A Collective Endeavor
Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all in perfect unity.
Many of us know that the Word of God tells us that out of all the virtues that one can ever think of or imagine, love would be the one that is a notch above the rest. And I think that though it is good that many of us know this, how many of us actually understand why love is the greatest of them all? As renowned preacher and author, Reverend Kenneth E. Hagin has so succinctly put it, knowing something does not necessarily equate to one understanding that something. So today, we shall take a quick look as to why love is the greatest, the must-have virtue of all time and why it is so integral that every person in Christ should possess this trait in order for the body of Christ to function to its fullest potential.
Firstly, why I understand love to be the most valued trait in a Christian is because to me, I see love as an electronic gadget that comes with batteries included. Gadgets that require power to run have to get their source from somewhere if they were to serve their purpose, in this case from batteries. In the very same way, I feel that love, in fact, already encompasses all the attributes of the Holy Spirit, which are the batteries. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, it tells us a little about what love is and what it is not. The verses say:” 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” So according to these words of God, you cannot be impatient and claim that you love, you cannot be selfish and yet claim to be loving. What I am driving at is that the fruit of the Holy Spirit, together with every other virtue, can be likened to pre-requisites that one has to practise before being able to really love someone.
I am positive that no one is perfect and to show perfect love is something that will take our entire lives to get right, and chances are, we probably would not even come close to it. But as Christians, we know of Someone who has shown that perfect love to us even when we were still in the dark and trying to feel our way around just to get by. That Someone is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is because He first loved us that we are able to love. Though we may think that the love we show is so simple and maybe even raw, and we think that it barely scratches the surface of what it means to show the God kind of love, I want to encourage you and tell you that there is a time and a season for everything under the Heavens. Sometimes, a simple act or gesture of love carried out can go far and I have had a similar experience myself. Not too long ago, a group of us went to do a Christmas caroling outreach at a foreign workers’ dormitory. We sang songs, shared testimonies and gave out goodie packs. The amazing thing is that though most of them understood little English, which was the main language we used then, there were salvations when we invited people to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!
Remember friends, it all starts from a simple gesture, a simple act, a seed sown that will eventually grow into an enormous tree. God will use you no matter where you are at in your walk with Him, He will mold you and refine you. All we have to do is to see this truth and be united in the Spirit to continue the work that He has left for us to do and I am sure He will be pleased.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that Your love transcends all boundaries and all languages. I am grateful that You have taken us in and called us Your own despite all that we have done. I pray Father, that I will be a blessing to Your Name, a child of Yours that will not be ashamed to tell the Gospel and show love to all the people around me. May every step and decision I make be blessed by You so that I would be a testimony for Your Name’s sake. I pray that not only would I choose to love but I pray also for all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Unite our hearts so that Your presence will be able to flow through us to touch the lives of the people whom we meet everyday. Thank You once again for Your love that has first found us and acquitted us of all shame, and in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”