that’s important to God works by love (Galatians 5:6). Indeed, everything that the covenant provides works by love. Hence, when you give God your best in love, your prayers will turn to praise.
Your love for God defines the perimeter of your safety on earth. The big playing field where the believer may walk and exercise himself, without any fear of harassment or intimidation is defined by his love for God. It is the energy of God’s love that keeps us safe from evil.
Secondly, in love is everything connected, and in it every good thing in life can be collected (John 1:1-3). The love of God is so deep, so boundless and so encompassing (Ephesians 3:19). It shows us the lines, which we must not transgress and it equally throws His lines of pleasure in areas that mark our inheritance (Psalm 16:6).
What principle did Solomon engage to become fabulously rich? It was love for God (1Kings 3:3-4)! Thereafter, God gave him an outstanding, peculiarly outlandish supra-wealth. When you genuinely and outstandingly love the Lord, the good things of life will begin to pursue you.
Furthermore, loving God guarantees a torment-free life. Loving God and loving the world are mutually-exclusive (1John 2:5,15). You cannot love the world and love God at the same time. Only perfect love for God casts out the torment of fear (1 John 4:18).
Any adventure outside the Father’s love is a disaster waiting to happen! Any enterprise or advance outside it is like courting the viper’s fangs (Ecclesiastes 10:8). If the Word of God cannot correct you or re-orientate your life, you're in great danger and you're not safe.
See, the way of transgressors must be hard, naturally (Proverbs 13:15)! On the contrary, when you genuinely love the Almighty God, you supernaturally become torment free.
When you prove your commitment to Him by your qualitative love for Him, He will speedily heap on you an abundance of every good thing you could ever wish for, and all the good things of life will start running after you (Matthew 6:33). Assuredly, loving God is the most potent creative force for enjoying God's super abundant favour.
How To Show Your True Love for God
Fundamentally, your obedience to God’s commandments is the litmus test and the living proof of your love for Him. Biblical obedience can be indexed by the number of things, pleasures and propensities, you’re ready to give-up for God, your genuine love for humanity, and the quality time you’re happy to spend in His presence to worship, pray and study the Word.
When you truly love God, it will also reflect in your sacrificial giving and general services to His kingdom. And, it will show in your zeal and fire for the things of God, including your firm defense of His kingdom in your speech and other daily socio-political interactions, and so on. Watch out: you are what you do, not what you say you'll do!
Yes, obedience may come with painful costs; yet, it is in your moments of obedience that your destiny is shaped. Moreover, the pain of today is temporary, but the fruit of eternity is permanent. Don't give up. You cannot change the character of the devil, but you can change your attitude to events and happenings around you.
Friends, let’s settle our “accounts” with God today, we can’t “bank” on tomorrow. Receive grace to love God. Resist every seducing spirit working to lure you away from loving Him. Thereafter, every negative energy working against your advancement will be totally neutralized, and all doors appointed to usher in fulfillment and excellence to your destiny will be fully opened. You won’t miss it, in Jesus Name. Amen. Happy Sunday!
** Bishop Taiwo Akinola,
Rhema Christian Church,
Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
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