Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Mark of God's Presence

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).

Has it ever struck you as more than a little strange that many who claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit live such empty and unspiritual lives? That those who testify they have power over demons, have no power over themselves? And those who claim to personally know the God of Love, are so impersonal and unloving? Strange indeed.

Whatever else may be said to prove that a man or woman is filled with the Spirit of God, this one thing is indisputably certain -- they will be filled with love.

If we hold to this one thing then we will not drift apart in our debates about so many other things, such as speaking in tongues, casting out demons, working mighty miracles -- and what not.

For, though I speak in the tongues of men and angels, and though I have the gift of prophecy, and though I have faith to move mountains -- well, you know how it goes. The bottom line is that without love -- I am nothing.

Love is the mark of God's Presence.

The Bible says plainly, "Now abides faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love." Love is the greatest, and here's why. Faith is a power that ebbs and flows, sometimes it is strong; other times not so much. It has its ups and downs. Hope is a promise that carries us ever onward, until what we are hoping for occurs....or not. Once we have what we were hoping for, then hope is no longer necessary.

Faith is a power, hope is a promise, but Love is a Person -- a Person who never fails. Love is the one thing that certifies the presence of God, for God IS love. Thus do we say that love is a Person.

So if I were to say that I am filled with the Holy Spirit, then the one undeniable evidence of that divine encounter would be that I would be filled with love. I would walk in love, act in love, think in love, and live in love.

Everything about me would bear the mark of God's presence in me -- and that mark, singular and indisputable, is LOVE.


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