This article will serve as a follow up to our article titled, The 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit. In that article, I gave you the verse from Galatians where the Lord is telling us there are 9 specific fruits that He can transmit up into our personalities through His Holy Spirit.
In this verse from Galatians, the very first quality that is listed as one of the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit is the quality of love – and I do not think this was by accident!
As you will see in the Scripture verses I will list below, there is no doubt in my mind that the quality of love is the #1 quality that God would like to get worked into our souls and personalities.
Even nonbelievers, atheists, and agnostics can see the power of love and how it has the ability to change people and their lives when it is properly handled and walked out.
Hollywood has made tons of movies just on the power of love – especially the special love that can occur between a man and woman in a romantic relationship. Even hard, tough, grown men can be brought to tears when watching a real well made movie made about the power of love.
The quality of love is truly universal – as it literally transcends peoples, nations, and religions. Love is truly the universal language of this world, and people from all different walks of life recognize it for what it truly is and understand the power that is in it.
Then when you read and study the Bible – you see the major emphasis God the Father is placing on it when He tells us that He wants us to love Him, love ourselves, and to love one another.
So if the quality of love is recognized by all peoples and all nations, then why is it that throughout the course of human history there has been so many wars, so much hatred, so much crime, and so much inhumanity done to our fellow man? If everyone knows what love is, then how could so many people throughout the course of our human history commit the evil and atrocious acts they have committed?
Even in our present day and age people still have not learned from the past, as there is just as much hatred and evil operating in this world today as there has ever been.
The Bible even tells us that the love of many will grow cold in the latter days, which means things are going to actually go from bad to worst in the coming years.
If man really knows what love is, then why can’t more people act, operate, and walk in that love so we can all live in peace and harmony with one another?
Why do so many people have to rob, kill, plunder, and steal from one another? No matter what one’s religious beliefs and ideologies may be – there is simply no excuse for some of the horrible barbaric acts of murder, assaults, abductions and robberies that we see on an everyday basis.
As Christians, we all know that part of the answer as to why men cannot love one another in the way that God would really like from us is due to the fallen sin natures that we have all been born into this world with as a result of the curse of Adam and Eve.
The Bible tells us that every single one of us has been born into this world in sin and iniquity. This is why Jesus had to come to die for all of us – because we have all sinned and have fallen way short of the glory of our God.
However, even born-again believers have problems in being able to walk in love to the degree that God would really like in our everyday lives.
We all know that God is expecting us to be able to walk in His love – but we still have problems in being able to love God, our families, our friends, and even own selves to the degree and intensity that He would really like from all of us.
We read in the Bible about all of the verses that God wants us to walk very strongly in this quality, but we still seem to fall way short of being able to actually do it in our real lives.
If we all have the Holy Spirit living and operating on the inside of us, then why is it that we cannot seem to draw more of His love up into our personalities so that we can all walk with more of this quality operating in our lives?
I believe the answer lies in the last article I did under this section titled, “The 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit.”
Too many Christians are trying to walk in the quality of love operating out of their own strength, out of their own emotions, and out of their own flesh.
Granted, God the Father wants us to do the best we can to try and put this quality into the core of our personalities. But our best is not going to be good enough in this area to get the job done with the way God would really like.
The reason for this is that we have all been born with these fallen, imperfect, and sinful natures. This means that we are not capable of walking in perfect love, no matter how hard we may try in our own natural strength. So what is the answer if we are not capable of walking in perfect love in the way that our Lord would really like for us to be able to do?
To those believers who are really wanting to learn how to walk in the real love of God in their lives – there is only one way to be able to do this – and that is to learn how to draw that love from the Holy Spirit.
And the only way that you can get the Holy Spirit to release His love into you as one of His 9 fruits is that you have to be willing to enter into a true sanctification process with the Lord where He can then begin to start the process of transforming you into the express image of His Son Jesus Christ.
There is no other way!
There are no other shortcuts that you can take to get this accomplished.
It is only when the very love of God Himself starts to flow into your personality can you even begin to love God, love yourself, and love other people to the degree and intensity that He would really like from you.
Once the Holy Spirit begins this sanctification process in your life – your job will be to learn how to live, walk, and operate in the divine qualities and attributes He will start to transmit into your personality.
Once the Holy Spirit starts to transmit His quality of love into the very core of your personality, your job will then be to learn how to walk in that love in your words and actions with others.
