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+TIPS :::: LOVE, the distinguishing mark of a true believer

This is a post from our new Admin, Miss Yubbie Akpan. She Shares some bits of love here. Do well to read and enjoy... [ Philip Asuquo, Chief Admin.]

 LOVE. It’s everywhere. Turn on the radio, open a book, go to a movie, listen to teenage conversations- it’s there. Though our lives are saturated with love, most of us don’t really get it. 

 Frankly I didn’t until I got to know Jesus Christ and have an actual working relationship with God. Our human nature is naturally unlovable but if you know God, you will love Him, obey His commands and love others like Jesus loved you.  

Love is the distinguishing mark of a true believer-and also of God himself. In fact, God is love. (1 John 4:16) 

Throughout history, God has been proving His love. Because of it, he brought His people out of slavery (Deut. 4:37), sent Jesus (John 3:16), and calls us His children(1 John 3:1). When Jesus was asked to pinpoint the greatest commandment, he replied that it is to love God and others. So love is totally vital to believers; if we claim to love God, we must love each other. When we begin to grasp the radical love God has shown us, especially through the sacrifice of Jesus, that same kind of love will naturally flow from our own hearts-unconditionally, sacrificially and unashamedly.

Let me give you a short illustration of love in action. Imagine you’re eating lunch with your friends after church. While you eat, you discuss how much you enjoyed that morning’s sermon on Jesus gift of salvation. You’re really into the conversation, so you totally forget to eat most of your food. Before you leave, you ask for a "take-away pack". Outside the restaurant, you notice a poor beggar child holding a sign that says,
"WILL WORK FOR FOOD." That’s so sad, you think, as you trot away with the pack of food in your hands. I hope someone gives him some work so he can eat. 

Hello? What was the sermon about again? It was about God noticing that we had a need-that we were desperate to be cleansed from our sins so we could have a relationship with Him. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to meet that need. Jesus sacrificed His own life for us-the ultimate illustration of love. The Bible says that we should love others the same way that Jesus loved us, being willing to sacrifice to meet a need. 

Talking about God’s love without helping others is not enough to prove we know what love is; we have to take action. We are surrounded by unmet needs everyday: a poor neighbour is hungry, a hardworking teenager is homeless, a widow is lonely, you are rich enough to pay her child’s school fees, that harsh boss of yours is feeling empty inside, the young lady who cleans the church without being asked to has outstanding rent. Are you too busy to spend time with your old parents? 

When was the last time you paid a simple visit to your pastor just to say, "Hello"? Have you visited that sick classmate? Have you spent ample time with your growing kids lately? Or have you been the one spreading false rumours about your colleague? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be aware of these needs- and to show you how to love others the same radical way Jesus loves you. 

"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7(NIV)

"Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." 1 John 3: 18(NIV)

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