THE APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION: THE LOVE GOD, THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”1 Corinthians 13:8 KJV
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”1 Corinthians 13:13 KJV
In the last capsule we started our discussion on the second functional expression of The Trinity, God's kind of Love. Never make the mistake of trying to find an analogy to God's kind of Love, nothing in ordinary human dealings is comparable. Instead meditate on the product of God's kind of Love, 'Grace', (the unearned, unmerited favour of God), this will provide all the insight you need. Grace is God's Love displayed. Secondly, if you are born again, know that this Love has already been imparted to you, in the New Creation (Romans 5:5). Once you understand this, expect it to manifest in your life as you mature (Galatians 5:22). Praying for it is actually counter productive because it presupposes that you don't have it. That contradicts the word of God. God has already commended and imparted His Love to us, it flows through us and it is for us.
Faith and Fear
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 KJV
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6 KJV
Consider these two scriptures. As you allow the Love of God to flow through you, fear loses it grip on your life simultaneously. Fear is born out of uncertainty, so of necessity it disappears when you begin to grasp the reality of God's unconditional Love. Likewise, Faith is a byproduct of Love, think about it, we don't have doubts about God power. What we struggle with is the feeling that we might not be worthy enough. Prayers becoming a long tedious repetition, thinking you need to convince God. When you understand this unconditional Love you are able to accept the free gift of Grace with joy. Love makes you realise that His goodness is at your disposal and faith then ceases to be a struggle.
Motivation for Holy living and Service
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:” 2 Corinthians 5:14 KJV
“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 KJV
Motivation for holiness and service must never be based on fear or sense of duty. These two are slave masters, they torment and will sap your energy. You will get 'found out' and eventually 'burn out' (1 John 4:18). You must always allow the Love of God to be the motivation behind all that you do. It takes the pressure away from you, because it's God working and flowing through you (1 Corinthians 13:1-7).
The other side of Love
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:9 KJV
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19 KJV (context Romans 12:19-21).
Hebrews 1:9, describes a balance to God's kind of Love that most do not pay attention to. If it's God's kind of Love, it will demonstrate unconditional distaste and perfect hatred for every work of the evil one (1John 3:8b). Acts 10:38 (my paraphrase) 'Christ, went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil'.
Secondly, those who spend time cursing their 'enemies' either have a shallow understanding of God's kind of Love or do not trust Him to fulfil His word (take a look at Romans 12:19-21).
As we close, I hope you are beginning to see why the APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION is such a powerful pronouncement. The priceless GRACE of Christ and the unconditional LOVE of the Father brings stability and confidence, if that is what you focus on. This will cure all your carnal excesses. Hold on, there is more, because in the last two capsules we would look at the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
ALWAYS REMIND YOURSELF OF THE GRACE AND LOVE
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