While living in Atlanta, I attended World Changers Church International, pastored by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar. Now, everything Pastor preaches comes out with the fire of God and the full backing of Heaven. But I realized not every sermon finds the same crowd reaction. You see, some sermons focus mainly on God’s promises and how to obtain them. These sermons often inspire furious note taking and loud shouts of “Hallelujah.” Other sermons focus on appropriate Christian behavior and obeying the commands of God. These often inspire a far more subdued crowd reaction. For example, preach a sermon on giving only because you love God, without highlighting the potential harvest, and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.
The irony is that the less exciting sermons contain the keys to receiving the personal manifestation of the more exciting sermons. During my time at World Changers Dr. Dollar preached a multi-week series on love. Now Dr. Dollar has a very mature flock. And I’m sure many of my fellow World Changers saw the importance of this series. Dr. Dollar clearly understood this, even saying that he wanted to be the ambassador of God’s love. Yet love is a topic that easily falls by the wayside. I know enough now to sow seed all the time. I know I need to be praying in tongues and saying my confession. I know to read and meditate God’s Word. And whenever an opportunity to unexpectedly bless someone practically slaps me in the face, I’m smart enough to take it. I know many Christians who also have this practical knowledge. But the practice of living in God’s love, this I find often escaping Christians.
How many times have we heard that faith works by love, yet on Monday morning we are yelling at the kids to get ready, yelling at traffic, and yelling (either inwardly or outwardly) at coworkers. As a body of Christ we have got to change our focus. The time is at hand. I know Joyce Meyer has taught and written now about a “Love Revolution.” God wants to manifest Himself through the church to this world, more than we could ever imagine. But God, who is love, can’t do it through a loveless church.
Remember Jesus saying to the church leaders about how they tithe on mint and cummin, yet they omitted the weightier matters of the law. “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23) Church, in large measure we have left the law of love undone, which is clearly the weightiest matter.
I don’t know a single Christian who doesn’t have a laundry list of wants that they regularly present to God. Now we should always believe God for increase, promotion and a greater witness, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I see countless people not living in the full manifestation of God’s promises. This isn’t God’s fault. I believe our lack of love causes the malfunction of God’s spiritual operation in our lives. If without faith we can’t receive from God, and if faith works by love, then we won’t be receiving much if we have no love. Moreover, something tells me that if I got truly focused on walking in God’s love all the time, the windows of Heaven would open such a blessing deluge on my life that I wouldn’t have room enough to receive it.
Let’s also talk about our witness to the world. We spend so much time preaching on what not to do: don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t see “R” rated movies, don’t touch your premarital relation too much, don’t curse, and so on. And these days we also get all political about things, further driving away many people who need the Church the most. Yes, the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. But the Bible also notes certain other specific things that will draw the world to God: power, prosperity, and love. And the greatest of these is love.
We need to get love focused and love controlled. We need to put on love goggles and see the world with eyes of love. Love should be the chief motivation of our lives. And then, as Dr. Dollar point out, love will be the activator as well. Love the lost, love the world, love the sinners, even our greatest enemies. Love your neighbors, love your friends. Love those around you. Teach love, preach love, witness love. I tell you right now I have been terrible about this. But no more. God showed me my problem and I’m going to fix it. I know a lot of people. And when they see the love of God oozing from me they will come closer and receive. The world will know us by the love we have for another, absolutely and amen. But remember, if at the same time we are hating them we can’t expect them to join us.
Get your love straight. When your love for God and for people lines up with God’s Word, you will see God bless and increase every aspect of your existence. When you are a walking, talking fire breathing love superhuman, God will put a world changing anointing on you. The lost will see and come. Your prayer’s manifestation will come. Your family will come. Even God will come, for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all abide with the person who obeys the commandments to love.