April 8th 2010

Clothed With Christian Love

2nd in a Series

“Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

I John 4:8 (NIV)

There are not many places where God, with a single word, describes himself, but this is one of them, and love is the word that is used.  What does this word mean?

There are several Greek words for love.  The word here is ‘agape’, which is used very sparingly in Greek.  One might say it has been commandeered by the Christian community to describe this quality of God.  The word carries a few different connotations.  It has the sense of outgoing concern that prefers the well-being of the other to that of the self.  It is love that does not seek any return:  It is unselfish.  It also carries the idea of sacrifice.  This sacrificial love will lay itself down for others.  This is the love that motivated Jesus in his great saving work of laying down his life for us.

Since we have been clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:26-27), this is a quality that has been given to us.  We are to resist the selfishness that tarnishes our human love and to submit to the urging of the Holy Spirit to walk in this new kind of love.

This love does not differentiate – it is expressed to all whether, in human terms, they are worthy or not.  This love sees the worth of all who are created in the image of God and seeks to serve in whatever way it can.  This love does not put itself first but seeks to do good to all, even at the expense of the self.

We all have many opportunities each day to live this life of love.  There is so much need in the world and we are all able to provide a little toward that need, as we express the heart of God to our fellow man.   

Prayer

Father in heaven, please let my life reflect your love that you have placed in me, that I might help in relieving the hurt that is in the world all around me.

Amen

Study by David Stirk 

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