Relationships (Part 3)

Posted on July 30, 2021

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Relationships (Part 3)

by Pastor Afolabi Oladele

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. Deuteronomy 6:4-6

 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any questionMark 12:28-34

You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian. For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad.  They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good. They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. Don’t be taken in by people like that. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 TLB

In these perilous times consider our text below:

But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

2 For people will be (i) lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, (ii) lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] (iii) lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 AMPC

We here reveal the trio of Satanic love, the mark or identity of earth dwellers, yet Paul was writing to believers! This is the alarm being sounded today that we each examine ourselves. Your acts or walk tell more who you are than your talk.

While there are some precepts of temperance which we owe to ourselves, yet there are also such as we may be moved to perform from the true love of God and of our neighbor.  Dearly beloved, there is a:

  • Self-love which is corrupt, the root of the greatest sins that must be put off and mortified; but
  • Self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty where we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies as vehicles to properly serve God to fulfill His purpose in us.

We need the Spirit’s discernment to properly define and live within the dividing boundary so that as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves so must we truly love our neighbour and in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others (Proverbs 3:28; Luke 10:25-37). 

For the love of God will make us humble making us be contented with our lot; it will preserve us from all intemperance, impatience, and unholy desires; it will make us watchful over ourselves, that we may keep a good conscience, and solicitous for our eternal welfare. And the love of our neighbour will free us from all angry passions, envy, malice, revenge, and other unkind tempers: so that both taken together will introduce into us the whole mind that was in Christ, and cause us to walk as he walked.

By these two commandments let our hearts be formed as by a mould.

Photo by Cristina Zaragoza on Unsplash

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