Happy Valentine’s Day! Since I’m posting on a day when most people are out having a great time with their spouse or significant other, how about we do away with the formalities and just cut to the chase:
Are you living a lifestyle of love?
Pause if you need to. Ponder on the question if warranted. Take some time to gather your thoughts. Can you answer this question honestly? Can you answer this question with confidence, with full assurance? Without cowering in guilt or shame, without regret, without wishing that your REAL answer to this question was different?
Thankfully, I can answer this question with confidence. With peace. With joy. With faith. With hope. With pure love. So allow me to begin: Yes. I am living a lifestyle of love. And it is beautiful. It is filled with awe. Wonder. Worship. Purposeful duty. Stewardship. Service. Would you like me to continue?
This ministry (Love Is A Lifestyle) was founded on four purposeful scripture verses, one of them being this:
You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul, and all of your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. Mark 12:30-31
You see, love is a lifestyle. And my love for Christ is being lived out. He has taken complete control over my life. Everything I do is to the glory of the Lord. My profession of faith is now accompanied with works (James 2:14-17)…and fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). No longer do I live for my own purposes, but I live for Him. No longer do I live for the approval of man, I live for His approval. No longer do I seek the temporary pleasures and pursuits of this world, but I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Yes. A sure thing.
My love for the Body of Christ and for God’s people continues to grow as I grow in Him. It is evident through my current and increasing service in the Kingdom of God. It is evident in my desire to see people changed by the Gospel. It is evident in my prayer life. It is evident in my desire to increase in wisdom through the Word of God. It is evident in my desire to see God’s purposes and God’s will fulfilled on earth as it is in Heaven. It is evident in the many ways I express my love for God with my LIFE.
I present my body as a living sacrifice; holy and acceptable to God, which is my reasonable service (Romans 12:1). My life is not my own. Therefore, my love isn’t either. I need God to love like Him. How can we love like Him if we’re not in (growing) relationship with Him? How can we increase in love if we are stagnant in our spiritual walk? It’s impossible. It takes a special kind of power, a supernatural power to love as He has called to love. We need His Spirit.
Love. Born of God. Let’s cover a few of the qualifications:
Are you selfless? Are you patient? Are you kind and compassionate? Do you sacrifice your own comfort for the good of others? Do you rejoice in the truth and not evil (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)?
Do you endure in love instead of throwing in the towel? Do you believe the best in others versus counting people out? Do you return good for evil or do you seek revenge?
Are you humble? Are you hopeful? Are you full of joy? Are you growing in mercy and grace?
Are you being obedient to the Lord and what He requires of you?
It is not enough to say that we love someone; we must show them by our actions. And I am the first person to admit: I don’t love perfectly. Far from perfect in anything. But I see a change as God sanctifies me. As I draw closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So allow me to ask you again: Are you living a lifestyle of love? How are you showing your love for those you profess to love – beginning with God and His Son Jesus Christ?
I pray one day you can answer this question with full confidence. With an urgency to proclaim your love lifestyle to others – and ultimately to the glory of the One who deserves our all.
Soli Deo Gloria,