We can know many things in life, we can have great knowledge and understanding, we can have great skills and abilities, but if it is not founded on love, it is nothing! Love must undergird everything that we are doing. Run ahead without love and you run to ruin. You can have the greatest strategies for God’s Kingdom and for growth, but without love, it will be another kingdom that you are building. Without love there is no use, and all that we do will be an empty shell – but infuse it with love, with love as the main ingredient, then we see God’s way, and we build God’s way. Beware of running without love being the very thing that you carry.
We have the help of the Holy Spirit to slow down to the pace of love, that God’s Kingdom would be built among us, his Kingdom of love. Our longing for all that we are doing as Warfield Community Church is that love would be the centerpiece. That as we gather around the greatest love of all and celebrate his love for us, in turn we would truly love one another also, and love one another so well. That whenever we gather together, it would be others that we are seeking to love and build up, before ourselves. That by this, others truly would know that we are his disciples. Love is the core of the gospel and must be the core of how we live. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” (1 Cor 13)
“…so now faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”
Without love, even faith and hope are nothing! Love is the foundation and without it nothing else can survive. It is the oxygen that allows the fire to grow. And the Holy Spirit is the only one who can work this deep into our hearts, so that we walk in love. How does this happen? How do we grow in love? Well, love comes from God, God is love and we have love because we are in him and he has worked in us. The more we gaze at him the more we will be changed… But also, this Love grows in us, or is evidenced, or is made real in us, not in a vacuum but in the presence of un-loveliness. This is where we get to see what God has really done, when we are confronted by the presence of un-loveliness in someone around us, and yet we choose to love anyway: when people disappoint us, when people do wrong to us, when they hurt us, or use us, when they are in sin and they don’t deserve it, when they are at their most unlovely… there love thrives the best! There the life and Spirit of God is present, to work in us and enable us with his life giving presence. For there love thrived for us, when we were at our most unlovely, our most undeserving, in our filth, our mess, our pride, our self centered worshipping… there love broke in, like rays of pure cleansing, rescuing us, cleaning us, making us a new, lifting us and giving us life and hope. Love is Jesus on the cross for us, in pain and agony, dying, loving us, with the words of love on his lips “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Let us go in love! Not in self, not in judgment, not from above looking down, but serving down low. May we be willing to lose, so that others can gain, willing to be rejected that they might be received, willing to challenge even if they reject us, willing to be silent when grace needs to be the covering. Father let us walk in love, as you have loved us.