But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.
1 John 2:5
When we read and obey the bible, God does something transformative in our lives. He makes us into loving people.
The bible teaches us that God is love (1 John 4:16). Throughout the scriptures the message is consistent: God loves us, God wants us to be secure in his love for us, and God wants us to love others the same way. There is no greater purpose or calling in life than to love people. And no lifestyle is more fulfilling, powerful or inspirational than one focused on loving others.
God is love and that makes God attractive. When our church is filled with loving people then our church is attractive and we in turn, make God attractive.
Our challenge today is the many demands on our lives competing for our time, our energy and our resources. It can be very difficult to prioritize. Everything seems important and urgent at the same time, but only one thing matters.
The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in love.
Take time to study “love” in the bible. Is your life attractive to others? Does your life make God attractive?
Here are some scriptures to get you started:
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love. The entire Law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Who is the neighbor in your life?
How are you serving them?
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16
Although love does involve feelings. Jesus made sure the definition of Love was not based solely on feelings, but rather, on the choices that lead to action.
Who are you laying your life down for?
Is your love feeling-based? Do you stop laying your life down when you don’t feel like it or when it become challenging?
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Love begins at home. Our ability to love our spouse will determine our ability to love anyone.
Talk to your spouse regarding your relationship. What is one thing you can change that would make you more loving at home?
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
Part of learning to love is our willingness to speak up and speak the truth with each other.
The church is only as mature as the relationships between it’s members.
Who do you need to have an honest conversation with?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Love brings perfect unity.
Who is someone you aren’t unified with?
What virtue are you known for? What virtue do you want to be known for?
Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Love requires that we share both the gospel and our lives. Often we are ineffective sharing the gospel because we do not share our lives as well. This means opening our heart and letting people really know who we are.
Are you fruitful? Are you sharing both your life and the gospel with people?
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5
Our ability to love is influenced by the condition of our heart, our conscience, and our faith.
Do you have engaging relationships that help you identify impurities in your heart and help you clear your conscience?
Who in your life challenges you to have faith?
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
We all sin against each other at times. You cannot build a close-knit family without experiencing the sting of sin in relationships. Love is what keeps us close.
Are you holding a grudge against anyone? Have you pulled back in any of your relationships because of hurt feelings?
Love doesn’t pull back or stay offended.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds
When you come to church, do have someone on your heart who you have prepared to spur on toward love and good deeds?
How would this change your Sunday service experience if you had several people in mind who you could help become more loving and willing to do more good deeds?