We are told to abide in faith, hope and love. Abide is from a Greek word that means; to stay in a given place; expectancy, to continue, to endure, to remain. It is a verb which means action must take place for us to abide. Most people think they are abiding when they are just waiting on God to move but there is no movement in that. To abide in faith is to continue to hear the word of God. To abide in hope is to continue to expect a favorable outcome no matter the visible circumstances. To abide in love is to continue in the presence and communion with God and to reflect His love! To know God is to know love. To fellowship with God is to be in the presence of the very essence of love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Many people believe their love for God is shown in their emotional attachment to Him and/or the service they do and this will cause God to love them more and move in their lives. When they fall short and do not see what they expected from God, then they lose hope. It was not God who failed; it was their understanding of His word and His love. People begin to doubt God’s love when challenges come. They do not understand with every profession of faith, there will be tests to prove our faith in our action and to see if we really believe what we said. But God’s love never changes.
Love was created by God and it was one of the greatest gifts to mankind. This life would be void and dull without the love of people – family or friends. Love is the greatest gift we have both to give and to receive. Knowing we are loved is one of the most important things to all mankind. We may go seeking love and showing love in many different ways, but the expressing of love is universal; it crosses all cultures and people. Love is one of the deepest parts of God’s attributes that He has planted into mankind. We know only in part, the love God has for us. To be loved and to express love to others is so important that we have seen some who have risked all for love. This is the love God has shown to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
The Greatest expression of God’s love towards us was to give His Son Jesus to die for us. This expressed a love so deep that it is mind boggling to think how much God must love us. Yet so many are deceived by the lie of the enemy that says God does not care and He does not love us because we are sinful. This world system is part of the fallen state of mankind which Satan has used to keep us blind and in darkness, regarding the deep love God has for us. The whole system is set up to keep the minds of the people so entrenched in the lies, in hate and in disunity, so they would not be able to recognize the truth of God’s love. Whether it is a culture of pride and entitlement or a culture of inferiority and inadequacy, both are based on lies to breed hate.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” NKJV
We are now accepted as the beloved of God because of our faith in Jesus Christ alone. Not our works of righteousness or service but total trust in the completed work of Christ Who died for our sin. It is out of this love that God has shown to us, that makes us want to serve Him and to change our lives. It is not out of duty to perform to obtain God’s love.
Jesus, after fulfilling all the requirements of the Old Testament, gave us a new commandment – to love one another as Jesus Himself has loved us. Jesus came to show mankind God’s love. God loves us so much that He was willing to give His Son to pay for our sin. We are now given the power of God by The Holy Spirit to live in us, so we may show the love of God to others. This is not a natural thing; to love others who are different. It takes the power of the Risen Christ and the Holy Spirit living in us, to change our hearts and minds that we may show the love of God to those who are unlovely.
Many religions, including the religious Christianity, will have us do many deeds and works to be right with God which is impossible. Jesus fulfilled the old law and gave us a new commandment, to love one another as Christ loves us. Unconditional love will show the world we are Christ’s disciples. When we love one another as He has loved us.
2 Corinthians 5:17- 19 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. NKJV
We who are Christ’s are given this ministry to reconcile sinners to God by showing the love of Christ. Not crediting sins to people, but rather bringing them into reconciliation through the love of God. The Disciples of Christ will be known by the love they have for one another, and not for the hate they have for the sinner.
1 john 4: 7-8, 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. …Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.