I like Love. I like the feeling of it, the expression of it, the way it ministers to me just by saying the word...
The idea alone has a calming effect on me, but that was not always the case. There were seasons in my life where the mere thought of Love brought back memories of pain, loss, despair. I had to grow into understanding Love, and I still have a lot to learn. I think we all do. If we choose to live like Christ, we have to learn to see Love as He does…. sincere, pure, sacrificial, unconditional. The biblical term is agápe.
I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3 (New International Version)
Because of its tone and language, many scholars believe the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi to be the most eloquent and emotional of all his writings.
He made it clear.
I love you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:7-8 (NIV)
Wow. Whether in chains, or preaching the gospel – I love you.
High or low,
feast or famine,
up or down
– I love you.
Life will change, but Love never fails.
That is why I like Love. It’s flexible. Agape Love expands and stretches. It is the glue holding together a marriage of 48 years, the patience of a mother waiting for her son the soldier to return. It flexes when the kids go off to college and out of our grasp. It exposes itself when circumstances make us shift from relative to caregiver. It fills the void left by time and distance and people.
Yes. I know Love can hurt, but that doesn’t mean it failed because Love is also a seed. Even in the darkness of life, it's still at work cracking through hard shells and exploring new territory.
Pure love breaks new ground and abounds.
Whatever the challenge, Love still abounds.
Whatever the limitation, Love still abounds.
Love. Never. Fails.
YOUR LOVE DID NOT FAIL.
To express the sincerity of emotion that is Love is to give a glimpse of Jesus. It is a privilege to Love, to demonstrate something so akin to how God feels about us. Love helps us wrap our minds around being a living sacrifice. We can understand better why we fellowship with our Savior in His suffering because we look like God’s Love when we do.
The world encounters Christ through YOUR LOVE.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6 (NIV)
The Love that began in you will complete its work. That’s a win.
Your willingness to Love despite it all is a powerful weapon. It slays naysayers, kills drama, and silences gossip. The singer Aaliyah said it well…
But at your best you are love You're a positive motivating force within my life Should you ever feel the need to wonder why Let me know, let me know*
So, why "Love" and why YOU? Because YOUR LOVE makes GOD look GOOD.
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. Philippians 1:9-11 (Message Translation)
Love. It is the glue that keeps us together, the seed ready to burst open and break free
generating "fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all.”
Love chose you. Now, choose it.
Go. “Live a lover’s life.” Accept the fullness of its joy, and believe with godly expectations that the seed of Love you sow will reap a harvest that cannot be explained.
YOU look like LOVE, and LOVE NEVER FAILS.
See you next Tuesday.
*From Aaliyah's hit song, "At Your Best (You are Love)"