Let’s talk about love. Love is a gift of common grace, which means it is generously given to all people all over the world since person number 1 until the last day. This is the reason why you are capable of loving anyone or anything. It’s pure grace. If God chose to remove this gift, in an instant you would be incapable of loving at all.
This is pretty much what hell will be like because there will be no God. No God means no love.
As I said, love is for everybody, and everybody is capable of loving, from the baby who is seconds old to the violently oppressive dictator. Everyone. You may find that hard to accept, but it is nonetheless true. We often hear of ruthless gangsters engaged in moving acts of love and kindness, whilst at the same time they are butchering people with no second thought. And who has seen those stylish photos of a baby hand gripping a parents finger? Again, we can all love.
If you are a Christian however, this starts to look different to the rest of the world, because the common grace gift should be transforming so that your love moves and matures from a natural ability to something that requires effort.
Jesus said that the world would be able to tell who his followers are by the fact that they love. Paul said that without love any amount of anything is worthless. The Father said that he would break through bars of iron because of his love for Israel.
This is love as an action, not a feeling.
It was love that compelled God to come as Jesus.
It was love that compelled Jesus to endure the cross.
It is love that has fuelled men throughout history to go to war.
It is love that inspires great works of art.
It is love that turns a gentle mother into a raging beast when her children are under threat.
It’s powerful stuff.
If you are saved and are not growing in love, you must be standing still. That isn’t enough. That isn’t really being a Christian. To be a Christian is to walk with Christ, literally to follow him, his teaching and his leading. And then, that’s when the dross starts to burn away and you are able to have compassion on those who previously irritated you, or patience for those who constantly hold you up.
Yes, it’s a journey and the going can be rough at times, but like all things that require effort and perseverance, it’s so very worth it.
Love is patient, kind, gentle, selfless and not envious, proud, arrogant or boastful.
And Jesus says “let’s go for a walk”