It is no secret that a defining characteristic of following Christ should be the demonstration of love, but I believe that it goes way beyond this. God is love. It is greater than just a quality that He possesses. The only way we comprehend the concept of love is because God is love and He demonstrated that love toward us. He facilitates our comprehension. We are then capable of love because God originally designed us with the incredible capacity to pour ourselves out, reflecting His character in us. He facilitates our participation. We can now receive love because God has created us to be loved by Him and also to experience that love through others. He facilitates our reception.
The follower of Christ is in a unique position to love the world around them. Let’s talk about two things that are necessary for a dynamic, kinetic love that has the potential to change our surroundings.
I John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
Love is Action-Oriented
Words are important. They can make a huge difference in the life of somebody in your circle of influence. When it comes to love, however, words are not enough. Empty phrases can keep a heart on life support for a short amount of time, but eventually, we need something more substantial. Real love has an action component. We must show our love for others through our behavior and our willingness to sacrifice our own selfishness. We should pause and ponder how to exhibit our love for others in practical ways each day.
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Love Flows from Our Beliefs
This kind of love begins deep inside our beliefs. When we align our views with God’s truth, we begin to see the world as He sees it. Truth changes the way that we think and the way we make our choices. The truth is that God has loved us – even when we were unlovely. He has provided unmeasurable grace and mercy in a practical demonstration of that love. Once that truth settles into our spirit, we have the capacity to reflect that same love outward to those who need it desperately. It is no longer an obligation or religious necessity. It is part of who we are. We were created by God to be loved by God and to express that love outwardly.
Know the truth and act on it. Engage your world with the love of Christ Jesus. You will be amazed at the difference it makes. One act of love can change everything.
[Tweet “We were created by God to be loved by God and to express that love outwardly. @davevanatter”]
Great article, David! Love the title. I write about this a lot too. Thanks for propelling me to love thru real life.