You must learn to love by Nita Johnson
“You Must Learn Love”
Many years ago, my brother went home to be with the Lord at about sixteen years of age. He was in a terrible car accident and was killed instantly. Before he went home to be with the Lord, he had a tumor on the pituitary gland and underwent surgery to remove the tumor. This was many years ago, and at that time, that type of surgery left the patient with many afflictions as side effects of the surgery. The tumor would have to cause so many problems that it would warrant what you would end up with to remove it. So my brother many maladies as a result of that surgery. For example, in Michigan, where we grew up, it is very hot and humid in the summer. It can be miserable. My brother had no sweat glands, and if the temperature rose above seventy-five degrees, he had to sit in a tub of water. I could go on and on because the effects of this surgery left him in complete physical misery. But Kenny was so kind to everyone. The tumor had caused him to stay very small and also very temperamental. To correct this, he was given hormones so that he would grow. The hormones caused more problems, one of which was obesity. He became obese and tall. People made fun of him all of the time because of his weight. But his kindness would always win them over. When he died, his funeral was the largest funeral in the history of the city of Pontiac. Kenny had loved so completely with such kindness that he had learned Christ.
After he was taken in the automobile accident, I asked the Lord, “Why did You take him so young? We hardly got to know him.” His answer was very simple: “He learned Christ at a very young age.” All of his sufferings had created the image of Christ. Everyone knew it, and everyone loved it.
Our trials are allowed or given for the purpose of creating Christ within. If we cooperate, Christ will be created within. If we feel sorry for ourselves and do not cooperate, we will become ugly, cantankerous, and constantly . You just become someone that no one likes. But moreover, you will become something that Jesus does not like, and that is the worst of all. Jesus wants to love you; He wants to teach you how to love. May I be very honest with you? We are going through a time when every fiber in you is going to be touched and stretched. You do not have to look to money to survive it because that is not the answer. The Lord spoke to me many years ago. He said that the ones to whom He will look to save and uphold in this difficult time will be those who have developed the virtues of Christ. The reason for this is because if you have not learned the virtues, you need to learn them. He will let you struggle until you pull away from all of the negative forces in your character and in your personality that have held you back from Jesus. Amen?
Lord Jesus, how we love You. We love the way You are. We do not want to be a clanging gong or a worthless nobody in the Church. We look to certain things that we or certain things that we give, and somehow we think we are going to buy your favor, but our character is in a serious condition. We see a little bunny, and our heart is pulled within us to touch, to pet, to cuddle, and to love it. Yet there are people in our world whom we do not want to love. We stubbornly cling to our pride and will not learn the way of Christ. How many there are in Your body, Lord, that love animals but do not like people. When we arrive home, You will congratulate us for our love for animals, but the crown which we would have received for loving people will be withheld.
When we look at what You have done for us, Lord, it calls out of us the sacrifice of loving the unlovable. We stand at the foot of the cross, and we see how You suffered for us when we were estranged from You. We did not love or desire You. It calls out of us nobility, greatness, and excellence in Christian virtue. Lord Jesus, when someone hurts us, we are called to think about their need more than our own and to love and pray that You will do what is needed for them. Hate is a force; love is a force. A critical spirit is a force; a generous spirit is a force. Teach us to walk in those things that speak most about Christ.
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord, I come to You. Teach me how to love, Lord. Teach me to walk with You. Nothing I have is mine; all things are Yours. Call me to come and love. Call me to be one with You.
Lord, let Your Spirit touch our hearts and deal with them. Help us not to hold on. Help us not to let pride harden our hearts, Lord. Help us to look at ourselves squarely. Am I like Him? If I am not like Him, where do I lack? What is it I need? What must be changed? What must I repent of, Lord? Show me those things that weaken me in Christian virtues.
Open your heart before God. Let’s be really honest. Help us to be broken before You, Lord, for there is nothing more beautiful than a heart that is broken and contrite over sin. Lord, there are some that have been deeply hurt, and they need Your grace to forgive. Help them, Jesus, to lay that person on the altar and to choose love. Let Your conviction flow, Lord, like honey upon our hearts. Give us faith, hope, and love so that we can overcome. We want to be strong in the days ahead, Lord. Let love become the foundation of our ways. Help us to repent of pride, jealousy, bitterness, a critical spirit, stubbornness, resentfulness, and unforgiveness. Help us to repent of this thing that says, “I will not love my sister or my brother.” Help us to let go of this thing that refuses to reconcile and to instead choose forgiveness. We will be healed when we quit judging, Lord, and we take responsibility for our behavior.
You are the very essence of love, Lord, the very beauty of love personified. You are our example of love. It is possible in You, all things are possible. Give us strength to do what is right. Lord, we need grace and humility. We need that part in You that enables us to stand with the nobility of love in the face of the one who challenges us. Help us to see, Lord, that at times we can be so self-centered that we cannot see the forest for the trees. We need the grace of love for the sake of compassion and mercy. Help us to overcome this mountain of self and to choose the beauty and the humility of Christ. Help us to choose love.
I will never forget the day that Jacob met Esau, his archenemy. He said to him, “My brother, to see your face is as if I had seen the face of God.” (Gen 33:10) Jacob had come full circle, Lord. He went through years of much suffering, being cheated and swindled. Everything he had done to Esau was done to him until he could come to a place of saying to his brother and his worst enemy, “Seeing you is like seeing the face of God.” Help us, Lord. Help us to understand Christ. Help us to embrace You and Your beauty. Help us to forgive. In His precious name. Amen.
God is love. Will we be love? What makes Jesus so beautiful? Is it not His love? To be loved by Him—isn’t that what we desire in Him more than anything? What He desires more than anything is to let you know experientially His love. He wants you to know the way He sees and the way He feels.
Jesus, You are love. I see a vision of a red rose. It started out as a , and then its petals began to unfold. As the petals opened and curled back, it became gold. The Bible says that the words of the Lord are tried and purified seven times over. (Ps 12:6) I think His love is also tried. He is looking to bring you forth as pure gold. There is a beautiful passage in Job:
Job 23:10 Amp. But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold [pure and luminous].
He is looking for the roses that He can bring forth pure and luminous. Praise the Lord.
Father, I release each one who is reading this into Your care. I pray that You will give them victory in all areas concerning their soul and that they may in this lifetime walk as Christ walked. In Your precious name, heal them. Let them feel the joy of their salvation. We love You, Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.
In His Love,