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Understanding Love
Stats: 4,062 words / Reading Time: 20.31 mins

Published: Tuesday, 4th May 2021

By: John Ojoagbene

Understanding Love is read 495 times on CentreNDL.org 495
  

UNDERSTANDING LOVE

A Careful Re-Examination of Its Essence

Everyone deserve to be loved, but love is never earned by merit or work. Love is your free donation to the world; regardless of race, tribe, clan, interest, profession, education. When Love becomes what you do to a particular person, a particular people, a particular community, it is not called love, or to put in other soft words, it is not God's kind of love; for love is spiritual; Love is who God is. Often times when you listen to how this generation talks about Love, discuss love, or express love, you will wonder if the understanding of the concept of love has really been shown, unfolded to the inhabitants of the earth.

 

If men's dictionary has been wonderful and everyone seem to be applauding it, on the issue of Love, it is too naive and insufficient to accurately express the meaning of Love for what it is, or define it just for what Love truly is. What I am saying is that the meaning of Love we find in the dictionaries of different tribes and languages are too inadequate, very insufficient. If it were an examination and God were to mark the dictionary, or the various authors of every language dictionary of the world, they will practically score less than zero over hundred.

 

Sir/Ma, beloved, friends and well-wishers, the first step to know what love actually is, is to first of all accept these two realities about Love: one, Love is spiritual; two: the world can't survive without Love. Love is a fruit everyone must bear, it is a fruit everyone must eat, and it’s a life everyone must live if the whole world must reach its relevance and purpose. As we begin to unfold the reality of this very concept or mystery that everyone in the world speaks so much about, sings so much about, desires so much, ask so much for, but with little or no knowledge of it at all, may God cause our heart to receive His Truth with all our hearts in Jesus’ name.

 

How far do we need to see before we accept the fact that we are completely ignorant of the matter concerning Love, the very love that saved the world, the very love that Jesus spoke about here: “Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now, I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come'. I give you a new commandment, that you LOVE one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should LOVE one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have LOVE for one another". (John 13:33-35, NRSV)

 

Let's leave a leading question that we may need to come back to later as we make progress in this teaching: how did Christ love us? "Love each other as I have loved you."  It is a serious matter and the only mirror that will prove us right or wrong; whether we are in the known of what we call Love at all. Don't forget, we mentioned first that Love is spiritual, it is not man made at all, man by default is selfish and do what's to benefit him/herself. It is not in the nature of our natural life—We were not born with it. Every one of us at the point of birth was born a selfish person, a son or daughter that is 100% about his or her own things. And our parents made us to grow up like that except we truly allow God to remake us and change our nature completely, we are just who we were born to be.

 

Jesus was right about us when He said In John 3:6: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."  We don't have to look far to understand that we don't know what love is at all. We are only fortunate to hear about it in songs, written in books, preached on the pulpit, talked about in news, acted in movies. But when we come to the reality of Love, we are very unfortunate, we lack the knowledge, we lack the life, and we are zero percent of its fruit and lifestyle. Everyone thinks love is just the softness of a parent to his or her children. Or just the actions or the demonstration of spouses towards another. Or probably what we do to a particular person, maybe a father or mother to his or her children, or a friend to a friend, or a politician towards his constituent, or a government to her citizens.

 

But I beg you to know this, if love is reduced to the matter of what you (or I), do to particular person or people that merit our thinking or judgment, it is not love we are doing; and if it were to be called love at all, absolutely, it has nothing to do with God, it shouldn't be called in relation to love. Love can't be typed, or segregated into types; sorry it can’t, we have them in books, but it is not reality, it is just for academic purposes. The Lord our God is One, and anything that emanates from Him can't be classified by man. He spoke it One, it can't be fractioned and still give a true meaning. Love truly has to be love to be love, if it is not love it is not love. Love can't be fractioned, segregated, put into types and kind. If it is not love, it can't be love.

 

Love is not an act, an attitude, is not an expression, nor is it a material gift from one person to another at one time or the other, or at a season, or event. Love is not what you do consciously to control or influence another person's action. Love is not what people do on valentine day! Man needs love to survive and functional according to divine purpose, so it can’t be a matter of a day-on and a day-off; it must be taken as breath Life. Love is Lifestyle. Love is what you do, not necessarily because of a situation, nor because of how you feel. Love is what you do because of who you are. Love is the fruit you bear because of the tree you are. Like a mango tree does not think to bear mango fruit, or does not decide who eats the fruits it bears, but naturally it bears its fruit just to stay alive so does man love. When it is love we are talking about, like the mango tree just go ahead to bear its fruit whether it will be eating by the white or black, fair or dark complexion; an enemy or a friend, or been thrown away by well-wishers so is love!

 

Love does not know how to say that person there is my own person, the other one there is my child. That one there is my spouse, except I have shown kindness to my family members, my town people, my language people. I can't throw the food that is meant for the children to the dogs (outsides). When that becomes the case, Sir/Ma, it is not love you are talking about, it is something else. Love is a nature, like blood that flows in the natural our body that keeps a man alive, without the blood flow he/she is dead, so is love. Love is the life, the nature of God that we share through our Faith in Jesus Christ. Love is the behavior of God in man. No more no less. “…and you are to love one another as I have loved you". That is, you are commanded to behave as I behave, Live as I live. We don’t have alternative to this commandment.

 

LOVE EACH OTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

 

"You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore, by their fruits you will know them."

