1 Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
In the book of Psalms, David asks how to stay in God’s presence and dwell in His holy hill (Psalm 15:1). The answer, given by the Holy Spirit in verses 2-5, includes walking uprightly, speaking truth, treating others with kindness, despising evil, honoring those who fear the Lord, keeping one’s promises, avoiding usury and bribery. Following these principles, one can continually abide in God’s presence and dwell in His tabernacle. To remain in God’s presence, we must align our walk, works, words, will, and wealth with His ways.
We must change our ways and follow God’s commands. These changes should happen in our character, behavior, and lifestyle. Our character needs to align with God’s character for us to abide in his presence. We need to ask ourselves if we are willing to make major changes in our lifestyle to fulfill the good works God has called us to do on earth. By doing so, we can be greatly rewarded in eternity. It is important not to waste our time on earth fulfilling meaningless tasks and instead focus on fulfilling God’s purpose.
After the born-again experience, the first elementary principle of Christ is repentance from dead works. Dead works have no rewards in eternity. Dead works refer to anything that is not a part of God’s plan for your life, which is worthless in God’s sight and will be burned up. On the other hand, good works will remain and be rewarded, like precious stones, gold, and silver. Today’s subject is whether you walk in divine love and divine light, not human love or natural light.
Last Sunday, we discussed the importance of walking in the spirit and walking in faith. These are not occasional actions; instead, they should be incorporated into our lifestyle. It is essential to walk led by the spirit and in faith as a way of life to grow and practice them on earth. Similarly, love and light should also be embraced as lifestyles. We should strive to walk in a lifestyle of divine love and light. It’s important to note that these are not natural lifestyles but supernatural ones. We need God’s power to enable us to live this way.
Aligning Your Walk
To abide in God’s presence, you must focus on five areas of your life. The first is your walk, which includes walking in faith and the spirit. Another area is a walk of divine love, as God requires us all to walk in love.
According to Ephesians 5:2, we should walk in love. To walk in love as Christ loved us, simply look at how Jesus loved you and apply it to how you treat others. Remember, faith without love is incomplete, like bacon without eggs or bread without butter. Always remember to pair faith and love together.
In the New Testament, faith and love are frequently paired together. This pairing’s primary purpose is described in Galatians 5-6. In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters, but faith is active through love.
God extended his love to you through the cross of Jesus Christ and His resurrection power. When you were born again into God’s kingdom through godly repentance, you became receptive to God’s love and can now hear words of faith from Him. Love activates divine faith and guides it in the right direction. Walking in love is essential for walking in faith.
Many people fail to achieve great things in their relationship with God because they lack love for God and others. This indicates that their faith will not reach the level that pleases God.
Let me ask you a simple question: Which witness will guide your life? God’s witness or the witness of men? Will you live according to your beliefs? What will you live by?
If you base your life on the witness of God, the witness of men, or the circumstances and situations that you believe define you, your faith will inevitably turn into fear. There is no way to prevent that.
The opposite of faith is fear, which is a spirit and not an emotion. To overcome fear, God’s antidote is perfect love, as stated in 1 John 4:8
. Tormenting aspects in life indicate a spirit of fear. Instead of assaulting or attacking fear, God takes the fear out of life by allowing divine love to flow.
By flowing in divine love, fear has no place and does not need to be conquered through soulful efforts. Simply flowing in divine love is the way to overcome fear.
When facing challenges and feeling fearful, you can find solace in the perfect love of Jesus Christ. Just reach out to Him; fear will fade because His love is perfect.
Therefore, I urge you to understand. Fear, love, and faith are all spirits. Walking in the spirit means being led by a spirit. In 2 Timothy 1:7, God gave us the spirit. This spirit, received when you were born again, does not make us timid or fearful but empowers us. It also gives us love and self-discipline. We need to develop these qualities.
