Major Kingdom/Apostolic Articles
Maturing Into Love - Ron McGatlin
The most significant season of God since when Jesus and the disciples were physically on the earth is NOW UPON US. The season of maturation of the true "Body of Christ" is now.
In the past century restoration has come in waves or seasons. There was a shift from "hell fire" preaching and "salvation to miss hell" to a "born again" experience of changed life for now and eternity. The Pentecostal season focused on law and brought the fullness of "Holy Spirit Baptism" and then the awesome "Faith Movement" brought power, hope, miracles, and healing with focus on the Word. The "Charismatic Gifts" were poured out with emphasis on prophesy and healing. Worship and praise went to new levels of reality. Deliverance from bondages and healing of hearts has brought much release and freedom. Most recently the Father's Heart has begun to be revealed and life changing experiences have resulted.
We are now in the season of "Maturing Into Love". Love is greater than faith - greater than law - greater than prophesy - greater than gifts - all these things emanate from love - they work by love for God is love (1 John 4:8-16). All of these things are vital and it is impossible to mature in God without them. The focus or purpose of them is to bring us to the fulfillment of maturity which is LOVE - God's love in us and us in Him.
Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
"This is the first and great commandment.
"And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
"On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Mat 22:37 -40
Maturation is necessary before marriage.
Through all these seasons the "Body of Christ" has been growing up as a child into maturity. Maturation is necessary before marriage. The "Bride" is now beginning to come into view in the distance. Hallelujah! For the first time ever in my 70 plus years of life experience the beauty of the "Bride of Christ" is vaguely in view not very far ahead of us.
The season of maturing love is upon us. Jesus redeemed us and through the Holy Spirit has been taking us toward the Father all along. Through the seasons of God we are being cleansed and prepared to enter into the heart of the Father. To know Him in personal intimacy and be filled with God who is love - forever consumed in the fire of intimate relationship with God our Father and our Husband, Jesus.
As we truly abide in Him - in His intimate presence we are metamorphosed into pure love and He literally lives in us. We literally become one with Jesus who is one with the Father and then one with one another.
John 17:20-23: ....."that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect (mature) in one, , and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Our pride can prevent us from intimacy with God.
James 4:6: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
Prov 8:13 ....Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate
Pride is a result of not truly experiencing the love of God. Experiencing the love in the heart of the Father is most humbling. To know that He passionately loves all mankind and feels pain in His heart when they do not love Him in return and to know that when we respond by loving Him with our whole heart that he feels great joy in His heart is very humbling.
Pride can manifest as religious pride, social pride, plain old self focus is pride and a sister to pride is fear - fear of what man will think - how I will look or appear. But grace precedes glory and is given to the humble.
Mature love makes us humble and opens the way for FACE TO FACE with God. Moses was said to be the most humble man on the earth and he spoke with God FACE TO FACE. (Num 12:3-8)
The subject of First Corinthians, Chapter 13 is clearly love. Verses 10-13 speak clearly of maturing in love and "then" seeing Him "face to face". The "then" in this verse when viewed in context clearly speaks of when we mature in love. And the "face to face" is intimate oneness with God.
1 Cor 13:10-11: But when that which is perfect (mature) has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1 Cor 13:12-13: For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Intimacy with God is much more than a dating relationship with Him. Coming into His holy presence in worship and praise from time to time is a wonderful meeting with Him. But remaining with Him in the secret place of His chambers is the intimate love process of becoming one. Continuing with Him in the secret place is a daily experience in which we are no longer an individual but are one with Him and cannot be separated. We become so much in love that we are transformed into His body, His flesh, His bones.
Eph 5:30-32: For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. " This is a great mystery , but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
When we mature in love we can say as Paul said, "For me to live is Christ." This is a great mystery. The same great mystery spoken of in Col.1:26-27: The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Paul longed to see the day when Christ would be formed by the Holy Spirit in His children. The day when the Body of Christ would become one in love with the Head, Christ Jesus, in the heart of the Father.
Gal 4:19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.
Pursue love - it never fails.
Lots of love,