Actually, once the Holy Spirit starts to transmit and impart His divine love into you, it will then become much easier for you to be able to love others in the way God wants you to be able to love them.
Once you start to feel God’s love for His people, you won’t be able to help yourself in feeling that same love for them since God’s love will start to mesh with your own natural love.
Once God’s love starts to flow and mesh into what limited love you already have in your personality – then you will be able to start to love other people in the way that God had initially intended for all of us to be able to do.
The missing ingredient in all of this is obviously the love of the Holy Spirit.
It is only when the Holy Spirit starts to release His love into your personality as one of His 9 fruits can you truly begin to love God, love yourself, and love other people in the way God intended.
Trying to love others with what limited imperfect love you may already have operating in you will never get the job done – either to your own satisfaction or to the satisfaction of God Himself.
This is why Jesus has told us that without Him we can do nothing, especially in the area of being able to get properly sanctified in Him.
In this article, I will give you some of the best verses from Scripture on the quality of love, and why God the Father is placing such a strong emphasis that we learn how to walk in it in our personal relationship with Him, with ourselves, and with the other people in our lives.
God the Father is really raising the bar on this one specific quality as you will be able to see with the way that He has worded some of these verses.
He is making some extreme and radical statements with what He is expecting from all of us with just this one quality.
When you first read what these verses are telling us to do in reference to this particular quality, you will really be able to feel and sense your own shortcomings in this area. But again, realize this is where the Holy Spirit will be coming in big time.
Just realize that God knows you cannot reach the level that He is really looking for – and that it will only be possible for you to reach this level only if the love of the Holy Spirit Himself is operating and flowing through you.
When you really study and meditate on the verses I will list below, you can sum all of them up in one simple statement. God is looking for you to be able to love in 6 different areas – all with the love of the Holy Spirit being available to you to help you out in each one of these areas.
God wants you to be able to fully love in all 6 of these realms. You are to learn how to:
- Love God
- Love yourself
- Love your family
- Love your friends
- Love your neighbors
- Love your enemies
You will notice there are 6 specific areas that God will want you to really be able to love in.
Bottom line – God will want you to love right across the board – from loving Him down to being able to love the worst of your enemies.
The first 4 areas are much easier to learn how to do than the last two areas – especially the last one in being able to love your enemies and those who will try and hurt you in this life.
Loving most of your family and friends is very easy because of the strong natural bonds that we have already established with them.
But learning how to love some of your neighbors who you have no real special bond with, or complete total strangers will be much harder for you to do, especially with the way that our world has become with so many more people keeping to themselves and being afraid to trust anyone.
However, this can be done with the help of the Holy Spirit. Once you start to feel the love of God Himself for some of these people, it will then become much easier for you to befriend some of these people and help them out when the need may arise.
Again, Jesus is the perfect example of someone who was always helping total strangers.
When you study what He did as He was walking on our earth, He was always stopping and talking to people, along with helping, teaching, saving, healing and delivering some of these people when the need would arise. He was always there to meet their needs, especially their spiritual needs.
Just as Jesus was able to walk in perfect love in His words and actions with other people – so too can we learn how to walk in that same godly love if we will allow the Holy Spirit to enter us into this sanctification process where God the Father can then begin to work all 9 fruits of His Holy Spirit up into the very cores of our personalities.
Though we will never be able to love in the perfect way that Jesus can since none of us will ever become the fourth person of the Holy Trinity – we can still try to do the best we can in our dealings and relationships with other people.
Now I will give you some of the best and most profound verses from the Bible on the quality of love, how powerful of a thing it really is, and exactly what God the Father is looking for from each one of us in this area. I will break these Scripture verses down under their appropriate captions so you can fully grasp the revelation the Lord is trying to give you in this area.
Love is the Greatest of All the Virtues
These first two verses really set the stage on how high God is really ranking the quality of love. As you will see with the way these two verses are being worded, God the Father is placing the quality of love as #1 in the entire scheme of things.
The first verse lists three specific virtues, with faith being one of them.
And then it ends stating that love is the greatest of these three virtues – including being greater than faith itself. Just stop and think for a minute what God is trying to tell us with just this one statement in that having the love of God operating and flowing through us is even better and greater than having higher levels of faith in Him.
