Provoking One Another to Love | Part Three

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Paul Rotua

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1 Corinthians 13 is my favourite love thermometer, gauge or template. Especially in the Amplified version. I remember while in the university fellowship we were given an assignment to confess this daily for 30 days and to expect to see ourselves grow in our love walk. Our fellowship then was really an Oasis of Love, campus people noticed. And what serious moves of God we experienced afterwards!

I still recommend it today and challenge you to do the same. Let me quote it here before I move on to other things:

1 Corinthians 13 (Amp)
4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Do you want to grow in your love walk, focus on this. Meditate on it, confess it as your nature and you will conform to it more and more. Your spirit man will start gaining ascendancy over your flesh.

Now, we cannot walk in love in isolation from men. Our love walk is tested in our interactions with people. Anyone can claim to be walking in love. Until you are tempted to walk in the flesh you may not know how much you have developed. And trust me you will get opportunities daily.

Within this love community, how do we ensure we keep the love bond flowing in the face of offences. How do we deal with brethren who persist in wrong doing or have chosen not to walk in love?

The Bible gives us various instructions on how to keep our brotherly relationships. 1 Peter 2:7 says to “Love the brotherhood”. Hebrews 13:1 says let brotherly love continue. We are not to break it. This has nothing to do with our feelings.

Jesus gave us instructions on how to settle scores when we have issues with one another. For example, when a brother offends you, don’t go gossiping about it. Rather confront the person and discuss it if you can’t let go in your heart easily (though the more you grow the less you will count suffered wrongs). If that doesn’t work, take another brother or sister with you to the person, if it doesn’t work then take it to those with spiritual oversight or elders. Most times by the time you get here the issue would have been resolved.

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