In the previous blog, I explained Lent is a 40-day period where we symbolically journey with Jesus to the cross and we prepare to celebrate his glorious resurrection as our Risen Lord.
It is a journey where we seek to become more aware of the presence and power of God’s love working in us and through us. Repentance plays a huge role in this 40-day journey. I pray the power of God’s love will be evident in our lives and in the life we live.
I pray the power of God’s love will become even stronger within the Body of Christ. We talk a lot about love. Love is so much more than words; it is also an attitude, a behavior, and a lifestyle. Jesus intently prayed to his heavenly Father for the oneness of his disciples and for us his Church. There is unity in love. There is love in unity.
This is the power of God’s love.
The bible declares in 1 John 4:11-12, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” In Christ, we are called to show forth God’s love by loving one another. Loving one another is loving God. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” To know we are loved by God and to demonstrate his love to one another and to others is an indication we are living life in the newness of Jesus Christ.
Jesus proclaims in John 15:10-12, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Is God’s love evident in the love we have for one another? Do we allow God’s love to work its power in our lives? How well do we demonstrate God’s love towards those we might perceive as being different, yet they are members of the body of Christ? Jesus reminds us we are called to serve one another in love. Clearly, our greatest witness to each other within the household of faith and to the world, is the love we exhibit for God and for one another.
Jesus was teaching his disciples that the love they demonstrated for God and for one another would become their greatest witness and their greatness strength in proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel to the world. The Love of God still is the Church’s greatness witness. Without love our witness in the Lord means nothing. Jesus taught two very important principles concerning the Law of God. “Jesus replied”, according to Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” We can only try to comprehend the depth of God’s love. An infinite love, where God’s one and only son Jesus Christ became the scapegoat for our sins. How can we choose not to love God by not loving others?
The love Jesus commands us to have is only possible when we invite the presence and the power of God to work in us and through us. None of us are capable of loving as Jesus commands us to love in our own strength. Think about it, we would be a mighty force in the world if we loved as Jesus commanded us to love by abiding in him. Our homes, communities, the world, yes even our churches, would definitely be different. We would definitely stand out for sure and people would come to know Jesus by our love. God’s love empowers us to build strong bridges of love and reconciliation with all people despite differences. Love is our greatest witness. In reference to John 13:35, the love we have for God, which is also expressed in the love we demonstrate for one another, is our witness to the world that we are Jesus’ true and faithful followers.
The Bible illustrates we are individual members but of the same body. The Apostle Paul proclaimed it is God who makes us one and who keeps us in oneness by his spirit. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 12:26-27, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” The power of God’s love unifies us. We each have a significant role to play, no matter how great or how small. Every single member of the body is needed and is, therefore, of great value. Love says I need you, and you need me.
Our togetherness will surely strengthen the whole body and our ministry together. Let’s be change agents and bridge builders all for the love of God. Love is accepting what another has to give. Love forgives and love leaves no one behind. Sisters, together we can show this generation what true love is all about. God’s love heals, restores and delivers. The love of God rescues the fallen soul. Jesus died to dismantle the walls of hatred and injustice that exist because of sin. Our love for God, and for one another, is our greatest tool to encourage people to come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. In the power of God’s love, we can make a difference, beginning here at home.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, once said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
Let us reflect on these things as we seek to grow deeper in our love for God, for one another, and for all people. Remember you are loved and highly favored. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
(1 Corinthians 13: 13)
In love, from Sister to Sister
Rev. Tracey R. Grosse,
Scripture references are from the NIV