Thursday, March 9, 2017

Author: Bishop Julius Okarike

Verse Of The Day: I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13 : 34.

LISTEN: Jesus Christ has shown us God’s love through His death, and want us to love like Him. It is so sad and disheartening that the spirit of hate has replaced spirit of love in the society today. A lot of people no longer care about the welfare of others. Bitterness and wrath has occupied people’s hearts to the detriment of our existence. That is why most people are following the ways of Cain the son of Adam, whom due to hate and bitterness murdered his own brother, Abel in cold blood. (Genesis 4 : 8 ; 1 John 3 : 12). God created us to love one another, but sin entered and torn us apart. Today, virtually everyone is guilty of this because we do not love others the way God expects us to love them.

Love for one another is Jesus Christ’ commandment to His disciples. This same command to love others is for everyone, and that is the only solution for the crisis and misdeeds we face in the world today. If we love one another, we cannot steal from one another. If we love others we cannot plot their downfall. If we love others we cannot plan to maim or kill them. Besides, if you love others, you cannot hate them because you know that hate will produce other evils. The Bible warns us against hating others, that when we hate others, God sees us as murderers.

When you hate others instead of loving them, God counts you as one who commits the crime of murder; one who commits the crime of deliberately killing a person: one who unlawfully kill a person especially with malice after being premeditated. The Bible says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3 : 15). Friend, do not tell me it is nothing because it is just common malice between you and someone. Beloved, I want you to know that it is dangerous. Jesus Christ our Master is a man of love, and wants His people to love one another.

Before departing this world, He commanded his disciples to love one another. He said, “ I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13 : 34). He gave this command because He knew that one can only coexist with others if there is the heart of love. Absence Of love for others in the society is the reason for all manners of evil that goes on today. A lot of people today, especially our youths seems to be possessed with the spirit of Cain, who hated his brother Abel and cruelly murdered him.

Brethren, how long are we going to live like enemies when we should be friendly to one another? How long are we going to allow malice, hate, grudge, etc., reign in our hearts that God created to be pure? Beloved, do you know that those private malice, the secret grudge, the envy which is cherished in the heart, is murderous in its tendency? And if not for the outward restraints of human laws, and the fear of punishment, it would often lead to the act of murder? That is why By God’s standard, he who hates his brother, though he does not in fact commit murder, is guilty to the same degree as if he had actually done it?

Brethren, let us submit to God in loving one another for His grace is wonderful. In the case of true Christians, the grace not only restrains and checks us, but effectually subdues all evil feelings in our hearts, and implants in their place the principles of love. Beloved, let us cultivate spirit of love as we remember that, whosoever hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. Henceforth, let us strive to bring back the spirit of love and the world will be a better place for everyone.

Having read today’s devotional, what is expected of you?
1. Purge your mind and heart of grudges, and all ill feelings that could defile your spirit.
2. Determine to let go of Offense before it degenerate to a worse situation.
3. Shun hatred for others, for children of God are not permitted to exhibit hate amongst themselves.
4. Always pray for grace and divine ability to show love to others no matter what.

Daily Task: Let us love others genuinely and hate the ways of Cain, who hated his brother Abel and murdered him. For we are created to be our brothers’ keepers not their killers.

Daily Reflection: Who will bring back the lost spirit of love in our families, churches, the society, our nation, etc., if not us? The decision to achieve that will put on us the demand to love others unconditionally.

Daily Prayer: Oh LORD! Today I surrender my feelings to you, do not allow me to hold others guilty in my heart, instead, let me learn to let go of offenses, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Daily Prophetic Declaration: Today, by the power in the name of Jesus Christ, I prophesy over your life, every spirit of hate, malice, envy, wrath, anger, etc., occupying your mind is hereby cast out, in Jesus’ name.