Without faith in God – we cannot connect to Him. Without faith in God – there can be no miracles. Faith is our lifeline to the Lord. Without faith in God, we would be spiritually dead in the Lord.
So why would God say the quality of love is even greater than our lifeline to Him, which is our faith?
I believe God is trying to tell us something very important with this statement, and the apostle Paul perfectly captures what that something is in the second verse I will list below. Paul makes one of the most classic statements ever made on the importance of love and how this quality fits into the big picture as far as God is concerned.
Paul says that you can have the greatest gift of tongues, the greatest gift of prophecy, the greatest understanding of all the mysteries and knowledge of God, have the highest levels of faith in God, and do some of the greatest works for God.
But if you do not have the love of God operating in your life, then all of this gifting, power, knowledge, and works in the Lord will all be for nothing! I repeat – all for nothing!
It will have all been for naught when you have to end up giving a full account of yourself to the Lord on your day of judgment with Him.
Bottom line – all of your accomplishments in the Lord, and all of the good fruit you may have produced for the Lord in this lifetime will mean absolutely nothing to Him if you did not walk all of this out in the spirit of love.
This is why each and every Christian should make it their #1 goal and priority in this life to learn how to walk in the love of God for their lives.
Nothing will touch other people more deeply than having the love of God shining through you and your life. With the quality of love being an universal language that everyone can understand and witness to – this quality, more than any other quality, will be the main one that can lead nonbelievers to salvation in the Lord, and lead other believers into a deeper walk with God.
I do not think it is a coincidence that the quality of love is listed as the very first fruit of the Holy Spirit in the verse from Galatians on the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Here are the first two profound verses that will show us how important the quality of love really is in the big picture.
- “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
- “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)
This last verse from Paul perfectly puts the quality of love in proper perspective for all of our lives, in that everything we do for the Lord has to be done in love.
Walk in Love
These next set of verses will tell us that we all have to learn how to “walk in love,” how to “stir up love,” and how to “love from a pure heart.” They tell us that everything we do for God down here has to “be done with love.”
These verses are all good, basic, foundational verses on the subject of love. Here they are:
- “Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us … ” (Ephesians 5:1)
- “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith … ” (1 Timothy 1:5)
- “Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)
- “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together … ” (Hebrews 10:24)
- “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling … ” (1 Peter 3:8)
Simply put – God wants everything that we do for Him in this life to be done in love. We simply have to learn how to walk with His love operating in our lives. There is no other way to live this life but walking it out in the love of God towards Him, towards ourselves, and towards one another.
What Love Is
In my article on the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit, I gave you the definition on love from some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries. For the sake of this article, I am going to go ahead and restate these definitions, and then add several more verses from Scripture on what some of the qualities that are in true love from a pure heart.
Here are some of the definitions on love from some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries:
- Unselfish, benevolent concern for another; brotherly concern; the object of brotherly concern or affection
- The self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christ-like love which is the foundation of all other graces
- Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well being of another
- The high esteem which God has for His human children, and the high regard which they in turn should have for Him and other people
- To love, to have affection for someone; to be a friend; the love of brothers for each other
Now here are two very good verses on what is found in true love:
- “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
- “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
This last verse from Paul is a real mouthful. True love will always be kind. True love will never flaunt itself for attention. True love will never be jealous of others and their accomplishments. True love will always be thinking of others and their welfare. True love will never rejoice or wallow in evil and sin.
The first verse from John states that there is no fear in love. Those who are trying to love you by trying to rule over you in fear are not truly loving you in the way God has intended.
Those husbands who are physically and/or verbally abusing their wives in an effort to try and control them with fear are not operating in true love, contrary to what they may be thinking in their warped and debased minds.
They verbally and/or physically beat their wives down and then pick them up, and then tell them how much they love them so they can keep on perpetuating this cycle of violence and abuse. This is not true love – this is pure evil!
The above verse from John says that perfect love will cast out all fear. If these men truly loved their wives, they would not be physically or verbally abusing and violating them in the ways they have been. These kind of men are an abomination to the Lord – and what they call love, God calls pure evil.
So many people’s idea of love for another is to try and manipulate other people for their own personal gain and profit. The last verse from Paul says that true love will never think of evil, much less ever do evil to another – and that it will not seek its own, which means it will never attempt to love another person for their own personal gain, profit, or ego.
