8. LOVE BRINGS VICTORY

There is a contradictive meaning of love between human and the Bible. Human define love as an “if”, for example: “if you…, then I’ll love you.”. While the Bible define love as an “even if”, like “even if you… I will still love you”. Love in the Bible – which called “agape” – is God’s love upon this world and He would want us to love Him back and to love others too.

The Bible says agape is a type of love which brings victory. People who possess it will experience victories after victories. Victory over what? First, victory over fear. The Apostle Paul said to Timothy, for the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Fear makes someone unable to move and do anything. But by His love within us, we no longer have that fear. Remember when Joseph have a courage to take Mary as his wife, it’s because he loves both God and Mary. Joseph wanted to divorce her quietly, but an angel of the Lord said to not be afraid to take Mary home as his wife (Matthew 1:19-20)

Second, victory over selfishness. People who don’t love God and others will love himself. They’ll be selfish. For example is King Herod, he only have power in his mind. When he heard that a new King was born, he hate it, and gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under (Matthew 2:16-18). Meanwhile, people who love will able to see the needs of others rather than himself. God said that He did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45)

                  Third, victory over self-pride. People who don’t have love will underestimate others. He’ll prevent others to grow because he thinks he’s the right one. But people who love will be humble. He realizes that he’s imperfect, and needs others to grow. God even calls us to be His co-workers (1 Corinthians 3:9). He wants us to learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29)

                  Fourth, victory over hatred. Human have 2 choices, hate or love. When someone loves, he’ll not hate again, even their enemies. Hatred is a negative and destructive feeling that will destroy ourselves and others. But someone who love is construtive, bring physical, mental, and spiritual health. He’ll have the generosity to forgive and accept others. The only way to defeat hatred is by love.

How to obtain Love

After we understand the magical power of love, we have to know how to obtain the agape love? First, if we live as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). It gives us new status, that becomes a child of God. As a proverb “Like father, like sons” therefore as a new creation, we obtain God’s glorious attributes, including love.

Second, we have to tap into Him like a branch attached to a vine, which is in prayer and His words. Whoever doesn not love does not know God, because God is Love (1 john 4:8)

Third, live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so we produce the fruit of the Spirit, including love (agape) (Galatians 5:22-23).

Fourth, open up ourselves to see the need of others. Love is action, not just by words. Others will not experience our love if we’re exclusive, limit ourselves to different ethnic, religion, even by social-economy status. Christianity is salt, give tastes to wherever it is by merging. Maybe it’s invisible, but the impacts are visible.

by: peter freshman

This article can be read in BAHASA INDONESIA