God’s love in us is a gift, but it must be developed before it will help us deal with the pressures we face in every day life. God’s love doesn’t increase in us by merely trying harder or holding our negative feelings inside. Instead, love grows as a result of entering His presence.
The key to developing the God-kind of love is learning to shift from living under the rule of our emotions and reactions to living from the inner man where love dwells.
As believers, we are no longer free to respond to people based on our feelings or emotions. Instead, we must choose to act according to the new law of God that has been born anew within our hearts — a law James 2:8 calls the royal law of love.
Love must be put on in the same way we dress ourselves at the beginning of the day. Before we meet the day, we must choose to put on love — God’s love within — draped over us from the inside out. It will greet everyone we meet, and it will speak with greater impact than words alone.
Notice what Colossians says about putting on love:
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all of these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:12 -14 NKJV).
The term “the bond of perfection” means that love ties us to maturity. Only to the degree that we choose to practice the God-kind of love in our lives will we grow in all aspects of Christian living.
Without this God-kind of love gaining prominence, we will find that our effectiveness and strength are not what they should be. Again First Corinthians 13, the love chapter, reveals just how shallow spiritual activity really is without God’s love as the foundation:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (verses 1-3 NKJV).
Notice that prayer will not be effective if our love lives are amiss. What about prophecy, teaching, or exercising faith? None of these are of any value if love is not our motive for living. If it is without love, even giving money or deep personal sacrifice will not bring any increase as it should.
Let’s make a fresh commitment to make the God-kind of love our aim.