One defining term in the New Testament regarding God is 1 John 4:6, which states that God is love and a spirit. Love is an essential part of God’s nature and cannot be produced by humans. Divine love and faith cannot be manufactured or produced.
We did not initiate our love for God, and it is questionable if we truly love Him. This is made clear in 1 John 4:10, which states that love originates from God, not from us. Sin perpetuates as a result of our sinful nature.
When we experience God’s love, it flows into us and back to God. God always takes the initiative. You are where you are because God pursued you and asked if you accept His love. You need to transition from lust to love to continue in His presence. Most of your life has been driven by lust. Advertisements sell the sizzle, not just the steak.
God has called you to love, not lust. Lust and love are opposites. Divine love differs from human love, which lacks value and staying power. Divine love is not a feeling but an action. It produces feelings but always acts faithfully regardless of sensation. Love is about giving, not getting. Love’s focus is never on oneself, unlike lust, which is always self-centered. Divine love is selfless and not based on emotions or feelings.
Love is completely selfless. First Corinthians 13 describes the qualities of love, which are not present in lust. Love comes from God’s nature. You won’t stumble upon divine love. You have to strive for it. Since love is not just an emotion but a reflection of God’s nature, it has an origin (God) and requires an object to express itself. Divine love originates solely from God. When you were born again, God infused your spirit with divine love.
Have you caused that growth? If you don’t love life, people, God, and the world, especially people who are not just Christians, more today than before, you haven’t grown much.
Love is not just an emotion. We may feel God’s presence during a service and sing songs like “I Surrender All.” But it’s not just about emotions. Jesus said, if you love me, obey me, keep my commandments. Love is shown through actions, not just feelings. Deception is not what we need. We need to be doers.
Walking in Love
If God is the source of divine love, He is not the only one we should love. According to the New Testament, there are three other areas where we should freely express our love: the home, the brotherhood, and the neighborhood. God is particularly interested in the home as it forms the church’s foundation.
The church represents the desired relationship between God and us in the spiritual realm. To understand the kind of relationship God wants us to have, we can look at marriage as described in the scriptures.
The Bible compares our relationship with God to a marriage relationship. God is not coming back for just His children but for His bride. Therefore, growing spiritually and not being stagnant as children or teenagers is essential. Otherwise, we may not experience deep intimacy with God in eternity.
Marriage is the union of two becoming one flesh. In the heavenly kingdom, we should be united in Christ. We must understand that our relationship with God should be spiritual, as God is incapable of lust. According to Ephesians 3:17-19, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith. To be rooted and grounded in Christ, we must walk in love consistently. If we do not, we are not rooted and grounded in Christ.
To truly understand the essence of being at home, you must be grounded in love. This will enable you to comprehend the immeasurable love of Christ. If you desire to go beyond mere knowledge of God, you must be rooted and grounded in love, as it surpasses all.
The goal is to be filled with the fullness of God. To achieve this, you must walk in love. In the New Testament, husbands are commanded four times to love their wives. This commandment is not dependent on feelings or actions but is a requirement.
If you fail to love your wife, you fail to love God. It’s that simple. Loving God means keeping His commandments, including the commandment for husbands to love their wives.
I enjoy observing teenage dating. The expectations of love and actions in relationships can be quite different. Interestingly, the Bible does not explicitly command wives or women to love their husbands. However, husbands are specifically instructed to love their wives, just as Christ loved the church. This means sacrificial love, giving oneself for the other. Husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies. Men need to have a healthy self-love to love their wives properly.
If you truly love yourself, ask yourself if you love your wife equally. If not, and you don’t give yourself to her, your marriage is in trouble. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter towards them (Colossians 3:19).
Did you know Greek has four words to describe different levels of love, while English only has one word? The Greek language is more precise and comprehensive. Let me explain the ascending scale of love according to the Greeks.
- The lowest level is “eros“, meaning erotic. This love never appears in scripture. It’s a love that satisfies lust. In the strongest sense, it can be translated as lust.
