No one has ever been as loving and merciful as our heavenly Father. He even makes His sun to rise on the evil, and sends rain on the unjust (Mt. 5:45).
It is only when the heart is softened through the Holy Spirit’s outpouring of God’s love that we are enabled to also move in this love. When our hearts are sensitized to God’s love we are even able to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us (v 44). This supernatural love is purely an operation of the Holy Spirit.
Human love is not capable of loving those who offend them and do them wrong. How one handles offense is the fundamental difference between walking in that love and walking in the human sentimental love which is fickle and changing.
I’ve met many Christians in my lifetime who ooze with niceness and mushiness and appear so sweet until you cross them. Then they turn into vicious wolves who bite and devour.
Here’s an inspired utterance from the Holy Spirit: “One of the big differences between a natural and a supernatural love is that a natural love does not stand up under offense. But a supernatural love does not grow hard through offense, but instead it grows even more tender as it reaches out to the one who offends and says, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do or what they say.’ “
Our love can wax cold if we don’t nurture it. Our heart can grow hard if we don’t guard it. On the other hand, it’s so easy to move, forgive and obey when God’s love is motivating our hearts.
Do you remember the former days of your salvation? How easy it was to walk away from the lifestyle of sin when the Holy Spirit moved on our hearts with the love of God! His love and presence causes grown men to fall to their knees and cry like a baby. The power of this love breaks the hardest heart.
The Gadarene demoniac did not want to leave Jesus after being delivered and touched by His love (Mk. 5).
The heart of the woman at the well was fulfilled at last and she ran out to testify of Jesus to the men of her city (John 4).
The leper when told not to testify of his own miracle went everywhere blazing abroad the matter (Mk. 1).
It was the revelation of love that caused their hearts to change. It was that sense of value and worth that resonated within them that birthed an excitement and a newness of life. This love is the activation of our gospel witness and of our life’s good works.
It is time for the body of Christ to remember those former days and fall in love with Jesus again – a love that caused those early Christians to share all they had with those in need (Acts 2, 4); a love that caused the disciples to fall on Paul’s neck and kiss him (Acts 21); a love that works and lives to give and not to get (Eph. 4:28).
Love will lead us to a more consecrated lifestyle. The gratitude of a life change is the initiative of this love.
We cannot be filled with the fullness of God without knowing the depth of this love (Eph. 3:14-21). We are not easily deceived or led astray when this love fills every inch of our hearts.
The world will know we are His disciples by the love we have one for another (John 13:35). This emanating love makes us radiant and irresistible.