FEATURE ARTICLE

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
[email protected]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
SEPTEMBER - MY MONTH OF WALKING IN LOVE

t is with great delight that I welcome you to this fresh month - the month of September, our month of Walking in Love! Love the lovely word, love the mesmerising word, and love the charming word. Love the word everyone wishes to receive, possess and celebrate. Love the word that describes our God! Yet, love the word that every spouse wishes will be expressed to him or her by his or her spouse in the morning but hardly comes out from each of them except in movies. Love the word that is frequently expressed during courtship and dating and easily disappears during the marriage life. Love, the wonderful word that most times is used for selfish reasons. Love the word that is frequently in our mouth but most times far from our heart. Love the word that is cherished, desired by all but is so difficult to give by us. Yes, love the word that is preached daily in sermons but less practiced by the preachers and the parishioners. Love that is feigned and faked when is most needed in our world. Love the word that the world needs afresh in truth and sincerity. Love the word that we need again to get our marriage going and the church flourishing. It is my prayer that as we look microscopically at this special word this month, something will drop in your spirit that will motivate you to love God and humanity better.

What is love? Must we define love again? The fact is that we all know what love is, Paul gives us a classic definition when he wrote the love chapter in the bible:-

  • Love never gives up

  • Love cares more for others than for self

  • Love doesn't want what it doesn't have

  • Love doesn't strut

  • Love doesn't have a swelled head

  • Love doesn't force itself on others

  • Love isn't always "me first,"

  • Love doesn't fly off the handle

  • Love doesn't keep score of the sins of others

  • Love doesn't revel when others grovel

  • Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth

  • Love puts up with anything

  • Love trusts God always

  • Love always looks for the best

  • Love never looks back but keeps going to the end. 1 Cor 13:4-7(MSG)

According to Wikipedia "Love encompasses a variety of strong and positive emotional and mental states, ranging from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse and differs from the love of food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment. Love can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection. It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals."

The classification of Love

Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Why Love?

When purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable. The mere fact that we don't know the purpose of love has let us wound ourselves. Love is the oil that lubricates the engine of life, it is also the fuel that makes the life car run, within humanity and interface between humanity and divinity. Let us use three of the classifications above to see why love is important. Why we must practice genuine love. Let us start with Eros-The romantic love, without the romantic love there will be no procreation. Without the romantic love you will not be born! But erotic love goes beyond marital consummation. The analogy that comes to my mind is when a man and woman marry, it is like a man buying a new car. If you don't put gas in that car it will not run. When eros is missing in a marriage divorce is inevitable. I know there are other ingredients that keep marriages, like wisdom (Pro 24:3), I also know that if you asked two people that have divorced if you still love you ex, the answer will 90 percent be positive, but the fact is that the absence of genuine love as an action word is missing in that relationship. Eros love is needed in a relationship to glue it together. Eros love is not just about sexual activity, that is why we are missing it, eros love is beyond the realm of Hollywood, Bollywood or Nollywood, it is a necessity for the home to thrive. For the children to be properly brought up in atmosphere of love for their heathy growth. I pray that eros will be returned to our marriages and homes so that we can raise a generation of children that shall live better than us.

The friendly love -Philia is unique. I am yet to see someone that has not been assisted by friend and relations in their growth. When you are born you are helpless you need family and friends to care for you and help you to grow. In schooling, during wedding after wedding, in securing jobs, in the journey of life Philia comes handy. No man is an island. The church is association of friends and families. Philia is important for this organization. Even in running a business outfit if Philia love is not there, the employees just ruin the company and the employers use the employees. What of when people are sick, in financial distress, emotional distress, they need philia to come back on their feet. I like what Jesus said about philia love- I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father :Jn 15:11-15[MSG] What Jesus is calling for is a genuine friendly love that does not backstab or backbite one another but cares genuinely for one another even as friends. Even when people die thy need friends and family to bury them and care for the ones they left behind.

