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The pinnacle we reach in God is charity. Obviously, that’s who God is. God is love, the Bible plainly declares.
How is the word “charity” then defined? It is simply unconditional love. That means love with no stipulations.
In other words, love that will not be moved by ill treatment, or even hatred.
The prime example was displayed while Jesus hung on the cross. Though His persecutors were putting Him to death, Jesus had nothing but love in His heart toward them. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
That is the height of love. Here is another example: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
Just a few verses prior, it states, “…because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.”
That is an amazing reality. When we know Christ personally, we can love as He loves, because it is of Him. We must allow that love to rise to the forefront.
We’ve got to climb the ladder in our walk with the Lord by adding those things listed in Second Peter 1. “Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.” – II Peter 1:5-6
You mean there is more ground to cover after living a godly life in Christ Jesus? Certainly.
“Add to godliness brotherly kindness.” – II Peter 4:7
Brotherly kindness is a big one. We must demonstrate love toward our brothers and sisters in the Lord. It has to be genuine love for the brethren.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” – I Peter 1:22
The effects of brotherly kindness are far reaching. That type of love displayed among the brethren speaks volumes. John 13:35 states, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if he have love one to another.”
However, one additional ladder rung remains. The Bible tells us to add charity to brotherly kindness. There is that word again. It tops the list. When we have charity, we have what we need.
Charity translates into possessing unconditional love for the human race. That means loving the unlovable – the worst of the worst. Do we possess that type of love? That’s who Jesus is.
Do we remember it was God’s love that lifted us when we were sinking in the miry clay?
A little bit of charity can go a long way in someone’s life. In fact, that’s what people are searching for – unconditional love. When they experience that from us, it is undeniable. God’s love shines through.
That is the way God loves us, and it is the way He wants His people to love.
God’s unconditional love – charity – dwelling within will motivate us to action. Charity will propel us to reach the lost at any cost.
Colossians again reiterates the lofty position and importance of charity in the Christian’s life. “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” – Colossians 3:14
Here’s further proof: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” – I Corinthians 13:13
The above verse is part of what is known as the “Love Chapter.”
Now, it’s time to put yourself to the test.
This will provide a good indicator as to where you stand concerning unconditional love operating in your life. In the following verses, insert your name for the word “charity” and see how it reads.
I Corinthians 13:4-7, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”