Last week we looked to 1 Corinthians 13 to find out what the Bible says love is. What some of the attributes of love in action look like. Love doesn’t just happen. It takes effort. It takes an awareness of one’s heart and motives and feelings and actions towards others. Love doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We live in an imperfect world and every encounter we have with people around us is an opportunity for us to let the love of God overflow from within us to them. We have to be aware of God living in us.
1 John 4:7-8 says, “Those who are loved by God, let his love continually pour from you to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of him. The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love.” Verse 11 “Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then “loving one another” should be our way of life!” Verses 15-16, “Those who give thanks that Jesus is the Son of God live in God, and God lives in them. We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us. God is love! Those who are living in love are living in God, and God lives through them.”
Loving people is evidence that we have God living in us. The more aware we are of God living in us, the more we listen to His voice and allow Him to do a transformative work in us, the more we are able to love others. Loving others is not only in what we do but in what we do not do. Sometimes the most love you can show someone in a situation is saying nothing. Just because you think it doesn’t mean it needs to be said. Sometimes we love people by confronting what needs to be confronted. So our expression of love must be guided by the Holy Spirit. It is His fruit after all. We need to listen for His direction on how He wants us to release His love to people.
We do not all receive love the same. We are different. I remember once 5 years ago, I felt I had to say something encouraging to someone. I wasn’t sure how to say it so I felt prompted to write it down on a post it note. I proceeded to give it to them thinking they would read it and get rid of it. But recently I became aware that they have kept that post it note all these years and they keep it where they can see it. That was God expressing His love through me. I didn’t know that it would mean that much to them but it did.
We don’t always know how people will respond when we reach out but one thing we must do is not fear rejection. If they do reject us, they are not really rejecting us, they are rejecting God so do not take it personally. Or maybe you missed it. We all make mistakes. Keep loving anyway and pray that God makes a way for people to receive His love.
The God kind of love that we are to express to those around us does not come naturally to most of us. It is learned by walking with the Holy Spirit. By spending time with God and getting to know Him. As we get to know Him, His character, how kind and loving and gentle He is, and as we are transformed into His likeness, we have no option but to be kind, loving and gentle like Him.
Love is a beautiful thing but outside of God it can easily become corrupt. We must remember that God is love and God is a Holy God so the love we are to express must be pure like its source. Which is why we need to allow the Holy Spirit to work on our soul. The more transformed our soul is, the less corrupt the love that flows through us is. My pastor Esther explains our soul like a tap. The water may be pure but if the tap is rusty, the water that comes through that tap tastes and may even look rusty. The fruit of the Holy Spirit being God’s love in us is pure, our spirit is pure but if our soul (our tap) is rusty, that is we have our own trauma to deal with or we have been hurt or we have our own fears and prejudices, then that could get in the way of us expressing God’s love to those around us.
God is the only one who can turn a rusty tap into one that is clean and that releases and expresses Him in a pure way. We are to desire to be clean vessels. We are to hunger to be in the Presence of God. That is where we are transformed. We must hunger for the word of God, it’s His word that washes us clean (Ephesians 5:26). We are to allow the Holy Spirit to do His transformative work in us (Romans 12). But most of all, don’t forget to relax. Let God flow naturally through you. Remember there are many expressions of love, Galatians 5:22. Don’t limit God to the ones you like. 🙂
Love and blessings,