When we honor God, we receive His favor. This seems like a fairly simple principle to grasp, so why is it so hard for some to master?
I believe the presence of agape love is one of the most important attributes that must be evident in one’s life. God’s word tells us we must act justly, love mercifully, and walk humbly before our God. We can act justly and walk humbly, but without doing those with love, we are missing the big picture. You see, when God is the number one priority in our life and when we follow ALL His commands, we will be surrounded by His favor everywhere we go and in everything we do. His anointing and His blessings will overshadow us constantly.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, & always perseveres. Love never fails!” 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (NIV)
The way we live our lives should be the proof that Christ dwells inside of us because of the love we show to others. If we accomplish everything we could ever hope for, but do it without love; it means nothing. When people see us, they should see Christ inside of us and that only happens when we love them unconditionally.
When Christ died on the cross He exhibited the greatest love that has ever existed. It was not the nails that held Him on the cross; it was love! Love is ultimately a sacrifice and our actions are merely a means of showing it. Without love, we are bankrupt! I find it amazingly sad we can love God whom we can’t physically see, but not have love for His children who are right before our eyes, especially when the evidence we are children of God is our love for others!
Our love must not be confused as a license for others to continually exhibit destructive behavior toward themselves or us, but our love is desperately needed by so many hurting people and before they can turn their lives around and over to God, they must feel true compassionate love with no strings attached.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to love and this action must be done so without the intent to be reciprocated. Remember, Christ first loved us even when we were sinners and He gave His life freely for the redemption of our sins. Think about that… I would be willing to die for my family, maybe even a close friend, but to give my life for those who hated, cursed and spat upon me; I would have a very hard time doing that. There is no greater sacrifice than to lay down one’s life for another and that is what Jesus did for you and for me and for every person who walks this earth regardless of the sin they have committed, are currently committing, or ever will commit!
Being human means we are going to screw up but judging others for the sin in their life and holding back our love from them means we are playing God and I promise you that is not a road you want to go down! I encourage you to see others through the eyes of Jesus and remember what you do for the least of them, you did for Him!