How do you express your love for your brother, your sister? What does it mean to love? Can we love anyone, or anything, apart from the grace and mercy of the Holy Spirit?
Love is listening, love is holding the moment as a moment of God’s, not ours.
Love is dwelling in the face of despair with confidence that God is Almighty, everlasting, and Christ is our redeemer. Love is asking God to fill our moments and overflow our cups so He can pour out over his people. Love is physical, thoughtful, and direct. Love sees with Christ’s eyes and hears with Christ’s heart, and thinks with His mind. Love sleeps in protected dreams. This is how love transforms, as the anti-black hole, drawing each of us in more inexorably than we thought possible and revealing us as His new creation. Love is about Him, his magnificence, his holiness, his peace. Love is life, generating community, creating the greatest truth moment to moment, love is the memory of Christ, the Holy Spirit’s opening our eyes to the Ebenezer’s of each day.
Love is the verb that acts out our trust, that directs our faith. Love is a bath of redeeming light, revealing our inadequacies and cleansing us with the purity of our Lord’s Spirit.
Finally, who are we called by Christ to love? And what does it look like when we don't love each other?
Who we love
"You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Matthew 5
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?" Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." Luke 7
Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4
Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 1 Peter 1
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, Hebrews 10:24
Let mutual love continue. Hebrews 13:1
and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5
But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. 1Timothy 1
Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16
So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 2 Corinthians 2
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. Galatians 5
What would you prefer? Am I to come to you with a stick, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? 1 Corinthians 4
Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 1 Corinthians 8
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 1 Thessalonians 3
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1
What it looks like not to love
These are blemishes on your love-feasts, while they feast with you without fear, feeding themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Jude 1
And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Revelation 2