Love. It’s a word with many uses and meanings. C. S. Lewis wrote a book on the four words for love used in the Greek New Testament. He called it The Four Loves. In fact the reading of it is one of the few verifiable recordings of his voice. But, I digress.
Love has many meanings and uses. It is a word often used in relation to a place, a type of food, an author, or a genre of music.
More intimately, we think of the love for a friend, a child or grandchild which is different again than the love for one’s spouse.
But there is also a biblical love for our fellows that is sometimes the hardest. It is what Jesus refers to in one of my readings this morning:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
You mean that guy who bullies me?
By relying on God. Through praying for him.
To give God the glory. Jesus said that:
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:34-35 ESV)
If people can see that we are his disciples, He may receive glory.
Let us put away grudges, both old and new, and pursue love. Deciding to love means taking that one who is unlovely (like me) to the throne of Grace. Pray for the one who curses and does not bless. Lift him up to the One who died for us both. Pursue God in prayer for this one who is hard to love. In this way we are loving. In this way we are obeying. In this way He will change us.
Some of you are easy to love. You require no command. Jesus commands love because others of us are hard to love. For us, love is a decision, an action, a pursuit.
After 1 Corinthians 13, the famous love chapter, Paul begins 1 Corinthians 14 with two words, and I leave you with these words: