Growing Greater in Love
(week 45/08)

Olubi Johnson

Mark 4:30-32 (ESV): And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? (31) It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, (32) yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.

Here the Lord Jesus teaches us that the kingdom of God who is love (1 John. 4.8): the dominion of love in our lives is at first planted in our hearts like a grain of mustard seed and is the smallest of all the seeds in the earth. The earth is symbolic of our hearts or souls: the mind, the will and the emotions.

This means that at first when the seed of the love of God is planted in our souls: mind, will and emotions, it is much smaller than the other seeds of lusts of the flesh that were in our hearts previously.

So initially these lusts of the flesh dominate the love of God in our hearts:

Romans 7:18-23 (ESV): For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. (19) For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. (20) Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (21) So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. (22) For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, (23) but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Galatians 5:17 (ESV): For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

However, if we continue to walk in the Spirit as a daily habit using the Blood, the Word and the Spirit to ‚ the seed of the kingdom of Love in our hearts, that seed will begin to grow.

Over time, it will grow to be greater than all the seeds of the lusts of the flesh in our souls causing the love of God to be perfected in us:

1 John 2:5-6 (ESV): but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: (6) whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John 4:12-13 (ESV): No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (13) By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

1 John 4:16-17 (ESV): So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (17) By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (MKJV): Now may the God of peace (who brought again our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant) (21) make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Furthermore, it will provide shelter and covering for the birds of the air: which is symbolic of the hearts of other Christians who have not yet developed the love of God in their hearts:

Hosea 7:11 (ESV): Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.

In the light of this truth, we need to be patient firstly with ourselves knowing that at first the seed of the kingdom of Love in our hearts is smaller than the seeds of the lusts of the flesh that had been there before and it will take time for that seed to grow to become greater than the seeds of the lusts of flesh.

Secondly, we need to be patient with others, so do not condemn yourself when you fall and certainly do not condemn others.

Romans 8:1-4 (ESV): There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (3) For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, (4) in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV): Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (2) Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Rather pray for yourself and pray for others frequently (at least once every 6 hours (Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 6:7, Mark 13:35, 2 Samuel 6:13) throughout each day: washing one another feet so ‘watering’ the seed of the kingdom of Love in your heart, knowing that with time you will grow greater in Love and so gradually totally dominate all the lusts of the flesh!

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