The same is true whether you teach or study, labor as a staff member or factory worker. You can be the most efficient worker in your field, handling problems with ease; but if you have not love, your actions are all for nothing. There is something else we need to know about love. Loving is not easy; loving is a challenge. They can be a very unlovable bunch. There are people you meet in the church and outside the church that are simply not deserving of your love. They are unkind, disrespectful, and inconsiderate. They might be stubborn, closed-minded and conservative to a fault.
There might be others who are lukewarm and appear to lack any zeal or passion for Christ and His church. Yet, the reality is they all need to be loved. God calls us to love not just the people we like, or the people who like us, or who share our passion and zeal, or who happen to agree with us, or the ones who live moral upright and decent lives. The reality is, God calls us to love enemies as well as friends, unbelieving neighbors as well believing neighbors, and those who are unkind to us in church as well as those who are kind.
In short, we are called to love the undeserving as well as the deserving! That is our duty and calling before the Lord Jesus Christ. We serve Christ and His Kingdom, by loving—by loving the unlovable, by bearing with the unbearable, by suffering the insufferable, and by tolerating the intolerable. That kind of love is something our God sees and hears and also takes pleasure in.
Are not even the tax collectors doing that? It does not take a Christian to love someone who is lovable. It does not take a Christian to love someone whom you like or who gives you love in return. But it does take a Christian to love someone who does not return your love or to love someone who is altogether unworthy of love.
The type of love required of us is not from below but must come down to us from above, from our God and Father in heaven. This becomes all the more evident as we consider the portrayal of love.
Without Love (Hairspray song) - Wikipedia
We are all familiar enough with verses of I Corinthians 13 to know that it is widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive and beautiful descriptions of love found anywhere—not only the Bible but also in literary history. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul describes love in a positive fashion by saying what it is, as well as in a negative fashion—by saying what it is not.
It is not my intent to go through these virtues one by one, but rather, focus mainly on the first attribute. Our love will be challenged.
Our love is going to be tested and tried. That is all the more reason for our love to be patient. A love that is patient will overcome all trials. Speaking of patient love, James says, everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. As we know all too well ourselves, anger is perhaps the greatest threat, the greatest predator to Christian love.
The Boy Without Love
So, James recommends patience as a means of counteracting anger, as a way to overcome it and conquer it. Patience protects love; patience insulates love. If our love is patient, then we will show the quality of righteous restraint. We will not lash out in anger even when our spouse or a fellow worker lashes out at us. We will not seek to settle the score when we have been wronged.
Rather, we will be patient. We will be slow to become angry and quick to love, for that is what love does. This kind of love is not indigenous to us humans here on earth. This is not a love that some are just lucky to be born with, while others go begging. The type of love we are called to exercise and exemplify is supernatural. It comes to us from above, and it is the same love that our Lord Jesus Christ exercised and demonstrated while He walked the earth.
- What is Baptism? (Crucial Questions Series Book 11).
- The Somerville Farce (Kasey Michaels Alphabet Regency Romance)?
- The Trial!
- A Strange Story — Volume 07.
It is the same love that Christ showed to those who were ungodly and unloving and undeserving. Come to think of it, this is the same kind of love that our God showed to us when we were ungodly, unloving, and undeserving. Our God loved us even though we were dead in our trespasses and sins, even as He saw our vile hearts, even as He read the thoughts of our corrupt minds. We Christians are to have the love of Christ Jesus in our hearts. This is the kind of love that ought to be present in the classrooms, on the job, in our social gatherings, our homes, and our churches.
You have to have love because without it all your labors and all your efforts will be for naught.
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The same love that changed us and transformed our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus—that won us over for God—can also be used to change the hearts and minds of others. God can use our patient love, our understanding words, our kind gestures, and our forgiving spirit as a tool of the Gospel whereby others who are lost in their sin and undeserving of love and mercy, are won over to Him.
They are won over even as they see and experience the love of Christ first hand, as we show it to them, and as we apply that love to them. That is why love is the most excellent way. The lyrics of this song proclaim through many creative analogies that without love, life is seriously lacking. Tracy says "Without love, life is like my mother on a diet" and Link says that it is "like rock and roll without a drummer.
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