For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to be going through a series of posts that really show us the truth of God’s love and why it is so vital to Christianity. Keep checking back to explore each consecutive aspect of God’s love. Remember to comment on what you like and what you think should be changed!
Love. Arguably the most important aspect of the Christian faith, and quite possibly the most easily corrupted, misused and even forgotten. The importance of love is a point stressed constantly throughout the Bible. John 13:35 says “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 3:16, possibly the most well-known verse in the Bible, says “For God SO LOVED the world.” Love is the foundation that the whole of the Christian faith is built upon. Love is the most vital piece. Out of love, Christ died for us. Out of love, God forgives us our sins. Out of love, we can forgive one another. Out of love, people are reached with the gospel. So if love is so important, we should all understand the power of the love of God, and what we are supposed to do in response to it.
Probably the most famous passage about love in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13, also known simply as “The Love Passage.” This poetically eloquent description of love is a powerful lesson to Christians about the incredible importance of love. For those who don’t have access to a Bible, or simply don’t have time to grab it right now, the Love Passage is as follows:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Isn’t this a beautiful and powerful picture of love? It is incredibly famous for its elegance and sensibility. So if it’s so famous, why is it that so many of us fail to live it out? Why are so many Christians hearers, rather than doers, of the Word in the area of love? Why? This is the problem that we will explore and attempt to remedy.
Obviously, love is incredibly important to Christians. But why is it so vital? Why do we say that the whole of the Christian faith is built upon love? Simple- because our entire relationship with God is one of love. And it is not because of us- it’s because of God. God loves us. Just stop to think about that for a moment. The unbelievably, incomprehensibly powerful God who created the universe with a word, breathed life into all living things, walks on water, feeds thousands from five loaves and two fish, changes water into wine, and conquers death itself, loves YOU. He loves you more than you can possibly imagine. And He loves all of us with that same amount of immeasurable love. Because of His great love, God created and cared for us. Because of that same love, rather than start over with a clean slate when we failed Him so horribly, He stayed with us. And because of that love, He DIED for us. He died the most unbearably painful death possible for a human. For you. Why? Because He loves you. Despite that you, in your darkness, were completely against Him, along with all humanity. He loved you enough to die for you.
God has done something incredible for us. Shouldn’t this compel us to do all that we can for Him? Sometimes it does. But so often, that fire is extinguished by the pains and difficulties of this life. We need to get ourselves realigned with God and His love. So come along with me on this journey through His love and its ramifications in our lives. I guarantee it will change you, just as it has changed me.