As a result of all the contamination that is in this fallen world, many people have lost the ability to truly love other people in the pure way that God has intended. This is why all Christians need the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit started in their lives – so God can begin to get them cleaned up in their thinking and in the way they act towards others.
Now that we know that love is the greatest of all the virtues and qualities, and that God wants all of us to learn how to walk in His love – exactly where is the love to be aimed at?
The very first thing your love should be aimed at and centered on is direct to God Himself!
God wants to establish a one-on-on, intimate, personal relationship with each one of us – and in this personal relationship God will want you to truly learn how to love Him from your heart and from your soul.
These next set of verses are all very intense in the way they are being worded. God is using maximum intense wording in the way that He is expressing Himself on this issue.
The first two verses are telling us that God is wanting us to love Him with all of our hearts and with all of our souls. In other words, God is wanting you to love Him with maximum intensity from your mind, heart, and emotions.
In the first verse I will show you, Jesus is telling everyone that the greatest of all the commandments of God the Father is that we learn how to love God with all of our mind, with all of our soul, and with all of our heart. When Jesus is telling us that this is the greatest of all of God’s commandments – then you know the extreme importance that the Lord is placing on just this one commandment.
The other verses are telling you that God is wanting you to press in and seek after Him with all of your heart and with all of your soul – which again means to seek after Him with all of your mind, heart, and emotions.
These two types of verses fit perfectly together with one another. If you truly love God with all of your heart and with all of your soul – then you will want to press in and seek after Him with that same kind of intensity from your heart and soul.
Many Christians say they love God, but they really do not prove it to Him by pressing in and seeking after Him in their daily walk with Him. If you are really in love with God, then you will have a strong natural desire to want to seek after Him and include Him in every part of your daily life.
Our God is a God of maximum intensity. The Bible says that His love for us is like a consuming fire. In the same way, God would like to have that love returned back to Him with some level of intensity from our mind and our heart.
This can be done with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can begin to transmit His divine love into your personality as one of His 9 fruits so you can then start to learn how to love God in the way and with the intensity that He would really like.
Again, all of these verses are major foundational verses on the love that God would like all of us to have for Him in our own personal relationship with Him.
- “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:36)
- “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul, that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:6)
- “And you will seek me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
- “… and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)
- “They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul …” (2 Chronicles 15:12)
- ” … you have not been as My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all His heart to do what was right in My eyes …” (1 Kings 14:8)
In this last verse, God the Father is paying a very big compliment to King David, who ended up being the greatest King that Israel has ever had. He says that David followed after Him with all of his heart – which again is denoting someone who was following God with maximum intensity, maximum love, and maximum loyalty.
If you are truly in love with God, then you will spend some type of regular quality time seeking after Him, His ways, His knowledge, and His direct involvement in every aspect of your life.
God will become your best Friend, your best Lover, and your one and only true loving Father. This is why Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom and we as His bride. This analogy that God is giving us is showing us the kind of intense and passionate love that He wants all of us to have in our own personal relationship with Him.
In addition to loving God and others, God also wants us to learn how to love ourselves. This is one area where you can really get out of balance on, with many people either going to one extreme or the other.
In the very self-centered society in which now live in, many people have gone to the one extreme of being totally narcissistic – which means they are only concerned about their own personal well-being and their own agendas to the exclusion of anyone else.
The world totally revolves around them and their own personal agendas, and they will do everything and anything they can to try to get their own way on things. Most of these types of people are incapable of bonding or loving anyone else but themselves. We all know people who are like this.
Then you have the other extreme – where some people literally want to annihilate their own personalities. They start misinterpreting certain Scriptures verses on what it means to die to one’s self, thinking that God wants them to completely forget about themselves and focus entirely on serving Him and others to the total exclusion of their own selves.
When Jesus tells us that we are to die to ourselves, I believe He is trying to tell us that we are to enter into a full surrender with Him so that He is fully free to guide our lives into the perfect will of God the Father.
When you enter into a true full surrender with the Lord of your entire life – you are putting to death all of your desires, all of your goals, and all of your wants as to how you should live this life. You are now turning the reigns of your life over to God the Father so He can start to fully lead you down the divine path that He has set up for your life.
Dying to one’s self does not mean that you try and totally wipe out or annihilate your personality with you who are in God.
God wants to build you up in His grace, power, and knowledge.
He does not want to try and destroy who you really are in Him.
