The early Christian writer, Tertullian, wrote an apologetic letter to the Roman authorities in 197 AD, asking for justice for Christians. Describing how they were perceived by the pagans around them, he wrote:
But it is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. See, they say, how they love one another...
Could he write the same of the believers today?
Challenged by this thought, Paul's words in Ephesians come to mind:
"And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God". Ephesians 5:2
As Christians, we are commanded to walk in love, just as Christ loved us sacrificially and gave His life for us. Divine love was His motivation as He fulfilled His purpose in reconciling a lost world to God.
We bear His name and have His Spirit in us. We are called to love as He did. He said this would be a sign we are His followers if we had love for one another.
Paul reminds us how it is possible to walk in love in Romans 5:5:
...hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
It is heartwarming to witness natural human love demonstrated through honourable deeds of courage and sacrifice in the world. However, here we read that God's love is in every believer, which is a supernatural love. As we grow closer to the Lord in our daily walk, that love will flourish in our hearts, helping us to surpass human love.
Showing His Love
God's love in our lives displays itself in many forms. The following are five practical ways we can show His love:
Put God first. We no longer live for our own glory, but for His. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Forgive one another. We have been forgiven of much and are not only encouraged to forgive one another, but are commanded! ...bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13
Help one another. We are to find ways of 'doing good' to others, which could be anything from babysitting to mowing someone's lawn. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10
Watch our words. We are to encourage one another rather than speak condescendingly. Where correction is needed, this too is to be carried out with love. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29
Share the Gospel. We live in a broken world with people around us who need to hear the truth of salvation. For the love of Christ compels us ... Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:14,18
May we keep close to the Source of this love and allow Him to direct our thoughts and actions. Let others say of us that we walk in love!