Remember that agape love is a command; it is not optional. That is because love will prompt us to always do the right thing in our duty to God and fellowmen. In the “love chapter” of the Bible, Paul emphasizes love’s behavior: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Cor. 13:4-7). In this context, Paul teaches that our gifts and talents mean nothing if not used with love as the guiding factor. What if we always acted in love (1 Cor. 16:14)? What a different world this would be! As God’s children, we must exhibit love to a secular, selfish world. Love can change people, and it can change the world.
Love will lead to healthy marriages and strong homes. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). What if every husband and father chose to lead his home by unselfishly seeking the welfare of his wife and children? Such loving behavior would make it easy for wives to truly submit to their husbands, and easy for children to truly honor their parents (Eph. 5:22, 6:2). Love is contagious. If neighbors and co-workers see this in us, they will likely seek to know the Savior who loved us enough to die for us! Employers and supervisors might learn about love. What if state and national leaders, and world leaders acted with genuine concern for others? How different things might be.
Paul closes his famous chapter on love with these words: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). Stay tuned…
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC