Recently, the scripture verses in Matthew 24 v 12-13 seemed to jump out at me from the pages of my bible. The Holy Spirit was evidently peeling back another layer of truth and allowing me a glimpse of its deeper significance. It states;
‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the LOVE of most will grow cold, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved.’
The context of Matthew 24 speaks of the signs of the end times, which I believe we are entering. After reading the verse, I sat deep in thought. I thought about life. I thought about society and the ills people face on a daily basis. I thought about my own needs and the intensity of the needs and brokenness of people around me. Then I thought about love.
As followers of Jesus, how can we keep our love from growing cold? By remaining rooted and grounded in love. Staying rooted despite the bad news reports every evening, the rampant selfishness and evil within society, the failures and disappointments in our own lives. This will indeed take effort and determination to live out on a daily basis.
This is about choices really…
Choosing to immerse ourselves in what the bible says about God’s kind of love and how He views us.
Choosing to meditate regularly on the grace, love and mercy of God.
Taking every opportunity to counteract culture and show love to ourselves and others.
When it’s convenient, but especially when it’s not.
The whole chapter of Matthew 24 and in particular v 12-13 highlight the importance and centrality of love if we as believers are to survive in this day and age. The centrality of walking in, knowing, showing and living in the revealed love of the Father is a practical foundation that will keep us strong to the ‘end’. It is also what will make us stand out in the crowd, at work, at church and in ministry to others.
The darker society becomes… the brighter our words and actions have the potential to be.
1 Corinthians 13 beautifully describes the outworking of love;
- Not envying
- Not boasting
- Not proud
- Not dishonouring others
- Not self-seeking
- Not easily angered
- Keeping no record of wrongs
- Delighting in truth, not in evil
1 John 4 v 8 clearly states that God is LOVE. If we aim to dwell in and demonstrate love then we are dwelling in GOD and demonstrating GOD to others.
One of my prayers for 2013 is that I would have an increased sense of the Lord’s presence in my life. By default then, I am really praying that I would have an increased sense of love in my life. Sensing this love should hopefully have an impact on how I perceive the world and others, influencing my words, actions and decisions. Ultimately, helping me to stand firm to the end and be saved.
‘When you love you should not say,
“God is in my heart”,
But rather, “I am in the heart of God”. – Kahlil Gibran