Living In Love
I’ve never really liked the way most people talk about love. Pop songs mostly abuse the word, throwing it around like a dirty rag. At best they take you on a journey from the elation of having a lover to the devastation of losing one. The media simply exchanges the word “love” for “sex” and the news would have you think it hardly exists at all.
I’ve even found myself becoming frustrated with the way church portrays the love of God at times as if it were this nice little soft bear that will just cuddle my heart; it makes me cringe. So for these reasons I’ve never taken much interest in the way people talk about this subject.
The truth though, is that love is the fruit of the Spirit of the God. (Galatians 5:22).
Therefore, as Christ-followers who have the Holy Spirit living in us this is something we should be doing on a daily basis - with joy. It should be what differentiates us from everyone else (John 13:35).
Jesus says that God so loved us, he was so obsessed with us that he gave up what was most dear to him, his son, even while we were still dead in our sin so that might find salvation through Jesus Christ.
Later in John 17 he talks of his Heavenly Father who has loved him since before the world came into being and he goes onto pray that this same love would live in us. I want that.
The beautiful thing is that it doesn’t stop there. God reveals His love to us in such an extraordinary way through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we can’t help but feel the need to share it with others and show Jesus to them.
In Luke 6:45 we hear, “out of the abundance of your heart your mouth speaks”.
For more than a year now God has put this prayer on my heart:
‘Teach me to love like You do Jesus, because I don’t know how to without you.’
Before I continue you should know that I am a massive people pleaser. I hate confrontation and I want everyone to like me. Because of this I have the tendency to say the “right” things around people in order to gain their approval or simply to do kind things for them so they’ll think I’m a great guy.
I’ve now learnt that before I begin making any attempts to loving my friends and family I need to remember something first. God loves me. It’s a simple truth but once I begin to let this sink in it changes who I am. I no longer seek the affirmation of others around me because I know my entire identity is found in the love of Christ and suddenly all other opinions seem irrelevant. So, then it is from this place of God’s love overflowing in me that I am able to love others fearlessly.
This is all beautifully wrapped up in the great commandment that Jesus gives us. We must love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and body being able to do this out of the knowledge of God’s satisfying love for us which in turn causes us to turn to our neighbour, whoever that may be, and love them as we would wish to be loved (Mark 12:29-31).
So, let us consider how to encourage one another in love and good works, and all the more as we see the day of salvation drawing near.