Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God; therefore, the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.1John 3:1
I am remembering back to the late 70’s when this song was sung in church with joy in our hearts for what God’s Love has done,” that we should be called the children of God.” The meaning of Agape love was beginning to spread throughout cities in Washington State in the 70’s. Agape love, a Greek term for sacrificial, unconditional love that God’s Son would go to the cross for humanity. Those who believed, received His Love within their hearts and shared that love to others. It is more than just an emotional experience. It was a movement among the younger generation that witnessed a change within their heart that God was real. They wanted more of God and worship was the key to sensing His presence among us. There was a thirst for more of God in our lives. I have very fond memories of this time because I witnessed a change in my heart and seen the evidence of my friends changing and having that” joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Some of us young people went to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Seattle and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit after Reverend Dennis Bennett laid His hands upon our heads in prayer. We did not fully understand what was happening at that time, but we knew the love of God to be real and that love was making a difference in our personal lives.
It was a genuine experience knowing that we are now children of God. It did not matter how old a person was, all inhibition were lost in believing in the name of God’s Son and His love for us. We were forgiven and cleansed. We no longer had condemnation within our heart. We had confidence instead in knowing that God would answer our prayers because God had given us a new position of sitting together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus [see Ephesians 2:6]. Through the Holy Spirit God was moving through denominational lines and people were getting saved. It was a work of the grace of God, for many could not change themselves, but when the Spirit of God got a hold of you something happened. It was truly the gift of God as the Apostle Paul stated in Ephesians 2:8. It was a revelation that being a Christian could be more then just a work in progress of trying to change yourself. We needed God’s gift and anointing, and the Apostle John talked about it as an “unction from the Holy One” that we know who Jesus the Christ is [the Messiah, the anointed one. . .see 1 John 2:20-22].
“God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in Him” exclaims John in 1 John4:16. We have His love living inside us, for perfect love drives out fear [see 1 John4:18]. If we are afraid, then we are not perfected in His love. If we are not perfected in His love, then a breach has occurred. Something has broken the fellowship we had with God. If we no longer have confidence that God will hear our prayers, we stand alone. Our assurance is in the Love of God; therefore, we repent and ask God to cleanse our heart and renew us to that position we had in Christ. We ask God to change our heart if we have hatred, bitterness, and envy residing in our heart instead of love for our brother. We must surrender our self to the Love of God, for the love of God helps us to keep his commandments and it should not be burdensome [see 1John 5:3]. If there is a yoke of burden, then we are not under the love of God. We have placed ourselves under a different system that is not of the love of God. In the world the cosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure are the characteristic of a person seeking self-gratification rather than loving a brother or sister. Have we lost our first love from God? Is a question we all must answer. The world does not know love because it does not know Jesus. Let us pray for God’s love to continuously rule our hearts every day. May His Love not be a burden, but rather a gift to all who would receive and believe. Pray and receive His Love today into your heart.