- “Storge” [store-jay] is a phony type of love. You love my family because you have to, like many Christians. “Well, I love you because I have to if I’m going to get to heaven.”
- “Philo” is a conditional kind of love, like football. “If you’re on my team, then I love you. If you’re not on my team, then I’m against you.” It also means “fond of.”
- The highest level of love is “agape.” It is self-giving love. It is a love of devotion.
“Agape” is unconditional love. You don’t love someone because of what they do, but unconditionally. This is the love husbands are commanded to have for their wives. It’s a love that requires devotion and self-giving, regardless of personal preferences or choices. It’s a command, not a choice.
Regarding the wife, the Bible does not command husbands to love their wives. It is only suggested that older women teach younger women to do so. The word used in Titus is “philo” instead of “agape.”
Essentially, wives should recognize they are on the same team as their husbands. If you have a nagging wife, there is no solution to that problem. The Bible suggests that living in the desert might be the best option. Therefore, wives should join their husband’s team.
God does not require wives to love their husbands with “agape” love because it does not fulfill the divine type and model. Instead, God sought and loved you even when you were a sinner.
Love comes from God. God is love. We cannot create it. As the husband, Christ loves us. He is the source of love and loves us. Love flows from us to Him and back. This is the spiritual aspect. In the natural aspect, the husband should be the one who generates love for his wife. He is the groom. She is the bride.
However, this doesn’t mean that the wife can only receive love; she can also amplify it. Amplify means to increase, like when my sounds get louder because of this microphone. If a husband truly loves his wife, she can amplify that love to a level that may be overwhelming.
You must understand both the natural and spiritual aspects, as love is a spirit. Divine and natural human love are completely different and cannot be compared. Love in the spirit is something you strive for, while love in the natural world can come and go easily. This is evident from the high divorce rates, especially within the church.
The origin of love is God, but we have different objects of love. So outside of God being the object where He loves us, and we let it flow back and amplify it to Him, we can, just like the bride, amplify it back, same as true in the marriage. But you cannot substitute love for your wife for loving the brotherhood.
You will have major problems in your life if you just have a love relationship working at home and not within the brotherhood or even within the neighborhood. You are commanded to walk in love not just in your relationship with God but in your relationship with your marriage, in your relationship with the brotherhood, and in your relationship with the neighborhood.
1 John 4:7 says that we should love one another because love is from God. If we don’t love others, we haven’t been born again. 1 John 4:11 says that if God loved us, we should also love one another. 1 John 4:20-21 says that if someone claims to love God but hates their brother, they are liars. How can they love God, whom they haven’t seen, if they can’t love their brother whom they have seen?
This commandment tells us that if we love God, we must also love our brother. According to the Bible, loving the brotherhood is one way to come into God’s presence and transition from death to life.
In each verse, the scripture uses agape love, which is unconditional and devoted love. In the church, a mere handshake is not enough to show love to the brotherhood. There must be commitment, a sense of belonging, giving, and sacrifice. Loving in the brotherhood is like coming together for a church picnic, where we share food, touch, relate, and share our lives and experiences. It’s about being a family and experiencing one another.
1 John 4:12 says that no one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us. This is a powerful statement. If you truly walk in divine love, God abides in you, and His love is perfected in us.
Remember, perfect love casts out fear. If you have fear in your life, it’s because your walk in the love of God is not where it should be. You are not addressing the real issues and not walking in divine light.
Our last topic is the importance of love towards our neighborhood. This means that our love should transcend race, creed, culture, religious affiliation, and politics, just like the story of the Good Samaritan teaches us.
I can’t believe how race, creed, culture, religious affiliations, and politics cause so much hate, offense, and separation among people. We should love others as Jesus taught us, with divine love (agape). This doesn’t mean we have to form social affiliations or be on the same team as others, but we can always show divine love in our interactions with them.
We can rejoice when they rejoice, have sorrow when they are in sorrow, and assist them in times of need. This is all taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan. But if I associate with people worldwide, will their ungodliness influence me? I don’t know, will it?
