What does love look like?
A few weeks ago, one couple gave us an all expense paid vacation because a conflict in his
work schedule prevented them from going themselves. Rather than rebook the trip, they gave it to us. In essence they showed love to us in the same way as they “loved themselves” and it was costly to them. It was unconditional to boot, with no payback expected in return. If you two are reading this, thanks again.
There are plenty of passages which describe what love looks like. Rom 12 says to look out for the needs of others. Putting others first is what clothing yourself with the Lord Jesus is about. Our default mode is to live in complacency – “slumber” is what Paul calls it, being blind to the needs of those around us. Jesus lived his life meeting the real needs of the populace around him, then died for the ultimate need of us all. In like manner, we are to live daily dying to self so as to live each day for others needs and particularly that of their salvation. Loving others as you love yourself is what this passage mentions, but Jesus said to “love others as I have loved you”. When we do love, we humans tend to love selfishly expecting something in return, where as Jesus loves us unconditionally knowing full well we cannot repay him. Rather He wants us to “pay it forward” to quote the movie title by loving others in like manner.
Love, for the Day Is Near
ROM 13 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God of Love. Everything that I do in your lives is from my abundant love. Hardships, pain, Joys and good times all come from my love to you for purpose. My desire is foremost that you reflect my Son in your lives and thus will you glorify me in this world and attract others to worship me. I would like all men to come to repentance and willingly receive my forgiveness. You will best help them to do that as you walk in my love by loving others. Christianity is giving your life for others in love knowing that he gave us his life in that same love. He who loves in this way is clothing themselves in me.
I AM the God who is coming again. Live this life in expectation of my imminent return. What would I like to see from my children when I return? That you lived your life emulating me, by walking in my love. This takes a mindset change on your behalf. Wake up from your slumber, put on the armor of light, behave decently, clothe yourself in the Lord; I admonish you with this passage regarding the complacency of your mindset while you wait for my return. Find ways to love one another. If it costs you something, then it is real.
You do what you think about
There are many verses that pertain to our thought life. This passage contains one of my
favorites in verse 14. You see, before you can sin, you have to think about how to sin first. Like James says, sin is conceived in the mind when first our desires grab for the enticement or temptation. Then we fantasize about it and then consider how to fulfill that desire. So in order to stop sinning, you have to stop thinking about how to sin and take captive your thought life to that of Christ’s. You have to change your thoughts to something else – namely as spoken about in Phil. 4:8 and 2 Cor. 10:5, Ps 19:14 and Col. 3:1-3 and this present passage. Putting on the Lord Jesus is to think as pertaining to your position in him as His children then what you do and say will reflect your position. From out of the heart the mouth speaks. Like a ball and chain on your ankle, except there are small links of the chain to start with and each link thereafter is larger and larger until it is connected to the ball of destiny. Remember this saying. “Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny.” If each link is represented by one of the aspects of the saying, which would be easiest link to break the chain to destiny? The “thought” link for sure. See my post: https://whoareyoulord.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/think-godly-act-godly-the-opposite-is-true-too-eph-417-24/
Love needs no Law
Living in love is the positive command which fulfills the negative restrictions of God’s holy Law. In other words, if you are doing the former, you won’t have to worry about the breaking the latter. If you are thinking on how to love your brother, you won’t be thinking about how to hurt him. The fruit of the Spirit is love, etc. “against such there is no law”. Gal 5:16-18 say: 16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” As you can see again, if this is evident in your life, you will not have to worry about keeping the Laws of God, because he is doing it for you as you are controlled by the Spirit.
More to come,