There are some sects in the Body that are still into self-mortification type practices such as self-flagellation.
It is just my own personal opinion that you do not have to engage in these types of extreme practices.
You do not have to beat yourself into submission to God.
All God is looking for is that you be willing to lay down your entire life for Him so that He can fully take over the reigns of your life and lead you into the perfect plan and destiny that He has set up for your life.
The real answer in learning how to be able to love yourself in the way that God would really like is probably right in the middle of these two extremes. The Holy Spirit will always be there to help keep you in balance with the way you are loving and treating yourself.
Just realize that you have to stay on top of this part of the game – always making sure that you do not start to get too full of yourself and start sliding down to the one extreme of becoming too narcissistic and self-centered.
But you also have to make sure you do not start sliding down to the other extreme – where you start to begin to totally forget about yourself and start becoming a doormat for anyone and everyone who will want to try and use you for your goodness and generosity.
Once you start to slide down into this type of extreme realm, other people will see it, and they will then try to start taking advantage of you in any way they can.
With all of the physical and verbal abuse that goes on behind closed doors in many marriages and families throughout the entire world – many people have had all of their healthy levels of self-confidence and self-esteem beat right out of them. They only do not love themselves anymore, they do not even like themselves anymore.
After hearing how no good they are, how stupid they are, how unworthy they are, and how they will never amount to anything worthwhile in this life – pretty soon they start believing in the lies of their enemy.
And once they start believing in those lies, they will then start to lose all sense of healthy self-worth as to who they really are in the Lord.
For those types of people who are living and operating in unacceptable low levels of self-confidence and self-esteem – the first thing God the Father will do with you once you enter into a full surrender with Him is to start to show you who you really are in Him and the real treasure and beauty that you really are in His eyes.
The Bible says that God the Father is no respecter of persons. What this means is that every single one of us is on an equal footing with God, and that He loves each and everyone of us equally and unconditionally – which also includes you!
The Holy Spirit will really help you out in this area if you are open to receiving His help. He will show you who you really are in Christ, that you are not a nobody, that you are a somebody – and that God loves you and cares for you just as much as He loves and cares for anyone else in this life.
Really study and chew on the wording of the verses I will now list. The two key words in these verses are the words “as yourself.”
In other words, God wants you to love yourself to the same degree and with the same intensity as you would love anyone else. God is not excluding you from this equation – He is including you. This is why He is specifically using the words “as yourself” in each one of these verses. Here they are:
- “This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:38)
- For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF.” (Galatians 5:14)
- “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18)
I personally believe that you really cannot begin to love other people in the way that God would really like if you cannot learn how to first love yourself. This is why God is specifically using the words to love others as you would love yourself, with all of these words being in the same sentence.
For those of you who are having major problems in this area due to coming from abusive and dysfunctional pasts – there is one Bible teacher who really specializes in this part of the walk for believers. Her name is Joyce Meyer.
Many of you already know who she is. For those of you who do not know her, it is just my own personal opinion that she is one of the best in dealing with the subject of being able to get inner healings from the Lord for those who have been severely abused in their past.
She uses herself as her own punching bag and tells about her own abusive past and how God brought her out of it and raised her up to be the woman He wanted her to become in Him. Her story is a perfect example of – if God did it for her, then He can do it for you, no matter how bad your past may have been.
She has many good books and teaching cassette tapes on this subject. You cannot go wrong with all of her teachings on this subject.
This will now lead us into the next section. God not only wants us to be able to love Him and love ourselves – but He now wants us to be able to love one another.
When God says that we are to love one another, that we are to love others, that we are to love our neighbor – I believe you can bottom-line these statements saying that God wants you to be able to love all of the members of your own family, your personal friends, your neighbors that live around you, and then any total strangers you may ever run across.
In other words, God wants you to be able to love everyone across the board of your life.
Remember, this is the second greatest commandment next to loving God Himself. This is how important this commandment is in the eyes of God. Can you imagine what would happen to this world if everyone would really obey and walk out these two specific commandments?
Here are six key verses spelling all of this out loud and clear.
- “You shall not hate your brother in your heart … You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:17)
- “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.” (John 13:34)
- “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
- “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
- “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is 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.” (1 John 4:7)
- “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:14)
The last two verses from 1 John are making some maximum intense statements. The first verse says that he who cannot love his brother does not truly know God. In other words, God will not know you if you cannot learn how to love other people in your walk with Him.