1 John 4:4 says that as children of God, we have overcome the world because God is greater than the world. We should be carriers of God’s presence, not catchers. If we are catchers instead of carriers, something still needs to be fixed in our walk. It could be a problem with lust. We should infect others with God’s love and truth rather than allowing them to infect us.
In John 17:5, Jesus prayed that we would remain in the world, not isolated in the confines of the church. If we isolate ourselves, we will not receive our harvest, and we cannot fulfill our calling to be the light and salt to the world. It is important to stay connected to the world and fulfill the commands God has given us in our walk.
I pray that you keep them from the evil one rather than taking them out of the world. I don’t fear being cheated or showing love to the unlovely. It’s not my love, but God’s love, that I give to them. God demonstrates his love for us by having Christ die for us while we are still sinners.
Loving people in the world only costs you time, but you are creatures of eternity, so why worry? How you respond to people who bother you, your actions in traffic, and how you interact with others at a restaurant indicate your character.
God knows your true self today. If I have divine love, I have divine love. I am commanded to walk in love in my marriage, brotherhood, and neighborhood. It’s not a choice.
The word of God forbids coveting your neighbor’s possessions, defrauding them in business dealings, engaging in sexual impurity with them, bearing false witness against them, and harboring ill will towards them.
Our actions towards people in the neighborhood should be based on love. Whether they are from the church, family, brotherhood, or married doesn’t matter. People around the world should be treated with love. Jesus faced criticism from the religious Pharisees and Sadducees because he loved people regardless of their status or activities in life.
They accused him of associating with prostitutes, tax-gatherers, and party-goers; even His disciples didn’t follow certain customs. Despite the 44 major accusations against Jesus, He prioritized his relationships with people. God doesn’t care about religion. God cares about relationships, and they are not the same.
Walking in Light
The final part of our walk is that we must walk in light. Walking in divine light, not darkness, is emphasized in John 1, where Jesus declares himself as the world’s Light. It reminds us that we are called to walk in divine light, not in the world’s darkness or the devil. In 1 John 1:5, it is stated that God is not only love but also light, with no darkness in him. Therefore, walking in God’s pathway requires us to adjust our way of life. We should no longer walk in darkness but in light.
According to Ephesians 5:8, we were once in darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. As children of light, we are called to walk in the light. Wherever God is, there is no darkness, and all His works are works of light. This means that nothing is hidden or done in secret by God. Christians must be open-faced and honest with other believers and people.
Walking in the light is important because it allows us to have fellowship with one another and be cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. If we walk in fellowship, the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from sin. This fellowship refers to our relationship with the one we have chosen to walk with.
If you walk with Jesus, who is Light, your relationship with the Light will cleanse you through His blood. The Bible asks how two can walk together without agreement. Instead of constantly praying for things you want, focus on being in God’s presence without expecting anything in return. God doesn’t prioritize fulfilling your desires. It’s important to mature and understand that God is unchanging.
God is unchanging and unchangeable (Malachi 3:6). The Bible does not say that God walked with someone; rather, it emphasizes that we must walk with Him. In Revelation 3:4, a few in Sardis have not soiled their garments and will walk with Him.
Revelation 14:4 talks about a group that follows the Lamb wherever He goes. Examples in the scripture include Enoch, who walks with God and is led by Him; Noah, who walks and works with God; Abraham, who walks in faith; Moses, who walks with God in obedience; David, who walks in worship; and Jesus, who walks with the Father on the Mount of Transfiguration.
In closing, I want you to pay attention to what I want you to do. Read it first and let yourself be guided by the spirit. Say it, let it flow in your faith, live in His love, and walk in His life.
Be guided, let it flow, live in His love, and walk in His life.
Discover how you can remain in God’s presence by living in His love and walking in His light.
Watch the full sermon “Do You Walk in Love and Light?” here.
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