The Omnipotence of Love
Hatred stirs up strifes, but love covers all sins (Prov. 10:12).
Our world is currently in the midst of a gargantuan paradigm shift. Church attendance is decreasing in massive numbers as more and more people are actually using the great intellect they have been blessed with to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Hatred is being spewed, in the name of God, all across our world. Terrorism rules the day as “believers” are massacring “non-believers,” in both word and deed, across our globe in their attempts to create a world where their beliefs reign supreme. In the meantime, the lack of understanding of just what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself,” is singlehandedly destroying our cultures, our peoples and our world.
We have reached a critical juncture in our existence. Over my more recent past the spirit has been reinforcing in me the idea of love. Unfortunately, modern religion doesn’t truly understand what the love of God really means. It is my hope that by the end of this chapter, the subject of godly love will make much more sense to you. This love is the means by which the power of God will come to life within you.
Much of our religious culture gives lip service to the biblical concept of Christ dying for all, and it takes that concept to mean that unless you live your life in a certain way, then you are not included among God’s people. Thus, if you are gay you are castigated and excluded. If you condone abortion, you are castigated and excluded. If you are an atheist you are castigated and excluded. In short, you have to conform to the beliefs of your religious culture in order for them to accept you. This is conditional love, and has nothing to do with the love of God.
There are some religious denominations that will separate you from their numbers for the simple act of smoking, and also for getting drunk, using drugs, etc. These acts, generally speaking, are addictions for which the help of “God” is a critical need; thus, when you most need spiritual help, those so-called “people of God” toss you to the wolves.
This is their “truth.” This is their “love.”
All of this in the name of “God.”
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men. (Isa. 29:13)
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me. (Mark 7:6)
While I don’t condemn these people (we ALL start out with lack of knowledge and understanding, and so we ALL need to spiritually evolve), I believe it is critical, especially in light of the current world distress, to bring an understanding as to the reasons WHY we are suffering in the ways that we are, and to offer the ONLY solution to this worldwide dilemma. We must offer more than lip service to this idea of love. Our hearts must be in it. We must develop a heart of love for those who are not like us, not because we want them to be like us, but because they, in fact, ARE us. We are all one, and to love your neighbor (and your neighbor is anyone who is not you), is to love yourself.
If change is going to come to our world, it is WE that are going to bring the change – one person at a time. The enemy is US, and WE need to cast out the enemy if we are going to heal on a global scale.
To Love Is To Give.
The concept of giving in the Scriptures is not a small concept. We are told that it is better to give than to receive. We are told that greater love has no man than that he give his life for his “friends” (neighbor is a better translation). We are told to treat others as we want to be treated.
In this article I am going to tie all of this together in a way that not only makes great sense, but also in such a way that you will see the absolute importance of reversing the way we treat other human beings, because what is happening to us is that we are experiencing the reaping of the acts of hatred we have sown towards each other.
“But I don’t hate anyone,” you may say.
Hatred often exposes itself in very subtle ways, and you won’t always recognize it when you see it. Our everyday communications with others often leaves much to be desired. Many times we are offended by the actions of others, and because of those offenses we may do or say things in return that on the surface may appear to be innocuous, but that upon further examination show themselves as attitudes of vengeance, revenge, bitterness, resentment and hatred – attitudes that are, in fact, quite harmful to our spiritual existence. We MUST begin the process of turning this around.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38)
Until now we have not understood just what this Scripture means. However, it is a spiritual principle that when properly understood will deliver you from much grief in life, and from much of the trial and tribulation you may be currently experiencing. Giving is LAW, and learning how to employ it appropriately can set off a chain of events in your life that will put you in awe, but you have to keep employing it long enough to see the results of this law in your life. The law of reaping and sowing has everything to do with this magnificent law and how it works. When you give, you are sowing seeds, and those seeds will produce a harvest at the appropriate time. If you don’t believe this, try it and see. It is easy to say “you’re wrong,” about all this, but how will you ever know whether it works unless you employ it.
