Last week, we considered hope – confidence in our future with God. This week’s look at the love of faith, hope, and love, comes from an article I wrote several months ago titled, “How do I love Thee?” In particular, we’ll look at the unconditional, charitable action that must come as a result of our Christian faith.
Unconditional Love. This love doesn’t come and go with an emotional wind. It’s doing the right thing for the right reason despite feelings. Greek noun agape is this love that God has for all creation. Verb agapao is love action. God is love (agape); God loved and loves as we should (agapao).
For instance, God hasn’t always been happy with humanity but still loves so much that He gave His Son for all people and takes His time before bringing judgment.
We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
… Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him (Acts 10:34-35).
So, how should we love?
… ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ (Matthew 22:37-39).
According to Jesus and the apostles, we are to be kind and charitable to others besides honoring the Father with all we are and have. So, we will behave in specific ways if we remain with Christ and have the Spirit of God working within us. We will be patient, kind, charitable, gentle, and self-controlled (Galatians 5:22-23). Being self-controlled is essential to bringing the Kingdom of God to those who don’t know Christ (yet). We must not react angrily or speak hatefully – especially in this day of social media when and where we’re on public display! One hateful word, especially attacking character over behaviors, can make God’s Kingdom unattainable for so many people!
Remember that God has loved us first. In response, we must love people and give Him complete devotion. Do the right thing and watch what we say and write, understanding that we must remain patient, kind, gentle, and self-controlled despite how we feel. Finally, our love from faith must move us to care for others.
Next week, we’ll have a ‘whale’ of a time with Jonah!