Growing the Atmosphere of Love in the Family – by O. Onuzo

The holiday season is always an opportunity to bond within the family unit.  We would have to look up to God to understand what love is for it is through this understanding and the obedience we follow through with that an atmosphere for healthy family life is created. The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. It helps us understand where we are and it shows us where we are supposed to be going from there.

Here is what it says about love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT) 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

One of the greatest challenges in life is human relationship. The key to getting it right is to concentrate on ourselves and the sort of person we ought to be. When we strive daily to become like Jesus, we are amazed at what God would do with it in our world. There are some who concentrate on telling others who they should be and what they ought to be doing while neglecting to speak to themselves. If we are able to concentrate on ourselves and aim at being the best Christ-like person we can ever be in this world, we would be surprised to see how God is turning what we are doing into gold in the lives of others particularly our immediate family.

The true Christian is the man or woman who is very conscious of the fact that God is depending on him or her to show forth the life of Christ beginning at home. Let us listen to Romans 8:29-30 (NRSV) 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

The atmosphere of love will pervade a home when each member of the Christian family is committed to being like Jesus. This triggers the power that binds their hearts in love and showers them with wonderful blessings from God. The result is the manifestation of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit by each one. Someone has said that love is behind every of the virtues of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness (generosity), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness) and self-control. We use these virtues to express love under different circumstances. The Bible says that a life that neither reveals nor expresses love is a complete waste – a total tragedy.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT) 1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Let us remember that goodness and kindness are fraternizing virtues for they are the language of love expressed practically to enrich the lives of others. We use them to create an atmosphere of love in the family. When we are good and kind to those around us, we demonstrate our love in a way they could understand, appreciate and respond to.

Humility or gentleness, which is also translated meekness, is the virtue that enables us to show love at our expense rather than at the expense of others.  Life is about sowing and reaping. Goodness and kindness when revealed with humility enable us to sow love into the lives of members of our family, which yields bountiful harvests in due course. An atmosphere of love is electrifying; it empowers success in all dimensions. Why don’t you focus on showing love to your family today and see what the Lord will do with your seed. Amen.

Dr. Onuzo is an acknowledged conference and seminar speaker in different parts of the world. He continues to be available for the work of the ministry despite his busy clinical work. He is also the Associate Pastor of the National Headquarter’s Church of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria. He is married to Mariam, a medical doctor and they have four children: Dilichi, Chinaza, Dinachi and Chibundu

Okey Onuzo

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Recession proof Love – Remembering 911

In the times of abundant iniquity, the love of many – Jesus Christ said would grow cold. In the bid to survive, as fires of fears spread on media networks for fiendish gain …as increased competitiveness for scarce resources and harsh economic climate persists – many must find themselves vulnerable to a hardening that always comes surreptitiously to the unguarded.

Matthew 24[12] And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

I ask myself – how can I make the love of God in my life that manifests in practical acts of charity for others especially those I perceive as unlovable … recession proof? I also ask myself some questions…

  1. Would I still love God if suddenly sent to the back of a lonesome desert? Or suddenly denied of a much desired breakthrough? How warm would my love be if suddenly exposed to very different cultures and peoples?
  2. When faced with opposition and strong resistance that cause me to buckle – can I still be thankful? Am I happier when I have my way and miserable and fretful when I can not?
  3. Do I (in subtle ways) take credit for the good things God is doing – forgetting to thank Him? Do I despise His chastening not thanking Him for the things I do not understand or like?

What separates children of God in the Bible, with recession proof love for God and His creation, from the others who struggle?

I discern three principal things worth noting …

  1. They trusted completely in the work of God in their life and others and in all the events impacting them…knowing that all things must work out for their good as they obeyed Him.
  2. They relied more on spiritual weapons – principally prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit, leaning always on the mercy of God.
  3. They never saw themselves in any way disadvantaged or at a loss – when events appeared contrary to their expectations – knowing God has limitless avenues to work out and fulfil destiny.

I recall a scene in a Christian film I watched of a blind man offered his eyesight but only if he accepted to serve the devil and bear his mark forever… He received sight for a few minutes and was asked to make a decision…would he rather remain blind and be saved?

If riches, enlightenment and great influence would cost me my salvation would I agree to let these go? Would I turn my back to Jesus If I risked losing all the comforts, social safety nets and wealth as a result of obeying Him completely…

Luke 18[23] And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. [24] And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Jesus – the best preacher ever – the living word … could not convince this rich man. How come we have so easily convinced Him? Perhaps we have presented to him a more practical perspective.

As we remember 911…and the painful lingering memories… let us also remember what the Bible says about love…

I John 4[16] And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. [17] Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. [18] There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. [19] We love him, because he first loved us. [20] If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? [21] And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

I John 3 [10] In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

The real plan of September 11 to defeat a nation may have worked far more effectively than many would think if it has lured many out of dwelling in love…even love for the unlovable.

Lord, help me that in these unusual times my love may be found recession proof…never waxing cold.

Amen

(Originally published in the ChristianPost)

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