What I am talking about here, and what the Scriptures are talking about, is the giving of love. “Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:8). What this means is that we have the power to give life to our brothers and sisters on this planet through love. We have the ability and the power to love them into submission, as it were. Unconditional love is an irresistible force in the lives of human beings. What we fight generally fights us back. There is no fight in love. Love is a spiritual principle. The Scriptures define God as love; in other words, love is what God is:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for GOD IS LOVE. (1 John 4:7-8)
Have you ever been the recipient of unconditional love? If so, how did it make you feel? How did the acceptance of you by the one displaying this unconditional love inspire or motivate you? Would you like to help someone else to experience that love in the midst of their fiery trials and storms? You have the power, you just need to employ it. When people are experiencing the worst that life has to offer, the last thing they need are condemnation and judgment. They need love. Perhaps they committed actions that deserved condemnation and judgment. However, proactivity is much stronger than reactivity. In order to solve problems, we generally have to rise higher than the problem. We have to rise to the plane on which the solution resides. Fighting fire with fire only causes more fire.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Prov. 15:1).
Unconditional love is not for wimps. Real love is not weak. You cannot love unconditionally if you feel yourself a victim of someone or something. When someone does something to us, for example, the usual response is to respond in-kind. It doesn’t take any strength to react like that. The example of the biblical Christ rings loudly here. Although he was being crucified, he does NOT condemn those who are crucifying him. In fact, he is able to love his own unto the end by praying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This is real love in action.
“Go and do thou likewise.”
Have you ever done something in your life for which you were truly regretful? Have you ever done something in your life that you would love to have the opportunity to undo or redo? Of course you have. We all have. It is important to understand that we all have weaknesses and inabilities on the physical plane, and that we ALL have the potential to rise higher. While we may not have committed many of the hateful acts of some of the people we read about in the newspapers, we have all committed acts for which we have needed forgiveness and healing/cleansing. We have also committed very harmful acts against ourselves, out of our ignorance of how life works, such that we may still suffer to a great degree as a result of such acts. Therefore, we are no better than those who have committed what we would call “unseemly” acts. Many of us are stuck in addictions that are the result of acts we committed early in life that we have not yet learned how to break.
Therefore, we dare not self-righteously judge others. We dare not self-righteously reject others.
Judge not, that ye may not be judged, for in what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and in what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you (Matt. 7:1-2).
Strong words! Unless you learn how to love and how to give, you can never experience the fullness of Christ IN YOU, because Scripture tells us that when we “see him,” we will be like him, for we shall see him as he is. In other words, we won’t see God until we become the love of God personified. And of course we are not talking about physically seeing God. In other words, we won’t see him until we become like him. The first man (the Adam who becomes Christ) is a living soul, the last man (Christ – the resurrected Adam) becomes a LIFE GIVING SPIRIT. This is critical understanding. Our spiritual maturity will put us in a position to “give life to the [spiritually] dead” (Rom. 4:17).
If we are in Christ, “greater works will we do than what he does.”
The strength that we need to develop the capacity to love unconditionally is bigger than we are, and must be developed. However, the spiritual benefits of giving love, are far more than worth the effort. God is love, and therefore the “unsearchable riches of God” can just as easily be defined as the “unsearchable riches of love.” Love is the be-all and the end-all of our existence. Love is Omniscient! Love is Omnipotent! Love is Omnipresent! God is love, and love is God.
Love is the Holy Spirit
While this may sound like a preposterous statement to those who have been conditioned to see God as an entity “out there,” rather than as a power “within you,” Scripture tells us that God is a spirit (John 4:24). Furthermore, it tells us that God has given us the “SPIRIT” of love (2 Tim. 1:7). And as we just read above, God is love.
Now let’s try to understand, because you are going to learn just how powerful you really are if you are able to open your spiritual ears and eyes:
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pet. 1:16)
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. (Lev. 19:2)
Swap out the word “God” for the definition of God, which is “love,” and the meaning becomes crystal clear.
Therefore, love (“God is a spirit”; “God is love”) is the Holy Spirit.
Make sense? This concept will crystallize for you as you continue reading.
In Scripture, the “name” of someone or something stands for its nature. For example, Christ is, by interpretation, Messiah (John 1:41); Immanuel is, by interpretation, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). In each of these instances, the name describes the nature of the one possessing it. Likewise, God’s name is Holy. The word “Holy,” in this instance, is not an adjective, but a noun; it is not describing God’s name, it is defining God’s name, and that name is “Holy,” in the same way that your name is whatever name your parents gave you.
