The Greatest of All Is Love

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People say that love is the most beautiful thing in the world and there is nothing stronger than love. Considering the Biblical teachings and the nature of things, nothing is impossible for love.

We know this theoretically. However, sometimes we fail to practice love because of our clumsy expression. Let us put love into practice wholeheartedly as the children of heaven in obedience to the new command of God, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

The age when love grows cold

God foretold that many people’s love would grow cold and they would become selfish rather than considerate of others in the last days. However, God really wants us to practice sincere love for others by having consideration for them and rejoicing in their success.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Ti 3:1–5

The world becomes more and more loveless and unkind. Through mass media we hear of immoral events every day. Seeing them, we come to realize that people’s wicked natures described in 2 Timothy 3 are being repeatedly revealed in our times.

People in the world are becoming so wicked just as the Bible prophesied concerning the end times. We live in the world filled with lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure and lovers of luxury. This reflects the absence of love. God never wants us to be like such people. He says to us, “Have nothing to do with them.”

Love is the only medicine to cure the serious spiritual ills of this age. So God accentuated love, telling us the way we are to walk as Christians.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Co 13:13

Farmers who overcame force with love

In ancient China, there were Qin dynasty and Qi dynasty. The Qin dynasty, whose first emperor achieved the unification of China, was more powerful than the Qi dynasty.

In those days, farmers of the Qi dynasty cultivated melons and the neighboring farmers of the Qin dynasty also raised them. Every year the melons cultivated by the farmers of the Qi dynasty grew well; they were excellent in shape and taste. But the melons of the Qin dynasty’s farmers were not, and the state of Qin with strong power attacked the farmers of the Qi dynasty and trampled down their melon fields.

The same thing happened every year, and the farmers of Qi gathered together to discuss the problem. After repeated discussions, they decided to look after the fields of the Qin’s farmers to be able to produce good melons. Actually they wanted to retaliate against their enemies who afflicted them every year. However, they laid aside their hatred and enmity against them and chose the way of love.

The next year, the Qi’s farmers came into the fields of the Qin’s farmers secretly at night, and cared for their fields more wholeheartedly than for their own fields. At last the best melons grew in clusters in the fields of Qin. The Qin’s farmers saw what happened in their fields and they changed their mind. From that time onward, the Qi’s melon fields were not trampled by the Qin dynasty, and the Qi’s farmers could harvest their fruits abundantly as before.

This short story tells us that love is stronger than force. If the Qi’s farmers had hated their enemies because of what they had done to them and cared for their own fields, their enemies would have attacked them again and destroyed all their yearly crops.

Jesus said, “If some strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” This seems a foolish and incorrect behavior. However, we can confirm that love is the best way to captivate the enemies’ minds and make a submission on them.

Love brings forth abundant spiritual fruits

In the process of living a life of faith, sometimes we may enter into friendly competition with each other. While some bear much fruit, others may not. And the ones who bear no fruit may feel offended and speak bluntly, and their ungracious speech may cause an unfavorable effect.

“Let us help the members who belong to the second group.” “How about helping those belonging to the third group?” “Let us unite our efforts and help them to bear much fruit, not just resting content with our own group’s fruitfulness.” When all the spiritual harvesters gather together in one accord, how greatly God will be pleased!

Since the wisdom of the Qi dynasty’s farmers came from love, it moved the opponents and brought a favorable result to both sides. Now, let’s look around and care for our neighbors’ fields and crops and pray for them rather than stick to our own. When we are thus united in mind, God will bless us more abundantly.

We know well that love is the greatest thing. However, we should learn how to express love and practice it continually. As we are to train ourselves to be godly, so we should train ourselves to be perfect in love. The words of the Bible are not written just to be read; we should also put them into practice in our lives.

God has said that we must have faith and hope but without love they are meaningless. Faith and hope can survive when they are accompanied by love.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels . . . If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge . . . If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres . . . And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Co 13:1–13

Love is patient, love is kind, which is consideration for others.

