by Ben KC Lee
Thursday, May. 14, 2009
Jesus said, "By this all men will know you are My disciples, if you have love one another" (John 13:35). In other words church should be characterised by love. This is the number one characteristic of a Christ follower.Love is not a feeling. Agape love is active, not abstract or passive. It does not simply "feel patient." It is patient! It practices patience. It does not simply have kind feelings. It does kind things. Love is fully love only when it acts! It is Christ-like character in action. It is a lifestyle of selfless service.
The power of love is awesome. Imagine when we increase our love for God, for each other, and for those far from God. We will see some great and mighty things take place for God's honour. When Christians begin to really love each other the way God wants us to, the world will be won. Love is the foundation for our relationships, relationships with other believers, with pre-believers and with difficult people. The basis is love. All the spiritual gifts, all the works of service, our very life together as Christians, are governed and held together by the principle of agape love. Without love, everything is meaningless.
There is only one person whose name could be substituted for "love" in Scripture. His name is Jesus. His self-giving is what love is. Our purpose is to demonstrate this kind of love one to another.
People are looking for love. The question is how do I love? The real issue is not what does love mean but am I going to love?
We need to learn to love each other. It is the heart of discipleship, described as 'a long obedience in the same direction'. It is the job of the Christian community, the church, to form this character in you and me through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the proclamation of the Word, the work of the Spirit, and the devoted life in the body of Christ, you and I are shaped so that we can love one another like Christ.
Christian community is about how to grow a loving people. This is a lifelong process. In this life we start that journey with a commitment to allow the Holy Spirit to use the local church to bring us into conformity with the character of Christ. May God help us to be loving people and may our life be marked by love.
First published in the The Christian Post Singapore. Online: http://sg.christianpost.com/dbase/editorial/462/section/1.htm