If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20)?
Just who is it that we hate? I have a sister who hates me. Fortunately, the other one loves me amply, but that other one, well, I don’t know what to do about that. I’ve apologized for the things I did to her as a child. She was the kind that could and would cry at the drop of a hat, so I made sure she cried every day. She also claims I saved her life one time, and for that she will be eternally grateful, yet she still keeps her distance.
Do we hate the ones from whom we are estranged? I know there are many that I purposefully avoid. I believe it is okay if we protect ourselves from those who delight in abusing us, but do we protect or are we practicing vengeance? What does God think about this issue?
To Him there is no middle ground, no gray area—it’s right or wrong, light or dark, love or hate. The rule has to be: if you can see someone, you must love that someone. All ugliness has to fall off our hearts, and we must turn to that one with obvious love. It all reverts to our Father. If we hate one of His children, or even one He created but not yet adopted into the family, then we hate Him. Let your love for Him spill over onto every one of His creation. He’ll be grateful for that.
We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
In my book “Destined for Love,” I make the statement that “Love is not a feeling; it’s not even a decision. Love is a person. Jesus.” If He didn’t fill us with love, we would have no love to share. I also say, “You could not be giving the Lord any love at all if He didn’t first give His love to you.” These are two simple facts that we must become accustomed to. We don’t have anything to give unless He first gives it to us. A friend of mine once said, “Love among those who don’t have the Lord is like two Volkswagens rubbing together trying to demonstrate love.”
As a child, I had an invisible friend. He kept pace with me all through my childhood and then I lost him somewhere in my University days. I found Him again when I received my new birth and realized it had been the Holy Spirit with me all along—only just outside of me until I received Jesus as my Lord, and then He moved inside. That’s where He lives now, pouring His love into me, whether I ask for it or not. It’s the stuff I’m made of now, so I might as well be: Love.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5).
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).
The first time I actually experienced, with impact, the love of God for me, I was sitting in the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with thousands and thousands of other people. While everyone else in the auditorium rippled with excitement, I sat quietly in my seat and dialogued with the Lord. I said something to the effect of: “Lord, I am single. I can serve you better this way, but it means I miss out on many things I’d like to have. I’d like the companionship of a man. I’d like to lean my head on his shoulder. I’d like to hold his hand while walking. I’d like being loved by a man. And what about sex?”
I’ve written about His response before this, but every time I visit a previous revelation I’ve had (because I journal them), I find myself deeper into previously unrevealed revelation. This time, please note exactly what the Lord said at the end of my experience. He wasn’t just speaking to me.
He said, “Would you like to experience My love for you?” I said, “Sure,” wondering if that wasn’t what I was already living in. Around me everyone else was on their feet, clapping and singing, and I sat quietly while I felt the Holy Spirit fill my body, slowly, and then it was as if a volcano erupted inside me! And I was hot. I don’t mean warm or excited, I mean boiling hot. I thought the top of my head would blow off and all the fireworks from inside would go shooting out into the auditorium. My soul was vibrating. I expected the row of connected chairs in which I sat to twist right off the floor. Let me be candid here, no climax I have ever experienced, or heard about, could possibly compare. They were, in fact, puny next to this passion I was receiving from the Lord, and there is no sexual innuendo in the word passion.
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
What is this “day of judgment”? To me, that means two things: The Great Day of Judgment which will come after the Great Tribulation. God will be seated on the Great White Throne and judge the people and the nations. Those who have been born again and their sins washed away by the Blood of Jesus, will not have to be judged. All has been cleansed. The others will be judged by their works and precious few will be pardoned.
The other meaning of the words “day of judgment” indicate, to me, that here on earth there come judgments because of our words.
"But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment,” (Matthew 12:36).
The effect of the words we speak comes back to us, just like God’s Word goes back to Him. God’s words are good and true. Ours aren’t always like that. If we curse somebody with our words, that curse will come back on us and we will have what we said. We are therefore judged by the curse we spoke, actually causing punishment in our lives, which is what we hoped it would cause in the other person’s life.
But the more we know Jesus, the more we become like Him, the less likely a curse will ever leave our mouths. As He is good and true, we are like Him in the world, good and true!