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Pursue Love

May 16, 2021

We hear a lot about what the world says love is in February. However, for those of us who have believed in Jesus for the free gift of eternal life, have the Holy Spirit living within us, with a desire to imitate the love of our Captain, we must look to the Word of God. From Scripture, we can know all about love: what love is, who to love, how to love, why to love, what our motivation to love is, and when to love.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul encourages the church to "pursue love” (1 Corinthians 4:1). In Greek, the word pursue means to aggressively chase with haste. What a great reminder those words can be for us every day! 

Love Is 

...love is of God...God is love

1 John 4:7-8

Love is who He is, His character, what He is known for, and what He does. It does not come "naturally" from our flesh. To be able to imitate Christ and love others, we must ask the Spirit to help us!  

Love Who?

...love the Lord your God...love your neighbor as yourself...

Mark 12:30-31

How do we love God? Jesus says in John 14:15 that if we love Him we should keep His commands, which are not burdensome (1 John 5:3) and are fulfilled when we love one another (Romans 13:8). So then, who are our neighbors? They are the people God has placed close to you - the people in your home, those you go to school/work with, people in your local church, and strangers you meet in everyday life. They are our fellow believers (brethren/one another), and they may even be our enemies. To sum it up, we are to love God and love everyone! 

Love How?

...serve one another through love.

Galatians 5:13 CSB

Over and over in the Word, we are told that God loved us so much that He gave: God gave His Son; Christ gave His life. We can imitate God and walk in love as Christ did (Ephesians 5:1 - 2). We can give sacrificially of our time, of the money God has entrusted to us, and of the material blessings in our possession. We are not to love with words only but with works (1 John 3:18), through love serving one another (Galatians 5:13).  Jesus teaches us that we should serve: we should do for others even those things they are capable of doing for themselves; things that may not seem like much; things that seem ordinary and mundane even; things that humble us; things that we may not enjoy doing. These acts of brotherly love show that we honor and give preference to others (Romans 12:10).  

With the Spirit's help we can love as Christ loved us: He laid down his life for us (John 15:13 and 1 John 3:16). I really appreciate what Zane Hodges had to say about laying our lives down for others in his commentary on 1 John. He equated it to sharing what we have in order to sustain life for others. Isn't that a powerful image of what it means to share?!

Why Love?

  • It is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37)
  • All the law is fulfilled in love (Romans 13:10)
  • It is how we imitate God (Ephesians 5:1-2)
  • It is how we abide in God's love (1 John 15:9-10)
  • So that our joy may be made full (John 15:11)
  • We are known as His disciples by our acts of love for one another (John 13:35) 
  • So that God's love will be made complete in us and therefore we can be bold at the Judgement Seat of Christ (1 John 4:17)
  • It makes us His friends (John 15:14) His command is to love. We are His friends IF we obey this command.

What is our motivation to love?

We can be encouraged to continue in love when we remember how deeply He loved us first. Also, we can look ahead to the day when our works as believers will be evaluated with a longing to hear "well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23).

Love When? 

God, through Paul, tells us very plainly... "Let ALL that you do be done in love" (1 Corinthians 16:14). 

Questions we can ask ourselves to help us pursue love:

We can apply these to family, friends, neighbors, those in authority over us, and our enemies...

  • Am I patient? 
  • Am I kind? 
  • Am I envying someone? 
  • Am I boastful? 
  • Am I prideful? 
  • Do I behave rudely? 
  • Do I seek my own? 
  • Am I provoked? 
  • Do I think evil of others? 
  • Do I celebrate iniquity? 
  • Do I rejoice in the truth? (from 1 Corinthians 13) 
  • What can I give to show love today? 
  • How can I serve someone else today? 
  • How can I share what I have been given with others? 
  • How can I turn a profit on my faith by loving others today? (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3) 

When we turn to God's Word as the authority on love we see a very different story than what the world wants us to believe. May His truths encourage us to pursue love all the days of our lives!

4 comments on “Pursue Love”

  1. This is wonderful, Allison! So many great verses to look up and concepts to ponder—I could chew on this article for days! ❤️

  2. Thank you so much for this post. There is so little teaching about love, what it is, how to do it. Seems odd since it is THE command in scripture that fulfills all the commands. Free Grace people need more teaching on Love instead of just the generic “ be obedient “ teaching we get so much of without any explanation as to what to do or most importantly how to do it. Let’s please focus a free grace people of God to teach more on Love thereby teaching more about God since God is Love 1 John 4:7.

  3. I could read this everyday! It's a good reminder that everything we do, should be done in love. That is the way to reach unbelievers and live with each other, the way God intended. I feel like this does set the free grace community apart.

  4. This is wonderfully written and easy to read. Such good truth! I'll be sharing as well as rereading myself. Love you sister

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