By Samuel O. Doku
The word “love” is sometimes thrown around with flippant ease, but it is a word that is deeply rooted in every facet of human endeavor. Indeed, since Satan rebelled against God’s authority and decided to create his own kingdom of demonic forces, whose main aim is to torment and thwart efforts of humans, it is God’s love for his children that has ruthlessly derailed Satan’s attempts to deceive humankind and lure us into his discomforting and torturing company.
In the words of the founder of the Church and Senior Pastor Georges W. Ntemi, in the kingdom of God, there is no middle ground; “You either love God and are for Him, or you love the devil and are for him. It’s that simple.” And God, himself, so much loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life, as proclaimed in John 3: 16.
Jesus Christ, the master thinker, wrapped the entire Ten Commandments around LOVE. For, if you love God, you wouldn’t worship demons parading as gods or worship any graven images. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you wouldn’t murder him, steal his property, covet his wife or anything that belongs to him, and if you love God, you would obey your parents.
So, when Deaconess Sandrine Tankeu chose “Love” as her topic in her teaching on the prayer line of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l this morning, she just walked on grounds that members of the Church are familiar with, but her teaching extended far beyond the sanctified confines of the Church, because people from far and near dial in on daily basis, who are not necessarily members of the Church.
She chose 1 John 4: 7 to inform her message, and after reading it, she noted that the scripture is replete with the word “love” and stated, “Love is mentioned 71 times in that short scripture. Love is the most spoken word in the English language. The music we sing and listen to, regardless of whether it is gospel, spiritual, or secular, is mostly about love.”
In what seemingly looks like a simple, rhetorical question, she asked, “Do we really know what love is? How do you know someone genuinely loves you and how is it shown? Her questions are not simple; they are complicated because of the lust and hypocrisy that sometimes govern our emotions. In response to her own questions, Deaconess Sandrine narrated a short anecdote in which when a woman who has been married for 30 years with six children, was asked to define love, her response simply was ‘love is what you have been through with somebody.’”
If through thick and thin, in good times and in bad times, in happiness and in sadness, in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth, the person who claims to love you is still with you, then you know it is genuine love. More importantly, you can love in that genuine fashion if you have the love of God deeply planted in you.
She asserted, “Love is of God. We love God because he loves us first. You receive love and you give it back. Love is caring, bearing, and sharing with the ones we love. Jesus came to save us because he cared deeply about us. He came to bear our sins and transgressions so that we can share his kingdom with him,” said Deaconess Tankeu.
From spiritual love, the Deaconess shifted to parental love and enjoined parents to love their children unconditionally and that because “children learn to love through their parents,” it becomes incumbent on parents to love their children and “lead by example,” to quote the apostle of God.
Deaconess Sandrine, thereafter, analyzed the components that constitute her definition of genuine love. “God’s love cares, bears, and shares,” she emphasized.
She explained that caring should be selfless. “To genuinely care means you are doing what is best and good for one another, fully caring in sickness, adversity, and praying for others. Caring is about doing the right thing and that means we care about the individual’s spiritual growth and maturity just like God sent Jesus to us because he cares about us so he gave us what is good for us,” said the Deaconess.
On the next component, “bearing,” she noted that there is the need to bear one another’s problems in times of need. “Jesus suffered for our failures, our mistakes, our sins, our shortcomings.” and quoting 1 John 4: 20, she stated, “’Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother and a sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.’”
“The way you bear one another’s burdens determines your love for one another. True love will bear together and suffer together. When you bear the burden with someone for so long, sooner or later, you share the pain.”
In a passionate zeal, she asserted, “Let your love be true love; let your love be comforting; let your love be uplifting; let your love be caring; let your love be sharing, and let your love be appreciating,” Sister Sandrine said in an anaphora.
She concluded her teaching on love with a prudent message: “For our love to be true love, let us love first, care first, bear first, and share first, and we would receive it back.”
Respondent Pastor Jean Paul Ntap, with limited time at his disposal, noted that Sister Sandrine’s message is an important one that should be taken to heart and practiced by everyone because it is the foundation of Christianity. “Lord, help us to love in whatever field or position in which we find ourselves,” said Pastor Ntap.
A beautiful and blessed thing on the prayer line these days is that the apostle of God, Senior Pastor Ntem and the man of God, Pastor Ntap mention individual names on the line and pray for them and their families, conferring the blessings of the Lord on them.. So, dial in and be blessed. The number to dial is 1-302-202-1108 with access code 165038.