By Frank Tietie
Let me begin my address by citing a few quotations from the most influential text in my life.
_Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren._
*1 John 3:16*
_Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins_ .
– *1 John 4:10*
_Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world._
– *1 John 4:17*
Love is the greatest power on earth. It is a known fact which all persons, whether or not they are religious or spiritual, will come to realise.
It is love that will lead us through this earth’s journey and ultimately grant us soul rest in the other dimension.
What is love? It is certainly not stupid and weak and therefore cannot be exploited. Love is strong and more powerful than the force of death. It is the essence of everything yet we choose not to know it. Love is the greatest power.
Whereas there can be no greater love than when a man chooses to lay down his life for his friend, no where is love in greatest demand and often very much in shortage as in the friendship between a man a woman.
The historical Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated the power of love when He sojourned the earth. It was by the inscrutable power of love-in-action that He caused the healing of diseased bodies and ultimately infused life into the dead and brought them back to life. Since He was so full of love, not even death, after 3 days in the grave could hold him down. He arose from the dead, full of life in the spirit and in the body. I am referring to the historical Jesus of Nazareth, the facts about Him, I do believe to be so true.
Before you think, I am living in fantasy and have become unnecessarily theological, consider quickly, the source of your life and ponder the origin of the animus in you. Whether you are a creationist, evolutionist or atheist, you cannot deny the power of love when it is put to action in today’s world. Its mysterious might of unimaginable considerations can only be appreciated when Saint John the Divine, an apostle of Jesus Christ declared that ‘God is Love’.
Today, our world is going askew because there is a shortage of love. The ways of love are the ways of life. They are humble ways but they are powerful ways. It is love that gives instead of getting and then ultimately gets by giving. Love multiplies by sowing itself to reap a harvest of love. Think again, when Jesus of Nazareth, so full of love decided to give His life for men, He ultimately won the hearts of more and more millions of men. These men and women have so loved Him in return and died many times for Him and are still prepared to die for Him. They caught the glimpse of love when love touched them.
Sadly, Jesus’ ambassadors here on earth hardly ever practise love among themselves these days. Little wonder they are weak and often troubled by storms of this world. The dazzling sights and the tempting sounds have turned their hearts away. The wickedness of this world like cold water has quenched the fire of their hearts of love.
In my short life, I have seen a few Christian ministries that understood and practised love. Traditional Christians criticised them and wondered why they were so blessed with health, wealth and power when the looked so ordinary and unholy. Those traducers understood so little about the power of love.
The opposite of love is selfishness. Selfishness is as powerfully destructive as love is ultimately powerful for good. This contention between the forces of good and evil is one of the mysteries of our existence in this present dimension.
Love and selfishness have their consequences. There is no better expression of the fruit of a life of love and the characteristics of selfishness than, as expressed in chapter 5 of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
Love is better than selfishness. The reason our world, particularly here in Africa is mostly upside down is because there are more selfish people than those who love. Therefore, there is a greater manifestation of selfishness and wickedness everywhere where love is in shortage.
One good thing about love is that it never fails. All those who practise love can be sure to live a rewarding life of fulfilment both here on earth and in the next dimension. Like karma, every action is a seed but love goes beyond that. It has the power to uproot evil seeds and in their place, plant seeds of love which keep multiplying.
My cousin, Ese Opute once taught me a song and it goes like this:
“Let there be love shared among us
Let there be love in our eyes
May now Your love sweep this nation
Cause us oh Lord to arise.
Give us a fresh understanding
Of brotherly love that is real,
Let there be love shared among us,
Let there be love.”
The above is my prayer today, on Valentine’s Day.
I wish you love and peace.A man who has received love and is struggling to love.
By Frank Tietie