The early Latin writer, Tertullian of Carthage, declared that the one thing that converted him to Christianity was not the arguments they gave him, because he could find a counterpoint for every argument they would present. “But they demonstrated something I didn’t have. The thing that converted me to Christianity was the way they loved each other.”
- G.C. Jones
With Valentine's Day just a few days away, love is in the air, or at least on the mind. It seems though that the word love has lost some of its meaning in today’s culture. We claim to love things, people, and places. We are told what love looks like, but do we remember what it means, not from a pop culture sense, but from a biblical understanding? The best demonstration of a practical and tangible understanding of love is found in the Gospel which highlights the embodiment of the word love in the life and ministry of Christ.
As displayed by God the Father to the Son, and Jesus to his disciples, we are to love those whom we have affection for. We are also called to love even those whom we might have issues with or not know. We see this as Jesus interacts with the public, his family, friends, and even His enemies. In the life of Christ, we see what love looks like in many different settings and situations. In all of them, one can see a few similarities. First, there is often a sacrificial component to how one is to love another. Whether it be someone we might know or not, to love in the way of Christ means often there is some type of sacrifice on our part. Second, Jesus loves those who are on the outside, not just in the inner circle. We too must move towards those like Christ. Our love at times is reserved only for those whom we know and yet Christ encourages us to move past that place.
Tertullian was convinced not by the great argument of Christianity but by the practical tangible realities of it, how love is expressed. We must move beyond ourselves if we are to love others, and God the way Christ did. We must look to the ways of Jesus to learn what love is and how it is expressed.
Who and how is Christ calling you to love those around you and those you interact with?
- Pastor Josh
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