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.
The following are scriptures that help explain why love is essential to our life in Christ, and that apart from His love working through us, we cannot love.
Why we love
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. John 15
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8
Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 2 Corinthians 6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. Galatians 5
just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. Ephesians 1
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us Ephesians 2
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. Ephesians 3
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3
Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6
… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:6-7
For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, Galatians 5
And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight Philippians 1
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3
But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2
I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." John 17
and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5