He speaks the sermon’s topic and jolts me back to the blog theme I’ve let side-trails pull me away from, reminds me that LIVING (OUT) (HIS) LOVE (begun here, and continued here and here and here and here) still needs follow-through to its conclusion.
Recap of the blog series so far: 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of Love (the noun) as something we have—or don’t have. To have real love, we/I must have God, be connected to Him, because God is love, and the source of all love, and apart from Christ we can do nothing truly loving, any more than dry branches can produce grapes, disconnected from the vital vine.
BUT (as I hear in this sermon emphasizing the truth’s flip side)… Loving (the verb) is doing. Love without any outward response… well, just isn’t! You can’t have love without its producing the fruit of some kind of action, visible to others or hidden, but actual flesh-and-blood living out.
If the love is flowing, the soul will get going… And. do. something! loving! Even if the body lies injured or sick in bed, mind and spirit will pray love.
Past posts in this series emphasized that not all deeds that look loving really are. The sad truth is that we we can play-act love, put on a good “stage” performance for whatever self-focused reasons. What happens then is but a masquerade.
But love, real love… (in the sermon’s wise words):
has its source in God (1 John 4:7, 19)
manifests itself in authentic action (James 2:15-18; Lev 19:9-18; Deut 15:7-11)
is what God demonstrated for us in Christ… (Rom 5:8; John 3:16)
is the reasonable response to God’s love for us (1 John 4:10-11,17)
is more than mere talk or play act, but an actual act: so, says the apostle John, do it, show it, “in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18)
is something we walk in (2 John 1:6)
Yes, Love has legs—and arms and hands—and they move! But there’s more. Love…
moves both “vertically” (back toward God Who bestowed it on us), and “horizontally” (toward His special creation, the objects of His love that bear His image (1 John 4:17,21)
We can’t truthfully say we love God if we hate our brother or neighbor (“how [then] can the love of God be in” us?)
Which brings us back to our love deficit, in our Adamic nature, and our need for Him, and for a maintained connection to Him, to be able to love.
Prayer: O Lord God, Whose love surpasses our imagination, fill me with that love of Yours today and use me as its vehicle, its channel to others. Love through me, please, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.