The most important that drives all of us consciously or unconsciously is the Agape love- The divine love . The unconditional love. The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. Christians believe that to love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life. ( Mark 12; 28-34; Matt 22:34-37). The Apostle John wrote, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17, NIV) John also wrote, "Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:7-8, NIV) Oh that this generation shall practice agape love. Interestingly, all the major religion of the entire world professes to have agape love.

According to Wikipedia,"in Islam -love encompasses life as universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold faith. Amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud, or "the Loving One," which is found in Surah [Quran 11:90]. The Qur'an refers to God as being "full of loving kindness". "Most Compassionate" Bahá'í Faith, describes four types of love: the love that flows from God to human beings; the love that flows from human beings to God; the love of God towards the Self or Identity of God; and the love of human beings for human beings. In Buddhism, K?ma is sensuous, sexual love. In Hinduism, k?ma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kamadeva."

The question then arises if all the holy books describe agape love, how come we all live below the agape love level. I am driven to believe that we either fail to love God or we do not understand God or we don't love or just refuse to love or all the above. It becomes clear we don't know why God loves us and we don't care and we fail to love one another. The Agape love is demonstrated by Jesus dying on the cross, unconditional, sacrificial death. Christ's love for me and you go beyond love for ice cream, sports or even friends and family. His love is a giving love. It is a sacrificing and selfless love. It is a love that shows itself in action. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus loves us, not because we are attractive or share some interest with Him, but simply because He loves us. So, He made the ultimate sacrifice, giving up everything - all his glory, His life - to serve us. That is the purpose of agape love to serve one another in all capacity. When your love does not drive you to serve humanity, it is not the God kind of love. It is selfish and ill motivated. Oh that agape love is restored to marriages, home, church, schools, and political landscape.

How to walk in love. (Lord, I believe; help my unbelief model)

The story was told, that Jesus went to the mount of transfiguration and while there, a man brought his son to the disciples for prayers. The disciples prayed, and nothing happened. When Jesus upbraided the disciples, he turned to the father of the child: Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief Mk 9:23-24 [NKJV].Many years ago, while courting my wife, one of the books I read was written by Walter Trosbich -titled: Love is a feeling to be learnt. The man with the sick child is simply saying; teach me to believe. You and I have to come to the realisation that we need to learn about love and to walk in love. The analogy may not work perfectly, but all the same it needs consideration. You cannot become a lawyer without studying law, a medical doctor without studying medicine. When such a one is caught she or he is referred to as fake. If you don't know love and how to walk in love you become a fake lover, fake Christian, fake employer, fake friend, fake spouse, etc.

You will agree with me hopefully, that lack of walking in love irrespective of our love talk is halting our home, marriage, church, business, society, community and our nations and the world. Love and hatred are diametrically opposite to one another. Sorry to say most times we are walking in hatred and we think we are walking in love. The result always shows what you are walking in! Pastors are hurting because there are not beneficiaries of love from parishioners and vice versa. All you hear after service is one complain after the other. The citizens are hurting because of failed promises from political leaders, who filter away the fortune of their nation. Gun violence, crime, kidnapping is raging because we only have love in our mouth and not in our heart. A supposed friend will walk away with her friend's spouse without blinking an eye! Churches split because the Assistant Pastor, is only calling the General Overseer my Father in- Lord on a selfish basis. Jesus put it this way- We have lost our first love. The bible put it this way- "I see what you've done, your hard work, and your refusal to quit. I know you can't stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.4-5 "But you walked away from your first love-why? What's going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you've fallen? A Lucifer fall! "Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste Rev 2:4-6 [MSG]

To avoid that Lucifer, fall these are my suggestions about how you can walk in love.

  1. Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. If you ever want to walk in love, you will have to make a decision to yield to that force of love on the inside of you. You'll have to resist the selfish tendencies of the flesh and choose to live a life governed by God of love. Making these changes is not as difficult as it may sound. In fact, the key to developing your love walk is wonderfully simple. You do it by maintaining a close relationship with God-fellowshipping with Him, reading the Bible, praying and staying in union with Him.

