“All you need is Love”
To understand love, to know what it means to love as Christ loved, one must meditate on the Gospel. It’s basic: through the Gospel, we have received and know the very love of God. We were forgiven the unforgivable, loved when we were unlovable, and righteousness was charged to our account when we did nothing nor could we have done anything to obtain it. Our God gave us what we needed the most – forgiveness of sin – at great personal cost. So, when we are commanded to love as Christ loved, we understand that the Gospel informs us as to the nature and magnitude of that love. The very essence of who Christ is informs and empowers us to love Him and those around us. The love of Christ constrains us! Look to the cross when love is hard or cloudy in your heart and you will understand the sacrifice, the pain, the labor, the justice, and even the reality of a life consumed with love.
So, two truths about love are clear:
(1) The Gospel informs our love
(2) Love is undeserving.
God loves us as much as He will ever love us at any point. It is a past, present, and future reality. His love for us will not change based upon anything that we have done or will do. His love never diminishes over time. It is eternal.
But there is a third aspect of love that needs attention:
(3) Love is dynamic.
There must be an outflow of God’s love through our lives. It can never be stagnant or subtle. When we are informed of the love of God through the Gospel, it must have a daily impact upon our lives. It must affect how we live and respond to those around us. According to 1 Corinthians 13, it is not enough to be theologically sound or even strong in faith. Though critically and foundationally important, these things must be informed and seasoned with genuine heartfelt love for Christ and those He has placed in our lives. Otherwise, it is mere religion. Remember, love is patient and kind when everything within you is aggravated and boils. Love never is irritable or resentful to anyone no matter how annoying or prideful the other may be. Love never takes pleasure or satisfaction at the wrongdoing or misfortunes of another. It only rejoices in truth. There is never a hint of arrogance or rudeness and it never insist upon it on way. If you want to know what genuine love should look like, know this: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love is eternal and is more powerful than a prophetic word, the gift of a tongue, or all the knowledge that one can accumulate. This is the love of Christ to us and this love must always inform our daily walk. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” [Eph. 5:1] Let your love be a sweet and a fragrant aroma that never fades away.