Is love on your mind this week? Are you giddy just thinking about how you’ll express your love to a special someone? Or are you discouraged and lonely because there is no special someone?
If the latter best describes you, take heart and be assured that romantic love is not even the highest level of love. It’s often temporary and can leave a person with a painful hole in their heart.
Jesus brought a greater love to mankind when He gave Himself on the cross.
In Paul’s letters to first century churches he gave instructions on how church members should behave in general and how they should treat one another.
He told the Ephesians, I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4:1-7 – NKJV) .
Verses 2-3 in the New Life Version state: Live and work without pride. Be gentle and kind. Do not be hard on others. Let love keep you from doing that. 3 Work hard to live together as one by the help of the Holy Spirit. Then there will be peace.
It takes effort to live in unity as a couple, a family, a church community, or any organization. When we decide not to be hard on others, we are bearing with one another in love. This is a choice.
Note that after Paul’s listing of instructions, he reminded his readers that God gives us each grace. Paul knew they (and we) cannot accomplish the directives in the previous verses without the gift of grace that comes to us from God, by His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Through God’s grace to us, we’re forgiven and accepted into His Kingdom. His grace in us gives us power to bear with one another in love, following Christ’s example. Allowing God’s grace to work in us is a choice.
In the 5th chapter of Ephesians, Paul told the followers of Jesus to walk in love after the example of Christ Himself. This is agape, the God kind of love.
After listing several Christ-like attributes in his letter to the Colossians Paul wrote, And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity (Colossians 3:14).
Can you see it—love the perfect bond of unity? Love is the superglue which holds a marriage together; holds a family together; holds a church community together; even holds a business together. What other entities can you list which are held together with the bond of love?
When asked what the greatest commandment is, “Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, HEAR O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” 31The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12:29-31).
Let’s ask God to give us grace to love the way Jesus loved,
letting agape love rule in our hearts and be evident in our actions.
©Connie Wohlford 2016