A life filled with harmony, peace, and love is something we all want. And, yet, we can’t quite achieve it. Because harmony, peace, and love are by-products of living well, not things we can force to appear. But how could we live the way these things would naturally appear? How could we live in love? How could we create life full of faith, hope, and love?
Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. This is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him. This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. (1 John 4: 7-11, CEB)
Because God is love, the only way to live in love is to dwell in God. And if the only way to God is Jesus, then the only way to become loving is through Christ. And if the only way to Christ is through the cross, then we need to realize our sinfulness and need of grace. But when we repent and receive forgiveness by grace through faith in Jesus, we are ready to extend love, grace, and compassion to others. When God pours grace upon grace, love upon love on us, we can truly live in love.
Okay, you say. That’s the theology of Christian love. But how can we practice love in real life?
We can only love if we live in God. We are dependent on God’s love and the Holy Spirit working in us. God’s nature is love and he is happy to pour out more love into our marriages if we ask. God’s language is love and he is delighted to give us more love to extend to our co-workers, neighbors, and enemies if we ask. God’s spirit is love and he is overjoyed to send us more love to be shared through our work, play, and life if we ask.
When we receive God’s love, we are transformed, our lives are not ours anymore. It’s not us loving our enemies, it’s not us extending help for our neighbors. It’s not us becoming radically obedient to God’s guidance. It’s not us living in love and grace. It’s God dwelling in us. It’s God sharing harmony, peace, and love. It’s God pouring out grace upon grace, love upon love, life and more life!
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (Phil. 1: 9-11, MSG, emphasis added)
Thank you for your amazing love!
Come and dwell in us!
Come and transform us!
Come and live through us!
So we could live a lover’s life,
full of harmony, grace, and peace.
So we could every day be a bit more like you!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What does help you to create faith, hope, and love in your life?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you seek to live in love!
Giving thanks today for
#51 God’s transforming love
#52 goodbye hugs
#56 time for rewriting
#57 radical grace
#58 being part of God’s salvation plan
#59 shared and lived love
#60 shared and lived grace
Do you want to win a copy of the Common English Bible softcover edition? Just leave a comment on any blog post this week (or any week during the blog tour). The winner will be announced again on Monday!
All these CEB give aways are possible because I am participating in the Common English Bible Blog tour. Until the end of January I will mostly be using the Common English Bible (CEB) on my blog posts. Let’s check out this fresh new Bible translation!