..Everything! Love has everything to do with our Christian faith. The whole embodiment of the Christian faith is Love (agape)!
This whole season, the Lord has been echoing the importance of bearing the Fruit of the spirit( see Galatians 5:22) and several experiences, counsel and life lessons have confirmed the message so strongly. Today, I want to start off with the first component of the Fruit of the Spirit, which is #Love. Christ wants us to manifest the Fruit of Love (agape: defined as compassion, forgiveness, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God). See 1 Cor. 13:4-8
- YOUR CHRIST-LIKE LOVE IS A LETTER TO ALL
Apostle Paul says “The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your life is a written letter…. everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. “- 2 Corinthians 3:2
This means our demonstration of Christ-like character (fruit) is a “letter” and the world “reads” it and what they see in there testifies (hopefully) to the Lordship of Christ IN US! How are we relating with each other in the body of Christ and with those in the world? Are we quick to forgive? Are we easily offended? Are we too proud to make ammends? or do we demonstrate the selfless and sacrificial love that Christ himself first demonstrated by loving those who would eventually betray him, defending those who despitefully used him and sacrificing for those who still would reject him? (Matt. 26:21)
Conversely, do we take advantage of the grace extended to us by others by just hurting them the more just because we know they are loving people? (Romans 6:1). Friends, I am deeply concerned that perhaps we have misunderstood what it means to actually WALK in TRUE Christ-like love and I want to challenge us to practice the fruit of Love in our daily walk because we can totally do it! Yes, YOU can! Please read on…..
BUT WHY SHOULD I LOVE?
1. LOVE is A COMMAND FROM JESUS
Jesus said in John 13:34- 35 “….I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will PROVE to the world that you are my disciples.” Honestly, it is hard for one to obey this commandment if one has not first died to themselves and submitted themselves fully to the Lord. Because if I confess Jesus as my Lord and profess to be led by the holy spirit, then out of my love for him, I obey his command to love! Do you know that after loving Jesus the next command is for us to love our neighbours as ourselves? (see Luke 10:27). In fact Bible says it impossible to claim to love God (who you cannot see) and yet not love a brother (who you see everyday). God wants us to manifest the fruit of agape and his spirit will help us do that if we yield. (1 John 4:20). Will you die to self and love sacrificially?
2.LOVE IS THE GREATEST PROOF OF YOUR FAITH
In my dealings with people and experiences in life, school, church, relationships, family, I have realized many at times, people who cant demonstrate Christ-like love, are more often than not struggling to love an aspect of they themselves, struggling with receiving the love of the Lord and subsequently the love of others or simply frustrated with where they are in life in the first place. If you love your own self, and have understood the grace and mercy Christ has demonstrated in dieing for you, you will extend that same grace to your neighbor. You can’t give something you don’t have: If you have freely received love, then freely you give also.
1 John 3:16 says “We KNOW love BY this: that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren”
The scripture above is essentially saying our STANDARD for loving others is Christ. This is serious!
Christ is a serious lover-man! And he is your father. Do you take after him?
3. LOVE is A WEAPON
Granted, in the flesh, it may not always be easy to love others. I do recognize people have been wounded by institutions that should have protected them, rewarded with ingratitude from people they poured into and so on. But see, your father Jesus went through it and came out victorious and assured you that all things will work out for you. He still wants you to love because he Christ has loved you also. Actually if you feel so inclined to “revenge”, your best so-called revenge is actually “Love”. Because Love is a weapon (see 1 Thes 5:8) that wins even the hardest heart and the most wretched soul and brings them also to the knowledge of the same Christ you serve!
God willing tomorrow, I am going to post the remaining post which will look at this title: “I am offended. Why should I love” and “how to Love”
Stay in love 🙂