The key to experiencing a turnaround in adverse situations is continuing to maintain the dream of God in our hearts and not allowing anything to destroy it or make it ineffective.
Love is so important. The God-kind of love is the very center of all that God’s kingdom is and does. First John 4:16 says, “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” If we claim to abide in God we must demonstrate the love of God. So, if the love of God is lost or compromised, every other quality of godliness is certain to be corrupted.
It was this dangerous condition in people who have walked with God that Jesus was referring to when He answered His disciples question regarding the signs of the end of time:
“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10 12 NKJV).
The word love here is the word agape, or the God-kind of love. Only those who walk with God have this kind of love in their hearts. Sadly, many will never develop the standard of love that is revealed in God’s Word. Without His love as a priority in life people actually become cold at heart.
No one starts down the path of compromise on purpose. It begins as a gradual and nearly unnoticeable decline. Once it starts, if left unchecked, the momentum can make the spiral down much easier.
How can leaders in the Kingdom of God lead without loving and touching the people they lead? How can God’s family lose sight of His call to love? It happens when they choose to receive only selective things from God’s Word. When we selectively receive from God, we limit His influence in our lives.
The lack of love in the Body of Christ is clearly the sign of the times. The love of many has grown cold. The evidence is everywhere. It’s seen in men and women of God who want to touch God but selfishly neglect touching people. Others value being right more than maintaining right relationships. Sadly, it is possible to do the work of God and not have the love of God in it.
No amount of prayer or giving will balance the scale of a calloused love. Only the melting of God’s presence can replace the chill of selective love with His unconditional love.
Jesus unveiled the dangerous condition of the times in a parable found in Matthew 25:1-13. He tells of five wise and five foolish virgins who, while waiting for the bridegroom, needed to keep their lamps burning bright. The five wise had enough oil, but the foolish did not. While the wise waited faithfully for the bridegroom, the foolish left to seek a supply of oil from another place. When the bridegroom arrived, only the wise were there to meet him.
We must allow the oil, which is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to cause our lamps to shine bright. The Holy Spirit is the One Who reveals God’s love to us. We cannot be like the foolish virgins who lacked the anointing, or the fuel, to cause their lamps to shine brightly. Without the love, our lamps remain only a mantelpiece.