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Monday, August 10, 2009

Spiritual Ingredient - Love

"For this very reason, add to your"

From the scripture passage of 2 Peter 1:5-9
Love is the last spiritual ingredient from the above passage, and probably the most important one. In I Corinthians 13:13, Paul says "Now abide faith, hope, and love; these three - but the greatest of these is love." Why do you suppose love is greater than the other two? If we don’t truly love God, we will not care to gain knowledge about Him or His Word or care to become more godly. If we don’t have love for ourselves and others, we will not care to gain in all of the other spiritual ingredients (goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, or brotherly kindness).

The love in this passage is agape love. Agape is one of the Greek words for love and it means a type of love that is selfless and unconditional. How is agape love different than brotherly kindness or phileo-type of love? They kind of overlap, but agape love is doing something. It is not just saying I love you or getting a warm, fuzzy feeling towards someone. It is more than that. It is acting on that feeling. We can tell someone we love them all day long, but unless we SHOW that love, it really doesn’t matter, does it?

Love is action. Love is doing something. Love is doing something for others.

Jesus gave us the perfect example during his ministry of this type of love. He was constantly going about doing good for others, serving others, humbling himself, and submitting Himself to the will of God, His Heavenly Father. Jesus loved and still loves unconditionally and selflessly.

Remember, that love is action, and part of that action involves submitting to others. In fact, God actually commands us to submit to others (many scripture references are listed below in the questions). Submitting to others means giving up my wants and desires to care for the needs of others. In submitting to others, we will give up our time, treasures, and talents to help and serve others. We will not care so much about taking care of ourselves, but constantly be looking for ways to help and serve others. We should model our lives after Christ - we should smell like Christ (have His aroma - 2 Corinthians 2:15). Christ gave His life for us. That was the ultimate sign of His love for us. It was in submission to His Father. It was love in action.

Some questions to ask yourself:
Do I show love in action?
What do I do to show love for others?
Do I visit the sick, shut-ins, or others in need?
Do I take food to those who are in need or are sick?
Do I teach others about Jesus?
Do I send notes of encouragement or call to check on others?
Do I submit yourself to my spouse or parents, my boss, my fellow Christians, to the church leaders, to the laws of the land (Hebrews 12:9; Hebrews 13:17; Ephesians 5:21-22; James 4:7; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Romans 13:1-6)?
How much of the spiritual ingredient "love" do I have?
Is it increasing in measure (2 Peter 1:8)?

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