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A Three-fold Cord
Is Not Quickly Broken

"Loving God and loving others creates a three-fold cord."

By Dixie Raggio

The dictionary defines love as a warm affection, and friendship as a mutual affection. We can say you cannot be a friend without love. I John 4:7 and 8 says, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; FOR GOD IS LOVE." God is love, and love is of God.

As Christians, you will agree that God is the most essential aspect for life. Without Him, we miss the essence of life, or we miss all that makes life. Let's substitute the word LOVE for the word GOD, since God is love, and say, "Love is the most essential aspect for life."

Love is the single most powerful and potent force for influencing and changing behavior.

Love is the ultimate expression for the will to live. The person that loves is alive and living. By universal acclaim, love is the noblest, most powerful, most beautiful, most meaningful experience of humanity.

By it we are born, through it we are sustained, and for it we will sacrifice life itself. Love insulates a child, gives joy to the youth, and comfort and sustenance to the aging. Love cures the sick, raises the fallen, comforts the tormented. It inspires the composer, the novelist, the painter and poet. In I Corinthians, love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or conceited, or proud; love is not ill-mannered, or selfish, or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with truth. Love never gives up; its faith, hope and patience never fail. Love is eternal. There are these three: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.

As I thought about love and friendship, I wanted to find the best example in the Bible. I thought about Jonathan and David's friendship; Ruth and Naomi, and so many others.

But the one who was the ultimate friend, and showed the greatest love was Jesus.

So let us consider His example.

In I John 3:18, the word says, "My little children do not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." Certainly, God operated by this principle, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. God loved so much that He was born in a stable instead of a palace, so He could relate to the least of us. Then Jesus, being the fullness of God bodily, exuded love. His love was manifested every moment of His life by His deeds.

He did not have money to lavish the people with precious gifts. All He had to give was the love that He carried inside Himself. And give, He did. His love was full of mercy for the sick and full of compassion and forgiveness for the sinner. He looked beyond their status, their sins, their poverty, their looks. Jesus only saw what love could make them.

Even through rejection, He did not stop loving. When He was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus still called him friend. Although Peter denied Him three times, Jesus still loved and forgave him. On the cross, you could hear Him say, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do." And then the greatest of love was when He willingly suffered death for us. Greater love has no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends. Truly, Jesus was the ultimate example of love. For you see, He was God, and God is love.

Now we are the Body of Christ, if the Holy Ghost dwells in us. Therefore, by simple deduction, if the Holy Ghost (who is God) is there, then love should be there, for God is love. Romans 5:5 says that the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.

Theoretically, as the Spirit of God flows in our life, we should begin loving.

Jesus said, "'He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,' (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive...) John 7:38-39.

Notice how all of these words are so closely related. God is love. The Holy Ghost sheds that love in our hearts, and the Spirit is living water. Earlier, I said that love is the most essential aspect for life, and without it we miss the essence. When love is not flowing in our lives, we are not letting the Spirit have His way in our lives, and we are not truly living!

One of the things that keeps us from loving is fear.

Fear of rejection, fear of not being accepted, fear that they will think we are stupid, fear of betrayal, etc. Why didn't these fears stop Jesus from loving? Because perfect love casts out all fear. When we perfect our love toward God, it will become easier to give love. We will not be fearful of the consequences, for we will trust that no matter what we experience, He will help us overcome. For we know that all things work for the good to them that love the LORD and are the called according to His purpose. I am the King's kid, and He knows what is best for me.

So deny yourself by denying those fears that hold you back from loving. Deny them, as we ladies have denied ourselves of cutting our hair, or wearing make-up, or using foul language, etc.

Love always involves taking a risk, and unless you are willing to take a risk, you are never going to love.

You have got to risk saying hello to a perfect stranger, perhaps in a grocery line or in an elevator. People will never know the love of God except through His Body, which we are.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. (So what? We are fools for Christ!) To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. (What's wrong with that? I cry when I am happy and sad; at weddings, baby dedications, or funerals!) To reach out to others is to risk involvement. (But I want to be involved!) To expose your feelings is to risk exposing yourself. (So what have I got to hide?)

Life does not consist of the abundance of things we have. Having things is not what is essential. However, people do need to know that we care. Come to realize that love is what it's all about. Then you will be laying up for yourself treasures in heaven.

I leave you with Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
    "Two are better than one;
    because they have a good reward for their labour.
    For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
    but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
    for he hath not another to help him up.
    Again, if two lie together, then they have heat;
    but how can one be warm alone?
    And if one prevail against him, two shall stand against him;
    and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken."
A three-fold cord!

My friend, myself, and God.

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Also see these articles by Dixie Raggio:

Three Characteristics Of A Christ-Like Person

Watch and Pray
A Message that Dixie gave to a
Pentecostal Ladies Conference in 1998

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Ken Raggio

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