The very last verse then takes it one extreme step further when it says that he who cannot love his brother abides in death, and that he is actually considered a murderer in the eyes of God, and as a murderer, he does not have eternal life abiding in him. This is about as intense of a warning direct from God Himself that you can receive on this topic.
I believe the main reason God is really laying down the gauntlet on the way that He has worded these last two verses is because if we cannot learn how to love God and love other people in this life – then we will never be able to live in harmony and unity with others.
And if we cannot live in harmony and unity with other people down here on this earth, then God will not want us living up in His heaven causing strife and discord among His other children.
This is why it is so important that each and every Christian work very closely with the Holy Spirit in this sanctification process – so that we can all learn how to love God, love ourselves, and love all other people in the way that He would really like for us to be able to do.
With our own natural love not being enough to really grow in this area due to our fallen and imperfect natures – we all have to learn how to rely on the Holy Spirit so we can get Him to release His divine love into us and through us so we can begin to reach and touch others with that love.
Loving Your Enemies
Without any question, one of the hardest commands that the Lord has given us is that we have to learn how to love our enemies. And when He says our enemies, He is including the worst of our enemies.
How can you truly love someone who has severely abused you in your marriage, who has murdered someone in your family in cold-blood, or who has abducted and killed one of your children?
It is one thing to be able to forgive this type of criminal, and then let him go into the hands of God for His vengeance, payback, and justice. But it is quite another thing to be able take a leap into this realm and actually try and love this person in the way that God would really like for us to love him.
So how can this realistically be done with some of the really bad and evil people who are still walking on this earth? I only have two possible answers for you on this issue.
One – we simply have to rely on the love of the Holy Spirit to be transmitted and imparted into us as one of His 9 fruits. I do not think most of us have this kind of love to give to someone who is simply pure evil with some of the horrible and barbaric crimes we have seen committed in recent years.
You are simply going to have to learn how to ride and flow with the love of the Holy Spirit to be able to love these types of evil people in the way that the Lord would really like.
For most of us, our own natural love is not going to take us very far in this realm.
This is why it is so important for each and every Christian to get this sanctification process started in their life – so God can begin to allow His Holy Spirit to release these 9 powerful fruits and qualities into the cores of our personalities.
Second – the only way you can even begin to try and do this with the worst of your enemies is that you have to attempt to see things from God’s point of view and perspective. In other words, you are going to have to learn how to see your enemy through God’s eyes and how He looks at them. And this is where it really gets deep and intense.
The most perfect example of someone truly loving His enemies in the way God the Father would really like is Jesus Christ Himself.
After Jesus had been beat to a pulp before His actual crucifixion, and then nailed to a cross to die a slow and torturous death over a 6 hour period – Jesus makes one of the most mind-blowing statements ever made on being able to love and forgive your enemies.
Before He dies, Jesus speaks out and tells His Father to forgive all of those who had just got done crucifying Him to that cross because they really did not know what they were doing!
Here is this most profound verse:
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
This statement by Jesus is speaking volumes of revelation on just this one issue. You can tell by the words and tone of Jesus’ statement, that He was really feeling the love of God for these people, even as they watched and jeered as He was dying on the cross.
In other words, Jesus was still loving all of these people even after they had just got done committing the worse crime that the world has even seen or will ever see again – crucifying the living Christ!
The Bible says that we are to think like Jesus and act like Jesus. We now have the mind of Christ as born-again believers. This means we are to imitate Jesus in our words, in our thoughts, and in our actions in our walk with the God the Father.
If you carefully study the actual wording in the above verse, you might be able to pick up some deeper revelation as to how Jesus could have possibly made this kind of extreme statement after He had already been nailed to the cross and was experiencing the most extreme pain imaginable. The clue might be in the words “… for they do not know what they do.”
They obviously knew what they were doing by committing this horrible act against Jesus – but the angle Jesus might be seeing all of this from is they really did not know what they were doing in the big-picture, eternal scheme of things.
If they really knew that there was a God and a devil, and a heaven and a hell, and that being cast into hell will be for all of eternity – some of them might have thought twice before engaging in such a horrible and evil act.
Some of God’s prophets and seers who have been given actual visions of what hell is really like all have come back with some of the same information.
