September 13th 2010

God’s Standard Of Love

“May the Lord give you the same increasing and overflowing love for each other and towards all men as we have towards you.”
1 Thessalonians 3:12 (Phillips NT)

As you know, there is a government standard for weights and measures that guarantees we always get what we pay for. Imagine buying a bag of potatoes that is supposed to weigh a kilo but is obviously much lighter than that. As we scrutinise the packaging we find a message printed on the back; “This is close enough.” Just how are we going to feel? Cheated; disappointed; angry?

In the scripture above, the Apostle Paul prays that our love as Christians would “increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else”. Increasing love! Overflowing love! This kind of love doesn’t come from us but from God who is Love! That’s why he begins, “May the Lord give you…”  it’s a gift from our Father through His Spirit.

God has a standard for the love we extend to each other, and these are the words of Jesus which spell out that standard: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this; that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13 NIV). That is a very high standard isn’t it?

This is nothing short of God’s love flowing out from us to others. As we allow this beautiful, compassionate and sacrificial love to flow, our brothers and sisters will not feel cheated, disappointed or angry, but joyful, happy and fulfilled because they have received good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over! (Luke 6:38 NIV). This amazing love, just like Elijah’s cruse of oil, will never run dry (1Kings 17:15).

Some years ago there was a ‘Peanuts’ cartoon strip by Schultz where Lucy asks Charlie Brown, “Why are we here?” And he replies, “To love others.” There’s a pause, then Lucy asks, “So why are the others here?” That’s a great question!

Our amazing Father, please pour out upon us, your little children, an abundance of your sacrificial love; that we may lay down our lives for others after the perfect example of your beloved Son, Jesus.

Study by Cliff Neill 

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