I stood preaching before a large crowd. “Love is STRONG” I emphasised. “Love is strong in the face of every enemy”.
Nothing else feels like that surge of Godly strength as you proclaim truth and feel as if you were under His mighty hand, speaking with great empowerment as an instrument played by the Master Himself.
I declared that the Father’s Love manifest at the cross was super-abundantly powerful, to overwhelm every law, every work of darkness, every consequence of sin and its judgement. So high above human love is His love. As the Heavens are high above the Earth. His love has boundless supernatural power to set eternal redemption in motion! His love has moved His own Heart, drawn all of His glorious plans, displayed Himself entirely before an unworthy world, and made Him accessible to the lowest sinner. His love is stronger than any barrier, whether Heavenly or Earthly. When we were without strength, His love was the hand that lifted us up.
The great crowd sat awestruck! And then I realised that I was dreaming this whole scene. It was just a couple of nights ago. This happens. I am a dreamer. I sometimes dream that I can fly! (Those flying dreams are great too.)
But I remember the message of my dream. I believe it all. LOVE IS STRONG.
Love Is Our Source
“Now abide Faith, Hope and Love, these three. But the greatest of these is LOVE.” (1Cor 13:13) Love exceeds all. Higher. Deeper, Richer, Stronger, the perfect expression of God’s Likeness. Faith and Hope are vital, but it is never said that “God is Hope”, or “God is Faith”. He IS LOVE. He is Love’s source. As we become “rooted and grounded in love”, we increasingly” comprehend (with all the saints) the width and length and depth and height… to know the love of Christ, which passes all knowledge!” (see Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21)
It’s not wise to try to know His Love through intellectual study. God reveals His love to us in the same way that a plant or a tree grows to full stature. “Rooted and Grounded”, the plant is fully formed and reaches it’s “fullness” through the nutrients of Earth and the life-supply of its roots. He has chosen to ROOT and GROUND us in LOVE (Himself), so that we will “comprehend” (Katalambano) — to seize, to vigorously possess — that same love in all of it’s breadth, length, depth and height.
Just as a mighty tree forms from its life-supplying roots and soil, God has planted us in His Love, that we might “put down our roots” there. Something beautiful is clarified in this picture. Love is exceeding in strength, because it is more than “what God does”. Love is “who God is”. He chose to plant us into who He is, allowing us to transform into living, growing testimony of Himself.
That’s why Love becomes our evidence that we are ‘in Him”. Jesus was always making sure that we never forget…”Love one another as I have loved you”.… ”By THIS shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”. “Father, the love with which you have loved me, is in them, and I am in them”. “I in them and you in Me, that they be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as You have loved Me”. The evidence of LOVE — The SAME LOVE between the Father and the Son — now manifested through us.
So, as we live in the Love of God, He is displayed through us. We are His display. We are His processional, generational testimony. “Beloved, let us love one another, for God is love: and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”. 1 John 4:7-8. Look closely! It’s an inseparable mystery of source and expression. Our expression of LOVE flows from knowing Him, which flows from our source… born of God. So, love expressed through the child of God should look exactly like His love, and should be just as glorious and miraculous as His. STRONG LOVE. Love that not only responds in a Godly way toward others, but love which is heaven-born, miraculous and manifests HIS HEART in every situation. It’s the only way that we could “love our enemies”, “bless those who curse us”, “do good to all who do evil against us”, “pray for those who abuse and persecute us” (Matt 5:44).
How powerful would our witness be if we manifested this transformational love?! Honestly, it’s what we are called to. “As I have loved you,” Jesus said. I feel very closely and gloriously called into that love.
This has little to do with human-based love and everything to do with our transformation into “the new creation”. Human emotional love is possible without God being obviously in the picture. We all know that even the tyrants of history, who lived in venomous hatred, still “loved” nieces and nephews and “family”. Anyone can love those who love them. We were all born with that capacity. It’s perfectly understandable, then, that God calls us to do what is not naturally possible. Because we are in Christ. We are rooted and grounded in love. Truly, it’s the soil that we are planted in and the life-giving roots that convey to us and through us HIS LOVE. And that love is STRONG.
Here is the challenge: why are we not loving the unlovely? Why can we not love those who have made us their enemy? Why can’t we do good to those who do evil against us? Why can’t we bless those who curse us? If we are truly born of God, why do we find revenge, anger, hatred or repulsive attitudes in our hearts? Is it acceptable? NO. Never.
I challenge myself before I challenge you: Have I allowed my dislike for filthy language to cause me to dislike the person who speaks it? Has my love for justice caused me to despise the person who is unjust, or persecutive? Has my sense of right and wrong set me up as the judge of those who are clearly wrong? Something is strong enough to break these earthly failings. Allow HIS LOVE to wash away every stain of that world which once held us. Repent of heart attitudes which belong in the (forgiven) ‘BC’ days of our lives. We must cease from setting ourselves up as judges and take the place of those who carry redemptive love.
STRONG LOVE. Go and do it. People are honestly not expecting to be loved these days, but His love through us is probably the shock that they need more than ever. I spoke simple love to a retail employee recently after they had been unfairly treated by a shopper. In her surprise at being treated kindly and lovingly, she said “I didn’t know that people like you still exist!!” I was happy to tell her that Jesus loves her much better than I do!!