Living the life of love
Monday 23 September 2019 by Ad Taylor-Weekes
Yesterday evening we were learning from 2 John under the title, “Where is the love?” As the Black-Eyed-Peas sang in their song of that title: “The truth is kept secret and swept under the rug; If you never know truth then you never know love.” John would agree. The answer to the question, “Where is the love?” is “Wherever the truth is known, there is the love!” Of course, the church (those of us who claim to know the truth) should be where love is most truly evidenced and experienced.
At the end of the talk, I suggested an exercise for this week and was asked to email it. I thought I’d post it here instead.
I suggested reading through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which is a description of the love that should be evident among God’s people as those who believe the truth. There are 15 characteristics of love here so, over a week, you could take two or three a day. Or take two weeks. As you read them, meditate on what that should, does and doesn’t look like in your life. I suggested praying 4 things:
1) Thankyou. Thankyou Father for this wonderful, beautiful life of love that you have called me/us to, that you intend for me/us and that you are committed to working out in me/us. I want it!
2) Sorry. Sorry that I so easily fail to live out this life of love that you have called me to.
3) Thankyou. Thankyou for Jesus, who perfectly modelled this life of love in his time on earth and who even now shows this love towards me.
4) Please. Please show me what aspect of the truth about Jesus I have not been believing, and please work in and through me by your Holy Spirit to bring about a change.
I thought I’d share an example.
Text: “Love is patient…”
1) Thankyou, Father, that you have called me to such a wonderful thing as patience. To be able to bear with others and not to get annoyed and worked up by my failures or the failures of others sounds like such a great quality to have. It’s good for me. It’s good for everyone. It honours you.
2) I’m sorry that so often I’m lacking in patience. I don’t take the time to understand where other people are coming from. I get worked up when I have to say the same things, time and again, to my children. It doesn’t make me happy. It doesn’t achieve anything good. It doesn’t please you.
3) Thankyou for the example of Jesus. Thankyou for his patience with failing disciples. Thankyou for his patience with people’s questions and concerns. Thankyou for his patience with God’s purposes and his willingness to endure mocking, beatings, sufferings and a cruel death without complaint in order to gain forgiveness for my impatience. Thankyou for your patience with me still. Failing though I am, you are committed to working out your purposes in my life: to form Christ more perfectly in me.
4) Please help me to understand that my significance is not dependant upon anything other than the death of Christ for me. I don’t need my children’s obedience to look and feel successful. I don't need to feel threatened or defensive by other people criticisms of me. I don't need to feel in control of my circumstances. Please free me from the desire to be approved in the eyes of others. Help me to find my significance and meaning in Christ who’s death on the cross is sufficient for my approval in your eyes.
Above all, let's pray that as people ask the question, "Where is the love?" they look at us, individually and corporately, and recognise it to be there. For God's glory alone.