WALK IN LOVE
A lawyer stood up in the crowd one day and challenged Jesus. “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus referred him back to Scripture, “What is written in the law?”
The lawyer knew the answer. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:25-28)
Love God, love your neighbor. When the lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with the story of the Good Samaritan, a man who reached out with kindness and goodness to help another man he might consider an enemy. (Luke 10: 30-37)
Galatians 5:22,23 lists nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Love is first and is perhaps defined by the other eight.
Love is an act of the will that causes us to care for another person. Action, not just words.
Soldiers in battle are given medals in recognition of risking their lives to help their fellow soldiers. Jesus’ own example of self-sacrifice is the greatest expression of love.
God is the source of love. God’s Word makes it clear that true and pure love cannot exist without God, for “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
‘Love your enemies,’ we are told, and ‘love one another’ (Matthew 5: 43,44; John 15:12). We demonstrate our love for God as followers of Christ when we reach out to help our friends, neighbors, and those who may not like us. Providing food and clothing to someone in need, showing hospitality to visitors, praying for others, visiting shut-ins, even sending a card or note to encourage, all are acts of love.
Jesus tells His disciples (John 15:12), “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Believers are to ‘walk in love’ (Ephesians 5:2) because Christ loved us and gave Himself for us.
Sharing the gospel is an act of love.
God is holy, and because we disobey God, as sinners we deserve death– to be eternally separated from Him (Romans 3:23). God loves us so much, despite our sin, that He sent His Son to earth as a human. Jesus suffered pain and rejection, shed His blood and died a painful death on a cross. Jesus’ sacrifice paid the penalty for our sins and opened the way to eternal life, life forever with God (Romans 6:23, John 14:6).
When we receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we gain the right to be called children of God (John 1:12). Instead of being eternally separated from God, we are allowed to call Him ‘Father’ and have an eternal inheritance in heaven (Galatians 4:6,7).
People today are like wandering sheep, looking for love. Some try to find it in success, money, unhealthy habits, or immoral relationships. A Christian’s attitude and acts of love, kindness, and caring may help an unbeliever find Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Or they may draw a straying sheep back into fellowship with Christ and other Christians.
May God’s love be evident in and through me.
(Bible references from NKJV)
(coming July 12, 2022)