We’ve been talking a lot about love. In times like these, we need a steady diet of it. We exist in a politically polarized environment, and we’re experiencing an election year. It’s always important to keep the love of God at the forefront of our minds. But when the world around us has forgotten what love looks like, we need to fix our eyes on Love Himself.
The Scripture are clear on the role that love should play in our lives.
Jesus said that people would know that we were his disciples by our love for each other (John 13:35). In this day and age, believers are also becoming polarized, divided, and bitter toward each other. Even if we disagree, we need to bind together like the family that we are. That’s how the world will see Jesus through us.
If you’ve been to a wedding, you’ve heard verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (also called “The Love Chapter”). What did Paul have to say about love? That we should have faith, hope, love but that the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). One day we will see God face to face. On that day all of our faith and all of our hope will come to an end. Love, on the other hand, goes on forever.
In Galatians, we get a list of what it should look like when God’s Spirit is alive and active in us. The fruit of the Spirit shows up in a lot of different ways (faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, just to name a few). But first and foremost, the fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22-23).
No matter what’s going on, if you’re not walking in sacrificial love, you’re not walking like Jesus. If you’re walking in the Spirit, then the Spirit is going to promote and lead and invigorate your life toward love. As we let the Spirit of God work in us, he shapes us to look more like Jesus, who is the perfect example of love.
On the other hand, if you are angry, frustrated, getting banned from social media pages, or calling people names, that’s not walking in the Spirit. Being a Christian means that (1) you believe in Jesus, (2) you are filled with the Spirit, and (3) you are going to walk in the Spirit. If you are getting caught up in arguments about politics, if you are being unkind to people, or if you are calling them names, stop it! In the name of Jesus, walk in love.
Just before Jesus went to the cross to give his life for us, he said,
“Greater love has no on than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Jesus laid down his life for every one of us. Not just those of us who are saved, but those who are yet to be saved. Jesus was willing to lay down his life for the very people who nailed him to the cross. That’s the kind of love that you and I are called to walk in. When we set aside that love to win an argument, we drive away the very people Jesus loves. So please, pretty please, in the name of Jesus, don’t be part of the problem.
As believers, we are meant to walk in and strive toward the kingdom of God. Love is the overarching ethic of that kingdom. If we’re not walking in love, we’re not walking in his kingdom.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10). We are called to pray that, but also to live it out. It is the work of the kingdom and the will of God that we show his love to the world.