- what we are called/commanded to do (john 13.34)
- supreme (1 corinthians 13.13, galatians 5.14)
- defined by the sacrifice of self (1 john 3.16)
5 basic principles..
1. love is an act of the will. deliberate decisions and conscious effort. not necessarily a feeling.
2. love is action, not just words. 1 john 3.18. love means being a servant. it means giving of yourself. love has work to do, even when you don't feel like it. i was reminded this week that it can be as simple as getting up to grab a napkin for grant or bringing him a glass of water.
'every family member provides you with the opportunity
to put on the work clothes of love and to serve.'
3. love the unlovely. it is natural and easy to love my friends, or those nice people in the neighborhood, or anyone who appreciates me. but we are called to love as God loves: everyone (even our enemies and the ungrateful), all the time, unconditionally. remember, God's love is never deserved. our love should follow suit.
4. we need God to help us love. it is only by His grace that i can serve others when i don't feel like it, or choose to get up and do the 'chores' of love when i'm tired, or show love to people who irritate me. my own strength and natural ways will fail me every time. i must rely on Him.
5. love expects nothing in return. this is always such a big wake-up call for me. love means no taking no thought of personal reward, love is not self-seeking (1 corinthians 13.5). we are to love and serve as if the person in front of us were Jesus himself.