Download it here: June 24th News Sheet
At the moment I am working with a couple who are getting married. Last Tuesday we talked about love, and had to define in a sentence what love is. (Have a go, it is not as easy as it seems.) The word love has such a range of uses; on the one hand we can talk about how we love chocolate, and on the other we can talk about the love of a couple who have been married for 50 years. It is difficult to compare the two.
We looked at God’s love. In John 15:12–13 Jesus says:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
This sets a very high standard for us in loving one another. Paul also writes of God’s love in Romans 5.8
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
God loves us because he chooses to, he loves us not because of anything good in us, he loves us because he has made that decision.
When a man and a woman get married, they make deep and profound promises to each other. God’s love is to be our benchmark; it is love that is unconditional. Each party promises to love, not because their partner is attractive, appealing and fun to be with, but because they have chosen to. It is a decision that they make, not a feeling that they have.
This doesn’t just apply to married couples either. When God calls us to love one another as the body of Christ, as his church, it is again a decision that we make, not a feeling that we have. Some people we will find easy to love, some people we will find difficult to love, but with God’s love as our model, it ceases to be about the other person and what they can do for us, and becomes a decision and commitment that we make to them. The challenge for us is to love as God first loved us.
Your brother in Christ