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Categorized | From the Pulpit

What does Love require of me?

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

If you’re like me, you probably don’t need me to quote a Bible verse to you about the call of the follower of Christ to be someone who is known by their love for others.  We know the verses, and probably have most of them memorized (in case you don’t, look up – Matt. 22:37-40; 1 Cor. 13:1-3; John 13:34,35 – that’s enough for now.  You get the point).  But for some reason, even with these clear commands in Scripture for Christians to be known by their love for God and others, we still see and hear about, and even experience, situations where those who claim the name of Christ are not being known by their love.  And if we’re honest, we will admit that we too are guilty of this at times. The problem is not that we don’t know that we are supposed to be known by our love, it is that we are falling short in moments of conflict or disagreement to posture ourselves towards others in such a way that we walk through these situations in the way of Love.  

One discipline in my own life that I find particularly helpful in my desire to obey this command of our Savior is the discipline of asking good questions. In particular, the question that I find the most helpful is simply this: “What does Love require of Me?” Now, lest I be left up to my own biased interpretation and answer to that question, it helps me to use Scripture to remind myself of the love I’ve been called to walk in. 

One Scripture that Holy Spirit uses to help me is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV). I simply ask myself, “Am I doing any of those things?” If the answer is yes, I talk to my Heavenly Father and ask him to help me. If the answer is no, I move on to this next Scripture and question – Philippians 2:3,4 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  This question for me looks like this – “What interests (or needs) does the other person have that I need to look to (or consider)?” We all have basic needs to be loved, accepted, heard, cared for, etc. It’s in the process of assessing the needs of another individual that Holy Spirit begins to help me think of myself less and the command to love like Jesus has loved me more.  

Asking these questions usually is all the direction I need to lead me down the path of loving others like Christ Jesus has loved me. But, even after asking these questions I still need to make a choice to walk in obedience to the commands of Christ, but that is a topic for another article.  Just try this the next time you find yourself in a situation where loving others is hard. Take a minute and pause and ask yourself, “What does Love Require of me?” It might be the difference between making the most of an opportunity or missing one altogether.

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