We have thousands of songs with the word (love) mentioned in relation to the affection and romance that the writer or singer experienced. We verbalize the word (love) to our loved ones, friends and acquaintances. We also express our love during these holiday seasons with gifts and cards filled with money. Love is very powerful in the way that we express it and it is at times lost as if someone zapped the life of living it with that zeal that we once demonstrated. What happened? Why is it easy to lose sight of demonstrating the kind of Love that we first began with?
Hi Faith-writers, I’m grateful for another opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with you on the topic of LOVE that Jesus has been trying to tell the Loveless Church in the Book of Revelation 2:4-5 NKJV;
Jesus said, nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love (agape). (v. 4)
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp-stand (the Church) from its place—unless you repent (v. 5)
Revelation of Love
I was reading the Book of Galatians last week and at chapter 3, I zoned out and the Holy Spirit began speaking to me about the “Expressions of Love”, and began breaking things down to me from the Word that teaches about the topic of Love from a practical point of view.
The Holy Spirit said that the Church of Ephesus had the directions from Paul to Pray for Love in Ephesians Chapter 3:14-19 NKJV; and they also had further instructions about the practice of Love throughout the entire letter (Eph. 2:4/ 5:2, 25 NKJV). So when Jesus spoke to the Church of Ephesus later on to John in the Island of Patmos He said;
1. You have left your first love (agape) (v. 4)
2. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; (v. 5)
3. Repent and do the first works (v. 5)
4. Or else…(v. 5)
The Holy Spirit pointed out a few things to me about Love that I never saw a commentary or a topical concordance outline. So I’m going to share this revelation with you in this article.
The First Love
This is placing Love in its proper order. For example, we are to;
1. Love God first
2. We are to Love our spouse second
3. We are to Love our immediate family (sons and daughters) and extended family and pets third
4. We are to Love our Service or Ministry/ Calling fourth
5. We are to Love our neighbor fifth
I will explain all this through Scripture as we go along or in future articles as the Holy Spirit leads me, however, as I continued to listen to the Holy Spirit. He also pointed out that the Church of Ephesus is a model of Churches today that have everything else going good in other areas of their Christian lifestyle. However, they lost their affection to perform kind or charitable acts in a Church setting.
Expressing Love in a Church Setting
Some of the areas that we may lose our expression of love are;
1. Expressing Love with our Spiritual Gifts and Ministry Gifts—we may be gifted Ministers in many areas or in one area and we may decide to step down or back from Ministry because we were offended or we are tired or lose the zeal. (Jesus said look back to where you lost the fire).
2. Expressing Love with our Talents and Skills—we may have lost our desire to cook, clean, fix or renovate the Church Building that we gather in. The Church doesn’t only need Preachers or Teachers and Deacons. The Church also needs Carpenters, Handymen and women, Electricians, Plumbers, Roofers, Painters, Tile Guys, Architects, Interior designers and every other trades that there is to allow the Church to function. Audio/ Data technicians.
3. Expressing Love with our Giving—Money (tithing and offerings), Food donations, clothing donations and furniture. Giving our time to help the painters and other tradesmen and women.
4. We may lose our expression of love by failing to come to Church Services. Do you know that your presence at Church brings people joy and encouragement to see you attending Services all the time? It also shows that you are faithful, you have integrity, and that you are responsible and accountable to God and His people.
The other Areas of Expressing Love are
1. Expressing Love Traditionally—attending Church on special occasions like Christmas and Easter Services and other Services Church congregations have weddings, water baptisms, and the like…
2. Expressing the Love for Yourself—you personally take good care of yourself and exercise, eat right and remain positive not arrogantly it’s just the way you are. And you love to tell people how you stay fit when they ask you.
3. Expressing Love for your Country—you can be Patriotic with balance that has God first and you the love of your countries history the list of things that make you the person that you are to defend your freedoms and liberties.
4. Expressing Love for Agriculture, Animal kingdom, and Marine life.
5. Expressing Love for Sports—training the youth in various Sports, Football, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, Volley ball, etc.
The point of all these areas of Love that are mentioned is that your Calling may be to coach the youth in Sports and you are needed in the Church to help the youth in that area of training.
We sometimes think that Church is just designed to Preach and Teach about Jesus, but Church is about the Expression of Love in many areas. Do you know what it cost to hire a profession to install and Audio system--and you’re an Audio technician with tools and the skill set to do the work at the Church you attend and you are sitting by allowing the Church to spend 25k to 50k on an outside contractor, when you can do the work with volunteers helping you for less than 5k? (Mega Churches are 10x the amount). The same thing goes for any other work that has to be done in the Church Building and we as believers can do that work for the fraction of the price.
Please understand I’m not pressuring you to break your back and do something. All I’m saying is that we need to be sensitive to the needs that will call us to do something for the Kingdom of God on earth. We may think the Church has the funds for whatever project that needs to be done. However, if the Pastor is sincere and is doing the right thing financially, let us not assume that they got the expense covered all the time to repair or install something that is needed. And let us not be loveless, lazy and have a chip on our shoulders by saying, “I pay tithes so let the Pastor pay for it”.
My Testimony of Love for the Pastor and Church
Sometimes we fail to see the Call of God on our lives because we fail to do the simple things. I remember in February 1993, God called me to Preach a message about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. I saw the assistant Pastor and told him he agreed to let me preach. We did not know if the Senior Pastor was coming in he ran 2 Churches. So I go open up in prayer and started preaching I made the altar call and the 2 men who came up were immediately Baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Then we turned the service over to the outside guest. The Pastor happened to come in and he did not look happy. I get called to the office and given the Pharisees treatment then kicked out of prayer services and Bible studies for some time. A few weeks passed by I’m still going to Sunday services.
God taught me to be like David and behave myself wisely during this period and not to protest against the Pastor. (See, 1 Samuel 18:5, 14, 15, and 30 KJV) David behaved himself wisely even though King Saul wanted to kill him. David acted as if nothing happened. Well, this was my practice of Scripture as well. Then the assistant Pastor asked me to build an Audio cabinet and a Pulpit. I did and brought it to the Church and the Senior Pastor saw it and asked, “what is this”? I said, this is for the Church a gift. He looked at it and at me took the 2 pieces I built and locked the door on me and did not even say thank you or God Bless you. (LOL!) I walked away disappointed, but God said Love him.
I continued to build cabinets and furniture and lay hands on people outside the Church walls because I was barred from doing it in Church. It wasn’t until July 1996, that the Senior Pastor had some problems with the Church members and they wanted to teach Bible studies and the Pastor tried the members out to see if they were Bible teachers. They were not ready. This time the Pastor called me and I began teaching Bible studies and People were Saved, Healed, and Baptized with the Holy Spirit in the Bible studies every week. Our relationship was restored and it was Love that prevailed in the situation.
Love can be Expressed any where at anytime doing anything for a duration of time that has to be done for the Glory of God. So let us continue to walk in Love in Jesus’ name, Amen!