Now the city and people of God are called by the name of God. Notice:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chr. 7:14)
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. (Dan. 9:19)
This “name” by which the city and people of God are called is “holy.” The people of God are called “holy,” and the city of God is “the Holy City, Jerusalem, as you will see in the following set of Scriptures:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exod. 19:6)
For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts [is] his name. (Isa. 48:2)
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. (Isa. 52:1)
The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isa. 60:14)
And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. (Isa. 62:12)
But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Pet. 2:9)
The city of God, the temple of God, and the people of God, then, are “called by My name,” and that name is “Holy,” which, in turn, is “love.” In fact, the temple, the city and the people of God are all metaphors for YOU. You will have to read and reread the above Scriptures until that truth resonates within you. The marvelous light of God is the light of love. Love, indeed, is the effulgent inner light – it is the first among the “sons of God” waiting to be revealed to all.
How Holiness Equates to Love
God is a spirit. The law is spiritual. God is holy. The law is holy. God is love.
The law is summed up in one word — love!
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. … For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (Rom. 7:12, 14)
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, what is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10:25-28)
All of this has to do with love. Indeed, love is the great key to eternal life. In fact, John 17:3 gives us the definition of eternal, or everlasting, life. It is this:
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
Now remember, one who does not love does not know God, but eternal life means knowing God, or knowing love. The holy law is all about loving God and loving your fellow brothers and sisters. Love is a spiritual commandment.
Love, and you shall LIVE!!
Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy eighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets. (Matt. 22:36-40)
They who have ears to hear, let them hear. Once again, love is the be-all and the end-all of our existence. Love is the beginning and the end; love is the first and the last; love is the Alpha and the Omega.
And once again:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
Indeed, this verse bears out that to love is to be born of God, and to be born of God is to be “born again” – born … “of the Spirit.” This Spirit is love.
So hopefully you’re beginning to understand the dire importance of loving others. I have no doubt that up until now you probably have never seen or heard it put in the manner I am presenting it to you, but if you want the promise of the Scriptures, you MUST learn how to love others, regardless of what they do to you, or to others.
Most Negative Actions Are REactions Either Fear-Based or Desire-Based
If you think about it, most of the negative actions we commit are rooted in either fear, or in some desire, whether our own or of someone else. For example, hatred for another human being can occur because you feel threatened by him or her. Perhaps someone did something to you and you want to get them back. Perhaps you were taught to hate through the lessons of the history books. Or perhaps you are being used as a tool by someone else to carry out his or her hatred. Many of us are sheep that are listening to the wrong voices that are telling us to do things that will ultimately harm us in greater ways than we could ever imagine.
Anger is another example. Usually, anger emerges when you want something and you don’t get it. Arguments between husbands and wives are prime examples of this. Usually, one of them does something that the other doesn’t like. This may spur discontent, and anger erupts. You don’t get what you want and you lash out at the object of your anger. Perhaps someone said something hurtful to you and you respond in-kind.
You are not acting in love when you do this. On the contrary, you are acting in quite a natural manner. These kinds of reactions are what the majority of people execute when faced with these kinds of adversities. However, the natural and the spiritual are opposed to each other, and natural reactions do not bring about spiritual results.
But the natural man receives NOT the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)
Love is the spirit that is God, and natural man cannot understand it. The Spirit of God is something for which we need to ask:
And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened … If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:9-13)
Seeking love is a spiritual quest. To find it, we must go within ourselves. To seek love is to “seek the Lord.” We are told to “seek him while he may be found”; to “call upon him while he is near.”
Love holds the keys of hell and of death. In other words, love provides the way of escape from all our problems – our “sins”:
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:20)
And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Pet. 4:8)
Now some of you may say that only Christ’s blood covers our sins, and you may point to the following verse:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. (Eph. 1:7)
This is reconciled by the fact that God is love, and that the blood of Christ represents the fruit of the Spirit, or fruit of the vine (I am the vine, you are the branches), the first of which is love (Gal. 5:22).
So you can see the critical nature of learning to love your fellow man. Without love, we are self-deceived into thinking we “know the Lord,” when in fact the “Lord” is saying, “I never knew you.”
The Cross/Crucifixion of Christ
What do the Scriptures mean by the “cross of Christ,” and how does that cross relate to the cross that we are required to bear? What does it mean that Christ is “crucified for our sins?”
Let us now take a look at the comparisons between Christ’s love for us, shown through his death on the cross, and the love we are required to show to our fellow human beings by virtue of us “laying down our lives for our ‘friends.’” You will find the comparisons startling, but all comparisons are only two sides of the same coin. In fact, they are not really two sides. It’s the same side of the coin, shown from two different perspectives. We are talking about only one love.
