The essence of our calling is summed up in a single word: Love. In a world that has romanticized and sexualized love, the church has a beautiful opportunity to show the love of God Himself. Yet, each local church must ask, “Have we confused being ‘nice’ or ‘neighborly’ for being truly loving? Do the people of our community see us as a loving people? Are we dependent upon the Spirit to live His loving fruit through us?”
What does Love in our lives look like? What if it looked like a Starbucks coffee shop?
Did you see the love of Christ here?
Here are the scriptures I will be looking at for the next few blogs.
Matt. 22:34–40; Luke 6:27–36; John 13:34–35, 15:9–17; Rom. 5:5–8, 13:8–10; Gal. 5:6, 13–14, 22; Eph. 3:14–19
For, brothers, you were called to liberty. Only do not use the liberty for an opening to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:13-15 MKJV)
We have been talking about love and in the video above the superficial acts of what appears to be love. Yet it is love without authenticity. We are all called not to serve the flesh or the law but the love of God. We have been freed from the burden of sin and the works of the law to prove our right standing with God. This should free up sometime in which this free time can now be spent on serving others. But there comes a warning. “if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another.” Does “you reap what you sow” come to mind? If we act out our faith and love as in the video above we end up consuming one another in self-righteousness and deceit. There is not any sign of authenticity or vulnerability.
But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law. But those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become glory-seeking, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26 MKJV)
Love being the first, and some may say the encompassing of all the fruit of the Spirit, comes by the Holy Spirit indwelling presence. As we yield to God the Holy Spirit we put off the fleshly desires and put on the spiritual desires.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16 KJV)
How can we do this? Another verse comes to mind; “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:16-17 KJV)
Whatever you do, do it as if you were doing for Jesus Christ.