Yes, you can develop love

(Pixabay image)


God’s plan involves love. Notice what Jesus said:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

Now that we see some of God’s attributes, such as He is good, is a planner, and is love: this should help us better understand Him and His basic motivations as to why He made anything.

You are important. You matter! God loves YOU personally. And does have a plan for you personally.

Do not think that your tests and trials happen because God does not love you:

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11-12)

5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:5-11)

Yes, sometimes we have to long endure various matters to better develop love. The Apostle Peter wrote:

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8)

Patience is a sign of love (1 Corinthians 13:4, BLB). While you may be enduring many trials, consider:

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. … 7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; 9 … those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:4,7,9)

Yes, there is a reward for patient love.

And that should also be considered not just towards God, but of others.

It is not just God who you are to love. Notice some of what Mark recorded:

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:28-34)

How do you love your neighbor? The old Worldwide Church of God published the following:

The godly perspective is that we must want the best for our neighbor as well as for ourselves. The best for our neighbor is that he or she also become a member of the Family of God.

With this perspective, we are going to be determined not to hurt or harm our neighbor. We will not be in competition with him or her. Jesus Christ, who gave God’s commandments to physical Israel, magnified these spiritual laws in the New Testament.

Take, for example, the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13), and think of how it applies to loving your neighbor. As magnified by Christ, the commandment to not kill means that we must not hate, detest or compete with our neighbor (Matt. 5:21-24). It means that we should express love toward our neighbor in every way in everything we do. We must always keep in mind our neighbor’s potential in God’s plan. The Ten Commandments continue, “Thou shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14). Spiritually neither are we to even lust after our neighbor (Matt. 5:27-28). Consider: Can we break God’s commandment concerning adultery with our neighbor, when God is preparing that neighbor, just like us, for His Family? The other commandments follow (Ex. 20:15-17).

All of these commandments, magnified by Christ Himself, reveal how we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Keeping the commandments hinges on remembering that membership in the God Family is intended for every human being. And every human being is our neighbor.

Our neighbor’s needs

Our neighbor has the same desires and needs that we have. Do we get hungry? So does our neighbor.

How many people do you know who cannot provide essential food for their families? The distress may be caused by unemployment, sickness or some other problem.

If we have food, we must learn to share with those in need. This is loving our neighbor. The same applies to other basic needs such as shelter and clothing. We must learn to share the blessings God gives us. What are other ways in which we can manifest true Christian love toward our neighbor?

Are you ever aware of someone in pain or agony? Do you know someone who is suffering from a sickness or disease? Do you know anyone who has suffered an injury in an accident? Their physical needs may already be taken care of. But what about their spiritual needs? God expects us to care, to give comfort and solace.

When we comfort others we express God’s love.

We all need the love of others expressed to us, and we must express that same love toward others. When our neighbor is honored by being appointed to some office or rewarded for some accomplishment, we are to be honored as well (I Cor. 12:26).

What a contrast to the comment by the executive referred to earlier, who stated that his neighbors are competitors who want him to fail. Trials and tests are common in all our lives. We have trials, and so does our neighbor. While Christ was undergoing the trial of His life, He was praying for Peter, a key disciple whom Satan wanted to destroy. And yet Christ Himself was about to be sacrificed. What a selfless love!

Christ instructed Peter, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32). This is the type of love we must manifest toward our neighbor. The same as loving God God actually puts Himself in the place of our neighbor. Whatever we do to our neighbor, we are actually doing to God (Matt. 25:31-46).

Do we always consider, as we deal with another human being, that we are doing to God whatever we do to that person? This knowledge should have powerful impact when we consider our relationship with our neighbor! In addition, God says: “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? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (I John 4:20-21).

Our neighbors — each and everyone of them — are made in God’s likeness and are to become God (Ps. 82:6).

Do we begin to see the importance God places on relationships between human beings made in His likeness? Every human being is a potential member of the God Family, and we must not do anything to deter our neighbor from fulfilling God’s purpose in his life. This must be the underlying premise upon which we base our every thought and deed toward our neighbor. Christ taught, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).

The apostle John wrote, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (I John 3:14). If we can do this, we are perceiving our neighbor from God’s point of view. This, then, is loving our neighbor as ourself. (LaRavia EE. ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ – Just What Does That Mean? Good News, July 1982)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

4 Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious, it is not boastful, it is not puffed up. 5 It does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek the things of its own, it is not easily provoked, it keeps no account of wrongs. 6 It does not delight at unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails …

13 But now these three things abide: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13, Berean Literal Bible)

The Apostle John wrote:

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: 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 casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:7-21)

The importance of love is confirmed by many in the New Testament. Notice the following statement from the Apostle Paul:

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Love is the greatest attribute.

To assist you in developing love, the Continuing Church of God put together the following sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:


The Bible says God is love. The Bible says the Father sent Jesus to die because of love. If God’s plan is all about love, how can you develop it? Is God’s character one of love? What about the tests and trials we go through–are they proof that God does or does not love us? What about loving God? What about loving your neighbor? Does loving one’s neighbor involve both the physical and the spiritual? Does God love everyone enough to offer salvation to all, either in this age or the age to come? What are some of the connections between the Ten Commandments and love? Did Herbert W. Armstrong’s book, The Mystery of the Ages, teach about character and love? Were actual Church of God Christians expected to have their love grow cold in the end times? Will your love wax cold? Was Philadelphia to continue? What does Laodicea mean? What is the love chapter? What about lack of natural affection? How can you develop more love, more compassion? Do prayer, Bible study, and meditation help? Did a disciple with little compassion change and teach a lot about love? Did the Apostle John’s disciple, Polycarp of Smyrna, teach about love? Do you want to know how can you have true love? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: You Can Develop Love.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

God’s Plan: It’s All About Love God is love and true Christianity is founded on love: love of God and others. Here is a link to a related sermon: You Can Develop Love.
The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love This is what CCOG teaches. It is important to remember. A related video is available: Nairobi Conference: All About Love.
What is Sin? How Can You Sin Less? What is sin? What about lawlessness Are their sins of omission? What about confession and penance? A related sermon is also available: Let’s Talk About Sin: What is It? Should You Hate Sin?
Do Christians Sin? This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese:
QKg f/‘͉v„. Here is a link to a version in Spanish: Vencer al pecado. Here is also a link to a video in English titled How YOU Can Overcome Sin.
Overcome Sin’s Deadly Power! How can you overcome the power of sin? Here is a link to a related sermonette video: YOU Can Overcome Sin’s Deadly Power!
How to Prevent Sin This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong. Here is a version in Mandarin:
Y‚OUN r¯j
The Two Trees: Only Two Ways of Life This is from a two-part radio broadcast from Herbert W. Armstrong. Here is a video on: Cause and Effect: Two Trees, Two Ways.
Real Conversion Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion?
False Conversion! Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote an article on this important subject–but more scriptures have been added to it. How can you tell false conversion? A related video is also available: False Conversion. A Spanish language version is also available: Falsa Conversión.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon: The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.

Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how they develop love, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

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