  2. You can develop your love further by acknowledging just how great God's love for you truly is. You can spend time meditating on the fact that God loves you just as much as He loves Jesus. Think about that! God not only loves you just as powerfully as He loves Jesus, He has also put that same mighty love inside of you so that you can love like He loves! That's staggering to your human mind but dare to believe it anyway. Receive it as truth in your heart.

  3. Lynette Hagin wrote "One of the things I witnessed in my father-in-law's life was that he truly lived the love walk. He never considered getting even. At times, my husband and I got exasperated when we heard others criticize and say hurtful things about our family. Sometimes we expressed our feelings to my father-in-law, he would say to us, "Don't ever stoop to their level; always walk the high road." I still hear those words ringing in my ears when I'm tempted to walk the low road and return evil for evil' Have you heard that African man is not capable of love? It is a fallacy. All men including women can love! Practice walking in love, on the high road, as a leader, husband, father, wife, CEO, Pastor, in-law, lecturer, medical personnel, it is do able!

  4. No matter how inconvenient or how culturally difficult for some of us, we must learn to say "I love you" to our spouse, children, grandchildren and anyone that deserves not only in words but in our hearts. Grandchildren became part of my vocabulary when I became a grandfather!

  5. Walking in love must be intentional and passionate. You cannot marry a woman if you are genuine without a good motive and a passionate love. To marry the first qualification will be are you willing to shoulder responsibility for the person you want to marry? Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." To walk in love is to be passionate, with compassion and extreme dedication. That is the agape love .It will draw your resources, money, talent, energy, time. You cannot play golf if you don't have tome for golf. You cannot walk in love if you don't have time for love. LOVE is an action word. Love gives, without reservation.

  6. To walk in love with someone whether God or human is to accept that person, to want to please that person, to look out for that person's welfare, to put that person's interests before one's own interests. If you love God, you will obey Him. If you love your spouse, you will do his or her bidding. You will not hurt her. Love is not 'me first'. Love goes the extra mile to help.

  7. Valuing is at the heart of love and if we are not willing to honor and esteem others, we will never love, no matter how hard we try.

  8. Love is about service, we get our example of serving one another from Christ, who showed His love by laying His life, down that you and I might live. 1Jn 3:16 encourages us to serve.

  9. Love is also about giving. Walking in love is about giving your resources, talent, money, energy, time and treasure to help someone in need. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back tomorrow and I'll give it to you"-- when you already have it with you. Prov 3:28. Bear in mind that person could be your spouse. A loving person is defined by his capacity to give, his or her generosity.

  10. The opposite of love is hatred, anger bitterness and the terrible likes. We surely will offend one another as long as we are human. Love helps you to reconcile through the window of forgiveness. We need to be quick to ask forgiveness of one another if we fail and get angry or irritated with one another. It is very important to be humble enough to say words like "I was wrong", "I am sorry", "Please forgive me". We are to forgive one another if we have a complaint against one another that is walking in love. Walking in love is not the absence of offence but handling of offence in love.

Conclusion; To walk in love is to be willing to obey God who commands us love to one another. You must allow love to flow from you and through you to others. As 1 John 4:12 says, "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us." Remember the old saying, "Practice makes perfect"? That's absolutely the truth. The way you perfect God's love in you is by practicing that love towards other people. As you keep on practicing and developing that love, with every day that passes, you'll grow up a little more into the image of Jesus. The works Jesus did you will boldly do also, and your relationships will blossom as others see Him in you.

Special Info. The international Gathering of Eagles conference Toronto, Canada Chapter is scheduled for September 13-16,2018. Where feasible for you to attend, be there. If it is not feasible, then support us prayerfully and financially. More than anything watch it online, Facebook live and other social platforms.


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