Love does not envy. If anyone has an inferiority complex to others because they are superior to him and have better things than he has, he is a foolish man who cannot practice love. Though having nothing, we need not envy those who have more. In God’s providence, some have received much and some little. Though inferior to others, we do not envy them, and though superior to others, we do not boast about it; for love does not envy or boast. Everything we have comes from God. We must be thankful for being used by God according to the strength we have, whether great or little.

Love is not proud and rude. It is considerate and courteous of others. And love is not self-seeking and easily angered.

Nobody likes an angry person. If we do not want others to get angry with us, we should not be angry with them, either. If we have a somewhat violent temper, we should try to gradually reduce the times when we are likely to get angry—ten times, eight, five . . . When we try to love our brothers according to God’s word, our Father and Mother will be pleased and help us to do what is impossible for us.

Though our brothers and sisters offend or trouble us, we should treat them with love like the wise farmers of the Qi dynasty. Then we will overcome all difficulties. Everyone surrenders to love after all, for God Himself is love.

God is love

Mother always teaches us about love for one another. It is love that we need most in this age. Nevertheless, we may fail to practice love and get ourselves into trouble and give pain to others in division and opposition, so that we cannot become the light of the world. We should always look at ourselves.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and know God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love . . . This is love: not that we love God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another . . . Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him . . . If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 Jn 4:7–21

Since God showed His love for us by suffering in our stead on the cross, we ought to love one another.

Sometimes we may find it hard to understand others’ feelings or habits different from ours and fail to experience a sense of unity with them. Considering all the teachings of the Bible, however, we can understand that God wants us to practice love by showing consideration for others and seeking their good rather than our own.

Mother has said that the Bible is a behavior guide for the heavenly princes and princesses. In a historical drama depicting Korean dynastic life, we see royal princes and princesses have their own private tutors and learn the royal law and manners, different from the common people’s children. Actually the manners and rules of the royal court were different from those of the common people; refined language was to be used within the palace.

So we, who are taught by God, should use kind words and show consideration for others. This is the basis of the children of the heavenly royal family, isn’t it?

Gracious speech and behavior should be practiced among members of each family and all members of the Church of God nationwide and worldwide. Let us put into practice the words of love, which God has especially wrote in the guide book for the heavenly princes and princesses. Love belongs to God. Hateful mind, offending each other, and arrogant attitude toward others—these belong to the world. We must take them away, since we are the ones taught by God.

Though the world becomes wicked and its love grows cold, we must not be affected by such evil influences. We ought not to follow the ways of the world but constantly practice God’s love, caring for one another in brotherly love, just as God has taught us.

Love is the fulfillment of the law

Mother says that most people look at the speck of sawdust in others’ eyes but do not see the plank in their own eyes, and that we must pay attention to the plank in our own eyes first. Keeping the word in our heart, we need to ask ourselves if we have perfect love toward God and one another.

Nobody is perfect until he is completely changed to resemble Christ. Looking at ourselves, we should have tolerance toward our brothers and sisters with love. Christ has taught us to forgive our brother even if he sins against us up to seventy-seven times, unless he rejects the truth or misuses God’s name or distorts the true teachings so that he may lead souls to destruction.

As the farmers of the Qi dynasty beat the Qin’s spears and swords with the power of love, so the members of Zion will gain the spiritual victory by practicing the love God Himself has taught and showed us. We love our family members in the home; we love our brothers as ourselves in the Church; and we love our neighbors and all mankind. When the scent of love spreads throughout the world, all the authorities of the darkness will bow down.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed . . . Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immortality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Ro 13:8–14

Love fulfills all the provisions of the law. So there is no way to do God’s will without love.

Let’s start right now! Let us pay attention to our members of Zion! ‘Today, for whom shall I pray?’ ‘For which group shall I pray?’ When we thus take our brothers’ matters as our own, our Father and Mother will be well pleased to give us the grace of the Holy Spirit more abundantly, so that all of us may bear fruits of love.

According to Biblical teaching, it is with love that we should arm ourselves. Let us fill our heart with love; and with the power of love let us repel evil spirits and proclaim the good news of salvation to the world, as the children of light. I earnestly hope the scent of love will fill Zion throughout the world and the love of Zion’s members will change the world.