Abundant life, Encouragement, Leadership

Within Seconds

ImpressionsDoes people really know who you are?  Can they really know you for what you stand for, what you believe, what you think, what you know, what you do?  I find time and time again, we all get a first impression of someone when we meet them.  These first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for the all the relationships that follows. If is not, it takes over five more times for the impression to change for the better because we never get a second chance to make the first impression.  It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.  With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person’s impression of you is formed.   It’s sad to say, I have seen people who call themselves Christians yet the first impression, along with the second and third proved to me, they really wasn’t a Christian at all.  They use the title without the love manifesting.

When others see you, do they see God?  Do they see the love of God manifesting in you?  God is revealed by what He does and so it should with us.  His love for us has made this possible because we respond to His love.  He draws us closer to Him in return we do acts of love toward others to draw them.  We make good first impressions because the love of God is in us. God’s act of love in giving His Son defines the ultimate requirement of true love, the giving of our most beloved possession in sacrifice for another gain. We can understand then, that godly love will almost always have sacrifice involved in its giving. Sacrifice is the essence, the essential or vital part, of love.  It is total giving on our part.  God’s love originates in Himself, was manifested in His Son, and is perfected in His people. God’s love is perfected in us when we reproduce it in or among ourselves in friendships, family or strangers.   We either use love and perfect it or it dwindles down ultimately turning into selfishness.  It should be obvious that we neither have God’s love by nature, nor is it self-generated.   God’s love has been poured out into our heart by the Spirit which He gave us.   If you don’t have the Spirit living on the inside generating this love time and time again, then you have not love in your heart for righteous things.   Your actions and your fellowships prove if you have the love of God in your life.

Only by knowing God can we have this love, and only by loving can we know Him! This may sound like a vicious cycle, but the two go together. Only by learning to love God can we learn His nature, that is, what He is like. We cannot have that love until we first come to know Him. By fellowship with Him, we come to know Him and receive His love, and in using His love, we become like Him and really know Him. We can only really come to know God by experiencing the use of His love ourselves.

All this is possible because God, in His love, initiates a relationship with us, grants us forgiveness, gives to us the Holy Ghost, then takes the lead in sustaining the relationship. Make a good first impression by having God’s love manifesting in your life so others will know you are a believer.  Within seconds you have a chance to show the love of God.

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give to you, you love one another as I have loved you, you also love one another.  By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love one to another.

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