If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you do well. (James 2:8)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but HAVE not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
Love is the nature of God which Christians receive at the new birth. God wants us to manifest this nature and resemble him always. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. (Ro 12:10)
Love is the most important commandment in the kingdom of God. God almighty, The King of kings says loving other people is his new commandment and we should pay attention it. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34).
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines love as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. However, as a Christian, God expects you to have and show love to others even if you don’t have any feeling for them. If you decide to love people, the feeling will follow your action. The love God expects from us is complete acceptance of our brothers and sisters in Christ, fully unconditional and selfless. Many times, what prevents people from loving others is their judgement of other people’s attributes. You should therefore be conscious of the fact that you can love anyone you decide to love despite his or her attributes. In this article, I will like to share with you some characteristics of love.
Love is the manifestation of being filled with the Holy Spirit
But the fruit produced by the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, generosity, trustfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal 5:22) (TCNT)
Love is the manifestation of the fullness of the Holy Spirit in your life. It is something you HAVE or don’t have; not just something you do based on the person you are dealing with. Many people behave differently to different people, but if you have love, it will reflect even when you are dealing with the hardest criminal. Some criminals break down when they meet with love. I once read the story of a woman who was kidnapped but shared the gospel with the criminals in love. They could not harm her, they released her.
If you study the characteristics of love stated in 1 Cor 13:4-7, you will notice that they are very similar to the characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Love is long-suffering, and kind; Love is never envious, never boastful, does not behave in a nasty manner, is not rude or arrogant. Love is never self-seeking. It is flexible. It does not insist on its own right or position.
You have the capacity to love as God demands
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom 5:5)
You received the nature of God when you became born again; therefore, you have the capacity to love just as God loves. The Holy Ghost has shed the love of God abroad in your heart and makes it possible for you to love. As long as you are filled with him, you will love effortlessly; otherwise, loving others sincerely will be impossible. The Holy Spirit manifests love wherever he is fully allowed to express himself. How much love you manifest shows how full of God you are.
Love does no evil
Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. (Ro 13:10).
Love pays no attention to evil done to him or a suffered wrong. It does not brood over wrongs. That means if someone does anything wrong to you, you should quickly forget it and not discuss it with other people; otherwise you will have an opportunity to meditate on it. Meditating on a negative thing can lead to wrong actions. Love does not burst out in passionate anger. Love does not delight in wrongdoing but rejoices in something true, something good. When someone who is not his ‘friend’ suffers wrong, love does not rejoice.
Love bears with all things; it makes sacrifices, it doesn’t wait for convenience before it acts. It is full of trust, hope, patience and endurance. God knows that people will offend us but he expects us to draw strength from the Holy Spirit inside us to combine humility with patience to bear with people and show love. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. (Eph 4:2)
Love is the most important thing in Christianity.
On love hangs all the laws and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40) That means if you walk in love, you will be able to fulfill the commandments given to Moses and the word of God that came through the prophets. For example, how can a Christian who does not really love God pay tithes? He will grumble and whine when anyone preaches giving not knowing that his Christian friends are even giving God about 30% of their income and enjoying more manifestation of God’s blessings.
All other things we are expected to do in Christianity hang on the big rod of love like curtains hang on a rod. When the rod is not hung up and we try to hang the curtains, they fall easily. Instead of struggling to manifest the gift of the spirit or offer Christian service with difficulty, or giving with complaints in your hearts; hang the rod of love in your life, all other things will be hung in place. If you don’t have and show love, your blessings will not manifest adequately.
Love fuels faith; without love faith cannot work.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Gal 5:6)
Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thess 5:8)
If you try to exercise faith for something and you are not walking in love, your faith will be hindered. Love is the fuel that makes faith work. I’ve experienced trying to pray for healing without getting result only to realize that it was because I was not peaceful with one of the people who works with me. Be careful to walk in love so that you don’t get frustrated in your faith walk. Faith and love always work together.
Love never fails
Love never fails, the more you show love, the more love fills your heart. It cannot finish, it cannot reduce you, you can never go wrong showing love. Love never ends. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will no longer be relevant when we live this world. All other things accomplished in this life will not be useful in heaven but love will remain. It cannot end. (1 Cor 13:8)
The source of love is the holy Spirit. As long as you are filled with Him, love fills your heart and you manifest his nature such as patience, self-control, kindness, goodness and others.