Some of them were allowed to talk with people who were actually down there. And many of them have said that if they had only known that there really was a hell, and that their evil and wicked lifestyles would have led them down there, that they would have never done what they did to get themselves thrown down in there.
If you look at all of the evil and wicked people in our world who have committed acts of pure, cold-blooded murder and who seem to have no real remorse for what they have done – they all know they will end up in jail if they ever get caught.
Yet this still does not deter some of them from committing some of these evil and horrible acts.
But what they really don’t know is if there is a hell or not – and whether or not they will get dropped down into it the minute they die and cross over.
If they really knew what was waiting for them on the other side and how horrible of a place hell really is – some of them might have thought twice before committing some of their evil acts.
This might have been what Jesus was referring to when He made the above statement in that they really did not know what they were doing – for if they did, and they knew it would get them thrown down into hell for all of eternity, they may have thought twice before actually doing it.
I do not know if this kind of deeper revelation will be enough for some of you to really be able to love an evil and vicious criminal who may have killed or hurt one of your own.
This is a very deep area, and you will have to be led by the Holy Spirit to really be able to love an enemy who has viciously wronged either you or a close loved one.
But if you are able to step outside of your box for just a minute and see how this evil criminal fits into the big picture, and that he will go straight to hell if he does not get saved and get his sins forgiven before he dies – then maybe you will be able to see him in the same light that Jesus was seeing those who were crucifying Him – and love him with the love of God, just as Jesus was doing while He was hanging on that cross to die for all of us.
Maybe the love of God can flow into you because you will then see that some of these evil people really do not know what they are doing in the eternal scheme of things by choosing with their own free wills to commit some of their horrible and evil acts.
But nonetheless, God the Father would like all of us to be able to do this by the way that He has worded the following two Scripture verses. Here are the two main verses, with the words coming directly from Jesus Himself that we learn how to be able to do this:
- “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? … Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48)
- “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also.And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you.And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)
Notice in the last part of the second verse it says that God Himself is kind and merciful to the unthankful and the evil. This may be why Jesus is telling us to love our enemies – because He and His Father love everyone, including all evil sinners.
Jesus ends the first verse above telling us that we should all strive to be perfect like our Father in heaven is perfect. If God can love these evil and unthankful sinners, then He wants us to try and be able to do the same thing in our walk with Him.
Be Doers of the Word
Now that you know from the above Scripture verses that God is wanting you to love Him, love yourself, and love everyone else across the board of your life – including any enemies you may have – now God wants you to be able to show that love in your actions to others.
There are a ton of verses in the Bible about how God wants you to act towards others. I will leave you with a few good verses showing you the importance that we all learn how to be actual doers of the Word and not just hearers in reference to being able to show love to others in our words and actions.
- “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)
- “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17)
- “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.” (Romans 13:10)
- “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
- “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)
- “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
All of these verses are perfectly showing us what true love can really do in our relations with others. Just as Jesus was willing to lay down His entire life for all of us in order that we be able to be brought back to Him and His Father – God and Jesus are wanting all of us to love others with that same kind of intensity and loyalty – even to the point of being willing to sacrifice our life to save someone else’s life if that kind of need should ever arise.
When you really study and meditate on all of the above verses one right after the other – the message is coming through loud and clear from God the Father. God has purposely made the quality of love the #1 quality that all born-again believers have to seek to get worked into their personalities.
The quality of love operating in our lives is the only common thread that will bind all of us together with God and one another. Without the quality of love bonding and uniting all of us together, there can never be any true peace and harmony between men and countries.
The main reason there has been so much death, destruction, hate, and wars in our past, and currently in our present, is because man has never really learned how to love one another in the way that God had initially intended.
And the sad part about this whole saga is that the Bible tells us exactly how it is all going to end up. Man is not going to learn from his past, and thus wars, murders, and evil acts will continue unabated until Jesus comes back to our earth to set up His 1000 year Millennium Kingdom.
And until that final and glorious event happens, each Christian will have to do the best they can to walk in the calls and divine assignments that the Lord has given to each one of us.
The Bible says that Jesus will be coming back for a bride that will be without spot or blemish. This will be a sanctified bride.
Let God the Father start the process of getting you cleaned up and sanctified to the degree that He would really like to be able to do with you in this life.
If you do, then you will be ready for the rapture if the rapture should occur in our lifetime. You will then be a part of the Bride that will be without spot or blemish – fully ready for our Lord’s visible return.