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Before you can walk in love on a consistent basis, you must first understand its source. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that God is love. In other words, He is the source, the author, of love. Everything you could ever need or want is in that source-power: prosperity, healing and forgiveness. But it's only by tapping into and staying plugged into that source that God is able to pour these blessings out upon your life.

So how do you tap into the source of love? Through intimate, daily contact with the Father. In other words, you must establish and maintain a relationship with God. And that doesn't mean a one-sided relationship, with God doing all the work. No, you must be willing to take time out of your day to talk with Him and study His Word. A love relationship only works when both parties involved put forth the effort to maintain it. The more time you spend with God, the more His love will flow through you, and the more you become like Him in everything you do.

No More Childish Games
God's love is mature. That means it does not exhibit childish characteristics such as jealousy, envy and selfishness. Look at Paul's conclusion to 1 Corinthians 13:

"But when the complete and perfect comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away - become antiquated, void, and superseded. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside" (1 Cor. 13:10,11 AMP).

When you rebel against God's love, you are rebelling against spiritual maturity. Only a child would hold a grudge or disrespect another person. Children do these things because they're children - they don't know any better; however, adults are without excuse. Examine yourself. If you see any areas of your life in which you are doing the opposite of what Paul describes love to be in 1 Corinthians 13, repent! Make a quality decision to walk in the maturity of God's love. Meditate on His Word, and allow it to transform your life.

Does He Know You?
We must get to know our heavenly Father. It's not enough to come to church once a week or read your Bible every so often. Part-time Christianity does not work. We have been called to a higher level of existence. God desires for us to live with Him forever in heaven. But will He know you when you get to the gate?

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Mat. 7:22,23).

God says He never knew any of these people, although they were able to prophesy, heal and deliver others. I often tell my congregation that there will be a lot of surprises when we get to heaven. Some of the people we thought would be there, won't be. Ironic, isn't it?

God wants a close relationship with you right now. Just as you do with a best friend or a spouse, God wants you to consult Him daily on matters that are important to you. He wants you to value your relationship with Him to the point that He becomes the first and last One you talk to each day.

In Genesis 3:8-11 we find God walking through the Garden of Eden looking for Adam and Eve. You see, God's original plan was designed around having an intimate relationship with us. He was literally present with man in the beginning. And although today you may not see Him in the physical sense, He is always present. He's simply waiting on you to show up.

Relationship Before Ministry
We should not let anything get in the way of our time with God - including ministry. Most of us are busy serving in our local churches and working unto the Lord; however, that is no substitute for a relationship with God. Martha and Mary had very different views about this subject.

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42).

Martha was busy serving guests while Mary, undistracted, sat at Jesus' feet and listened to everything He said. When Martha saw this, she asked Jesus to require that Mary get up and help her. But instead, Jesus gently rebuked her for placing more value on service than on relationship.

What happens when we become distracted and overly occupied by our service to God? We spend less time with Him, which cuts into our supply of His love, power, abundance and wisdom. In other words, our batteries become drained because we begin running or living on our own power instead of His. That's when our flesh (our desires and agendas) get in the way of God's will and purpose for our lives. Before we know it, we're back to square one.

However, by maintaining our relationship with God, we remain plugged in to the ultimate and most reliable source of power. It is at those times that we are able to handle anything that comes our way. I believe that if Martha had joined her sister as she sat at Jesus' feet, wisdom would have directed her to set up a buffet line at which everyone could serve himself!

We must not allow our service to distract us from being with God. Service does not determine how much we love God - our obedience does. Service is just another avenue whereby we can express love for God. Jesus told Martha to stop putting her service before her obedience: "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and you're troubled about many things; there is need of only one thing, and Mary hath chosen that good part..." (vv. 41,42 NKJV). It is only by spending time with God that we can be effective in serving and loving Him. The most anointed men and women in the world talk to God constantly. They sit at His feet and listen to every word.

If you desire to walk in the God kind of love, make a quality decision to maintain your relationship with Him. It's only by dwelling in His presence that you will find everything you need to live a prosperous, happy and successful life. Discover what it means to be a true reflection of His love, and make an eternal mark in the lives of millions.

Source: Lord, Teach Me How To Love by Creflo A. Dollar, Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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