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Thursday, May 05 2022

Contributor: Esther Alajiki

INTRODUCTION
In today’s study, we will be studying about the fourth way we can function in God’s plan by considering the topic “Walk in Love” If we wish to function in God’s plan, we must walk in love. The word “walk” in the Greek language, peripateite, is defined as to go, walk about, or be occupied with. In Hebrew, it means to live. In other words, to walk in love is to live in love. We are exhorted as Christians to be motivated by, and focused on love. To have a Biblical mind set, focused on obeying God by following the example of Christ, willingly giving ourselves daily to Him and obeying His Words, it also entails growing in intimacy with God and getting to know His heartbeat.

Scriptures
1 Cor. 12:3 But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love]. AMP
2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in accordance with His commandments and are guided continually by His precepts. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should [always] walk in love. AMP

Mandate: Imitate God by Walking in Love (Ephesians 5: 1-2).
Be imitators of God - We are commanded to imitate God, to be like Him. This is the only place in the NT where Paul uses the language of imitating God by walking in love - walking is the metaphor for living.
To walk in love is to tell the truth, control your anger, work to share with others, speak edifying words, put away all forms of relationship destroying attitudes and actions, practice kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, let your actions provoke others onto love and to good works (Hebrews 10:24)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. (1 John 4: 11-12). To live a life of love to others is to imitate God. It is our mandate.

Motive: Walk in Love because You Are Loved by God as His Child (Ephesians 5: 1)
As dearly loved children. We are to walk in love because we have been loved. Eph. 1:4-5 tells us in love God predestined us to adoption into His family. Romans 5:5 tells us that the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Spirit. When John reflected on this idea of our being loved by God and made His children, he said, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us that we would be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1). By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
Since we are dearly loved children, recipients of the love of God, we must also walk in love. There must be a family resemblance. We are to look like our Father in the sense that we ought to be able to say “any resemblance to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is
purely intentional. We are motivated to walk in love be remembering that we are loved by God and His love is poured out in our hearts.

Model: Walk in Love as Christ Sacrificially Loved You (Ephesians 5: 2).
Christ is our model for love. To imitate Christ is to imitate God for Christ is the ultimate revelation of God. He is God in human flesh. We are to model our lives after the love He has already displayed. The love that is selfless and sacrificial. He gave Himself up. His will His desires and ambitions for helpless, godless, wicked, and hostile sinners (see Rom. 5).
It is selfless and sacrificial love for the unlovable. Loving the way Christ loves places us in a position of vulnerability. It is costly and often painful to love the way Jesus loves. We must be willing to make sacrifices. We must be willing to risk the pain of loving those who will not return our love.

C.S. Lewis describes it in this way.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping your heart intact you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket of your selfishness. And in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will not change, it will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable and irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the dangers of love is hell.” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

Love makes you vulnerable, as you must love those who oppose you and will not return your love, forgive those who wrongfully abuse you, have compassion on the weak and powerless, serve others with no thought of being repaid, befriend those who are downtrodden and discouraged, share the good news of life with those who are dying in sin, a call to love is a call to a sacrificial life.
If we are going to cultivate this kind of love, we must keep Christ and His cross before our eyes. He was not coerced. He gave Himself. The depth of His love was sacrificial to the point of making His life an offering on the cross. It was an offering given to God as a substitute for hostile sinners like us. It was a sin-bearing offering. It was an offering that was pleasing to God like a fragrant aroma wafting toward heaven.
If you want to love like Jesus, think often of Jesus’ love and draw deeply on his grace. Remain in the shadow of His cross where you can see the One who did not shield himself from the ravages of sacrifice but freely gave Himself for the sake of others. Don’t only think what would Jesus do daily reflect on what Jesus has done

CONCLUSION
To imitate God is living and loving like Jesus loved. Mankind is born with the tendency to think and act selfishly, but the agape love of God is deposited within your heart when you became born again. Once a believer develops in love, power becomes available, but walking in love is a process that requires sacrifice and intentional growth. But it is by this process that we find we are functioning in God’s plan.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear [and worship] the LORD your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul [your choices, your thoughts, your whole being], 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?”

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God; for God is love. (1 John 4: 7-8)

Love is a verb! It’s main characteristic is action. It propels us to act; and because God is love, when we are propelled by His agape love we remain constantly aligned with and functioning in His plan,

And now abideth faith, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Love is the greatest. So we are to walk in love.

Further reading: 1 John 4, Ephesians 2:1-10, Luke 10:27. Mark 12:30, Matthew 22:37, Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 11:13, Joshua 23:11

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 08:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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