Monday, April 17, 2017

If You Don't Have Love

      How can we be Christians without the character of love? How can we claim to be Christians and not show love? It is a fruit of the Spirit, it is a sign that we have truly been empowered by the Spirit of God.

      If you listen to Paul you will see that love is so much more than a feeling that makes your heart flutter. Love is so much more an action. if you rely on just the small feeling part then it can be lost. But the love I am talking about is the agapao or agape love, a love that is unconditional, that can't be lost or fallen away from, because it is unconditional, it is an active love. In John 21 Jesus tells Peter if you love me, feed my lambs, tend to my sheep. Paul tells the church, If you have everything, but you don't have love, then what do you have?

      If you have that new car, but you can't forgive someone, then what do you have? If you have that corner office job, but can't show love to your neighbor, it's like a loud gong or clanging cymbal. What do you have if you don't have love? Love should be our character as Christians. Paul even tells us, if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. He even goes a step further to tell us what is and what isn't love.

      Love is patient: Let's think about how patient Jesus was with His disciples and with the throngs of people coming to be healed. We must be patient in the church, we must be patient at home, we must be patient in our communities.

      Love is Kind: Kindness is free, it doesn't cost any money to give or receive. It's just as easy to go around with a smile on your face as it is a frown. Kindness is a big step towards the Christian aim in overcoming evil with good. To give someone a smile, or a cheerful handshake. To say a kind word of comfort, or cheer. How about paying someone a visit? Love does not criticize the work of others, how others worship, even if you don't like it. That isn't the character of love, and it is not the character of a Christian.

      Love is not jealous: Love is the complete opposite of jealousy, it is impossible for it to covet. If God bestows a blessing on someone, we rejoice with them, we do not show sorrow or discontent over the blessings of others.

      Love is not boastful, love is not proud or rude. Love does not demand it's own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. You see where this is going? If you are keeping score, that is not love. Love is gentle, it is not self seeking.

      Love never rejoices over injustices, but celebrates when the truth wins out. Love never gives up, it never loses faith, it is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever. Do you realize that?

       Love is not beaten or down trodden, Love is never defeated or dejected. Love is in the forgiveness of a brother or sister, not seven times, but seven times seventy times. No one is beyond the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. No one, whom the world sees as worthless, is worthless through the eyes of Christians.

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