“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Now about food offered to idols: of course we know that all of us possess knowledge [concerning these matters. Yet mere] knowledge causes people to be puffed up (to bear themselves loftily and be proud), but love (affection and goodwill and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature]. 2 If anyone imagines that he has come to know and understand much [of divine things, without love], he does not yet perceive and recognize and understand as strongly and clearly, nor has he become as intimately acquainted with anything as he ought or as is necessary. 3 But if one loves God truly [with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing], he is known by God [recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him].
1 Corinthians 8:1-3 AMP
It is not enough to know the Word of God off by heart, back-to-front, and inside out, you must allow it to change your heart. A great deal of knowledge does not make you great – on its own, it could puff you up and make you feel important and lead to pride and arrogance. However, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty – who trust in themselves and their own power or goodness – and gives grace to the lowly – those who are humble enough to receive it (James 4:6). You may have knowledge, but without understanding, you will be unable to walk it out in your day-to-day life. For many people, God and His Word are just a theory and not a reality in their lives. The purpose of the Word of God is to bring you into a place where you do know God, where you come tolove Him and accept His Lordship in your life. The love of God builds you up. Everything God does for you and speaks to you is designed to bring you into that place of where you know Him and love Him and trust Him and become like Him.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness. 9 He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge. 10 He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:8-12 AMP
God is love and He deals with us in love and with love. He gives all of us an example to follow. He does not deal with us according to our weakness, but according to His love and grace.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. 19 We love Him, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19 AMP
Perfect love casts out all fear. When you understand how much God loves you, you have no fear. No fear of coming into his presence boldly (Heb 4:16), no fear of the enemy, no fear period!
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7 AMP
When you grow in love, you grow in the knowledge of God and in the knowledge that God is on your side. You can be calm because He watches over you. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you are in control of your emotions, your thoughts and your feelings. You manifest the fruit of the Spirit at all times.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 8 He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. 12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! 1 John 4:7-12 AMP
Love springs from God – God is love. The way you learn about God is by walking in the love of God. If you are born of God, you are a child of love – you show forth His love everywhere you go. The more you make the choice to walk in the love of God, the more you come to know God and know His character. The more you walk in the love of God, the more His love is perfected in you and the more other people see the character of God demonstrated as His nature is manifested through you.