Matthew 7:16-20

 

Sometimes we might wonder why Jesus Christ often illustrate a teaching using a life tree, I think practically that such illustration is intentional. It wasn't accidental at all.  It is meant to teach every generation a living truth for emphasis and clarity. So, you and I should be without excuse. No tree chooses its eaters or fruit consumers. If you know what this means, that’s the summary of what Jesus Christ is teaching us about LOVE. Be careful when you are the one segregating those that can benefit from your kindness and fruitfulness. God can't be mocked, whatever a man sows that he will reap. No tree chooses its beneficiaries, when love becomes a matter of my children first, my family members first, my community first, my spouse first. I am sorry, it is no longer Love, that is topically the works of the flesh. Segregation, division; is the attitude of the flesh. (See Galatians 5:19–21).

 

When we were growing up as young children in my local setting, oftentimes we eat mango fruit by stoning to pluck it from the tree. In those days, we do it in form of competition. It was great fun then. This present generation is not used to that anymore. Things are no longer the same, everything has changed except the Word of God that is forever New and same. If you and I take our time to observe the behavior of mango tree very well, you will discover that there was no time that it will complain and forbid a certain people from plucking from it either because the stone they threw at it last year met or hit it at a wrong point. And probably added that if the people were only to be plucking its fruits in peace and leave, there won't be an issue at all, it will be just nice, but some people will never rest except they throw at least a stone at it.

 

So, I am instructing that so, so, and so won't pluck from me this year, and if the certain persons or community won't obey me, or honor my decision, I will bear no fruit again and there is nothing anyone may do about it. No, no, no... No hard feelings, whether it was wrongly stoned by anyone or not, appreciated or not, it is none of its business. In it is mango fruits: mango bearing capacity, and at the right seasons it must bear its fruits for the sons of man to enjoy. It seems I heard the mango tree add to its joy saying, “this is the commandment that I have received of the Lord, to bless the sons of men with my fruits". And I am happy for this privilege. Wow! What an obedient plant! But It is unfortunate that the same sons of men won't obey the Lord just the same way plants will do.

 

“Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now, I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:33-35

 

"Love one another as I have loved you". Care for one another as I have done to you without segregation. I didn't prefer one person to another. You didn't hallow or esteem one than the other, or to another. My bowel of compassion is without division among you. My life is being poured out to all of you equally. My affection is one and same towards you all, do things each to another then you are my disciples indeed. True love is not received or accepted on the ground of merit, as I have loved u. I don't love you because you merit it. And greater love has no man than this: for a man to lay down His life for His friends. True love will pour out its supply until his life is given. True love knows no limit. As long as the tree lives, it is servant to the commandment of fruit bearing. It is not love when you have to examine the person's attitude towards you over a certain time before he or she merit your kindness.

 

"...As I have loved you, so love one another, then u will be called my disciples". How was His love given, is it not without merit and limit? "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8, NKJV). Friends, how have we handled the Word of life in our lives today, could it be the right fruit of the Spirit we are bearing or our own kind of works; the ones we want to or desire to?  When you can't carry another person, who is not from your family in your car, all in the name that you can't trust anyone, he/she could be waiting to harm you along the way, yet we call ourselves the children of God.

 

But what do we take God for, a betrayer or a disappointment, a man that will send you and turn his back on you? How will God ask you to love boundlessly and you are setting boundaries because you have fears in you? I won't accept him or her into my house, he or she might be a thief, which is better Sir, friend, Ma, that you obey God and watch God allow you to be robbed of your goods, or rely on your personal wisdom and escape with your life and provisions, and some will add to their self-cleverness saying, "wisdom is profitable to direct", even in their direct disobedience to the Word of God, to save their goods and life all by themselves for themselves?  I think I would rather obey God and be robbed of my car, goods; as long as it is God, I am obeying than to disobey the word of God to preserve my Goods, but for who?

 

I used to tell myself that as long as it is God I am obeying; He is ever present to save me at all times. Please, give God reason to save you; for His Glory to be expressed in you. He is not a failing God. You need to listen to the man called David in the book of PSALM.  If truly u know Who God is, and the Holy One we serve the same God, and equally believe that these scriptures are true, allow Jesus Christ to do anything He wills with you. And I am very sure when Romans 8 verses 14 is true about our daily living, we know that evil men can't outsmart the Spirit that's in us: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

 

Fear is from the flesh, and of the wicked one the Devil. "For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall" (II Samuel 22:30 NKJV). In Christ Jesus we have lost all our fears in Him on the cross. Dead people have no need to fear anything. Do you know love? Have you ever loved? Love is not what you do at a season or time, nor is love what you do to a particular people base on their relationship with you. Love is God's life in you, in me that must be extended to all around us, or our eyes can see and not see. Love is the healing for the world. Except we bear love just as Christ has loved us boundlessly our world, neighbors, friends, relatives will remain sick and suffering from want.

 

Let love run its perfect course in you, no limit no boundaries. It is a life; a nature we dispense because of the people we have become. A divinely adopted children. We share love as a nature not as an act. That same thing you feel towards your children, spouses, and relatives is not just for them, if is for the whole world you are. You were sent to the world just for that sake. You are the healing the world has been waiting for. Except we live it, the world will remain sick and in decay.

 


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am John Ojoagbene!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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Love God SacrificeMay2021


Peace be unto THOSE who love and need it. If you hate peace, you cannot at the same time have or give it. What you love is what you have and give! Do you have some PEACE?


Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Thursday 24th October 2019


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  Peace be unto THOSE who love and need it. If
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John Ojoagbene is a servant of God; a teacher of the Word of God, the Living Truth; a writer, and a live coach—a mentor.


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