By Debbie Varney
Until we are born again, we live in a kingdom dominated by darkness, fear, hate, strife, and worry. But after we’re born again, we have the love of God in our hearts, and we can love like God loves (Rom. 5:5).
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The Greek word translated as “love” in verse 12 is agape. We’ve come to see this as the God–kind of love—unconditional love. And only people who are saved have the love of God poured out in their heart. So Matthew 24:12 is not talking about people of the world. This scripture is talking about a time when members of the Body of Christ—those who are born again—will allow the love of God within them to be weakened.
How does this happen? By allowing offense to come into our lives.
The love of God in our hearts is diminished when we don’t forgive like Jesus told us to do in Mark 11:22–25. If we fail to forgive, we hold on to an offense that will keep us from walking in love and will hinder our faith! So we must be quick to forgive.
You may have been treated unfairly, but if you have the love of God in your heart, you can forgive. It may be difficult to forgive sometimes, but think about how much God has forgiven you for!
Once as I was praying, I saw in my spirit a vase. It was a beautiful vase, very rare, precious, and stately. It was skillfully made. As I looked closer, I saw that it was cracked on the inside. (I couldn’t tell it by just looking at the outside.) While it seemed strong on the outside, it was damaged from the inside.
I began to realize that the vase represented the Body of Christ. It, too, has been skillfully and beautifully molded and shaped. Nothing from the outside—persecution, financial pressure, or disease—can hurt or destroy it. However, issues inside the Body of Christ can be just as damaging as outside factors.
A few days after I saw this, I saw this principle illustrated in another way. I was boiling some water to make some iced tea. I put my tea bags into the hot water and waited a good five minutes for the water to cool a bit. Well, I thought I waited five minutes! But I was in a hurry, so I poured the water into the pitcher. Within about two or three minutes, there was a cracking sound, and my pitcher broke. But it didn’t break from the outside; it broke from the inside.
The Lord explained to me that there’s no pressure of the enemy that can successfully come against us from the outside unless we let that pressure get on the inside of us. And the same thing applies with offense and unforgiveness. Offenses alone are not going to hurt you, but if you let them get on the inside, your life will be cracked. And the enemy will take advantage of those openings and come in to cause you harm.
If you’ve been harassed by sickness, for example, and you’ve spoken the Word over your problem as much as you know how, yet you still don’t see improvement, make sure you’re not holding on to an offense. Offense does not belong to you. Healing belongs to you. And you can’t hold on to both at the same time.
Be quick to forgive!
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