He Who Loves His Life Shall Lose It
As Christ is on the cross, his crucifiers are reviling him with taunts that “if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Earlier in Scripture, when the servants of the high priest come “with swords and staves” to take him, and in response to Peter cutting off the ear of one of the servants, Jesus says this to Peter:
Think thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (Matt. 26:53-54)
The “sword” in the Scriptures is a metaphor for the tongue. Thus, Peter cutting off the ear (representative of the hearing) of the servant with the sword (the tongue) is symbolic of us, in our anger towards the less-than-well-meaning, using our flaming swords to cut off the hearing of those who are antagonistically opposed to who and what we are by our condemning words. And what was Jesus’ response?
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matt. 26:52).
In other words, put your sword (your tongue) back in your mouth. Cease setting the temple of others on fire with your words. This is exactly what the Scriptures mean when it says “… and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.” (Jud. 18:27)
Refuse to fight fire with fire. We are vessels of love. Through love, which never fails, we have the ability to lift others out of the valleys of hatred, condemnation, anger, fear, unbelief, etc. Love endures all things, love hopes all things. The tongue, on the other hand, is a fire, say the Scriptures. It is set on fire of hell. With it we bless God and with it we curse men, and these things ought not to be. Our job is not to judge others, but merely to love them.
But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:44 45)
Leaving Us An Example
What is Jesus’ response to those who revile and threaten him?
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judges righteously. (1 Pet. 2:22-23)
Responding in kind to those who condemn, judge and persecute us runs contrary to the way of love. Again, if we feel ourselves victims, we will be unable to execute the love of God in our lives. We must develop the ability to rise above apparent negative situations and circumstances in order to get to the level of healing that all of us possess, but of which we may be unaware.
Easier Said Than Done
Once you become convinced of the fact that love is indeed the “way, the truth and the life,” and you attempt to actually put it into practice, you will find that it is much easier to speak about love than it is to practice it. That is because love is the Holy Spirit, and without the power of Christ working in us, it is impossible to love in this divine way.
Love is something we must seek. It is worth everything we could possibly gain, and is itself the method by which we bring ALL THINGS to us. It is this love, expressed through giving our lives for others, that is the key to receiving the heavenly treasures:
Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and give unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (Luke 18:22)
To be “born again” is to be born of love, and to be born of love is to be “made in the image and likeness of God,” which, in turn, means to be born into the Kingdom of God. It has absolutely nothing to do with what religion you belong to, what your nationality is, what your race is, or anything of that nature. It has everything to do with love.
It is all about love.
Forgiveness an Essential Quality of Love
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matt. 6:14-15)
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (Luke 6:37)
Forgiveness of others is a vital part of “spirituality.” I once saw a Christian broadcast in which one of the women on the panel was extremely bitter against her father because of the love she never received as a child and the pain and suffering she bore as a result. She said she could never forgive him for what he had done to her, and that he would have to earn her love after the way he treated her and her sibliings.
What this woman doesn’t realize is that love does not come naturally to human beings. We do have a form of love, but it falls far short of the “love of God.” It is the lack of understanding of just what love is that is causing all of the pain and misery that we experience in our interpersonal relationships.
A Mother’s Love
We have all seen the power of a mother’s love in action. In general, mothers have a great sense of love for her children, and are fiercely protective of her own. There have been instances of mothers calling on immense physical strength in times of great danger to her offspring. For example, I have heard a story once about a mother lifting a car to deliver her son who was wedged underneath it. She was able to save her son from certain death by her actions. You can find stories such as this one in many places.
Even when her children are guilty of some great evil, mothers will usually protect her children, despite all evidence pointing to their guilt. A mother will not generally air her children’s dirty laundry in public, and will “cover her children’s nakedness” (spiritually speaking) to the best of her ability. A mother will oftentimes take the blame for the guilt of her children, if that would become necessary.
It is this kind of love that the Scriptures inspire us to have for ALL people. The law of reaping and sowing is a living law that cannot be transgressed without bringing great peril to oneself. When we love others, we love ourselves. When we hate others, we bring condemnation and evil on ourselves. Scriptures tell us that without this kind of love, we really don’t know God, for God IS love.
God is love! Think on that. Meditate on that. Become that. And then you will begin to experience spiritual freedom.