IT HAPPENED TO ME 24
[A message by PASTOR IDOWU ILUYOMADE at Digging for Gold Service on Tuesday, October 24, 2017]
PSALM 91:8 - “Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.”
- An old man of almost 90 years marrying a young beautiful wife in her 40’s.
- A young man in his 20s marrying an expatriate, almost 45 years older.
- On 14 April 1990, Fabien Pretou who stands at 6 ft. 2 tall married Natalie Lucius who measures just 3 ft. 1, with a huge height difference of 94.5 cm in height. They were recognized as Guinness World Records title holders for having the greatest height differential in a married couple. They are happy together. The couple's home is all adapted for Natalie’s stature, and they have a child together.
Looking at these stories, you might opine that the first and second case studies portray situations of logical and calculating love, while the third one appears to be true love, but is it possible that the three couples truly love themselves, and have happy marriages? There might be divergent views based on various experiences of life. However, a closer look at the case studies throw up the fundamentals of God’s Love for mankind, termed Agape love.
Characteristics of Agape Love
· Agape Love is Unconditional – the God-kind of love. God’s love is unconditional; it doesn’t depend on what He can get from you. God's love is the kind of love that loves you the way you are – short, tall, beautiful, ugly, old, young, etc. Once there is a reason to love, the love ceases to be unconditional, and once the love is conditional there is an expectation to live up to that condition. When you fail to live up to the condition, there is disappointment which can lead to a break-up in the relationship or marriage. Many people have rejected their potential spouses because they are looking for a reason to love. There is no reason for God to love us, we had no credentials, we were born into sin, horrible, badly behaved and caused Jesus Christ pain, yet He loved us with an everlasting love even when we could not live up expectation. Indeed, John 13:1 says Jesus loved His own till the very end. When He was crucified at Calvary, in His pain and suffering, He still prayed for us saying: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” There is nothing we could have done to have earned God’s love.
Agape love is God’s kind of Love - loving even when desire fails. Zachariah and Elizabeth had no children but their love stood firm and they loved each other without conditions. God's love is loving you without being motivated by any reciprocal treatment. Agape love is selfless, expressed in giving one's self to the good of others (John 3:16).
· Agape Love is a Decision - it has nothing to do with emotions or feelings. God first chose to love us (1 John 4:19).
· Agape Love is Universal - The Bible says for God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son….. It is accommodating.
· Agape Love is Sacrificial - God’s love for us is sacrificial. When we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, John 15:13).
Finally, how do you want to experience the love of God if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Saviour? God has a special kind of love for His children. When Jesus was leaving the earth in John 17:9, He prayed specifically for those God had given Him and those that would believe on Him through their testimonies. If you want the best of God, you need to enter into a relationship with Him so that He will reveal Himself to you, and you will experience true love. If you are willing to repent and surrender your life to Jesus Christ, then pray this prayer right now: LORD Jesus, I come to You right now. I know I am a sinner, please forgive me my sins. With my mouth, I confess that from right now, Jesus, I accept You as the LORD of my life. Please change my heart from a disobedient heart to an obedient heart. I believe that it is because of me You came into this world. You died for my sins, You took away my sins, take away my problems also. Please write my name in the Book of Life, and make me brand new in Jesus Mighty Name.
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