God’s Love Changes Us
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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 Corinthians 13:4-7
Agape love is the highest form of love that enables us to put God and others first. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7) Love connects us to God because God is love, and his love in our hearts changes us to be Christ-like.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20) The Lord’s love works in us enabling us to put God and others first. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) Paul’s heart was filled with God’s love which enabled him to die to his fleshly nature and let Christ live in his body.
It is very difficult to live for Christ and live for self. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3) We have died meaning our will becomes God’s will. Our life is hidden in Christ meaning we have a heart for Christ. This implies we go through our days serving Christ. We go through our days doing our worldly tasks but, at the same time, we do everything for the Lord, and we reflect God’s love to people. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:23)
It is God’s love in our hearts that enables us to know the Lord, and it is love that motivates us to serve the Lord and bring Christ to the world. God’s love in our hearts is the only thing that frees us from self. When we live for God and others, we are free in Christ and free from self.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2-3) These verses reveal what doing works for the Lord without a heart of love amounts to — I am nothing and I gain nothing.
The power of God’s love in our hearts enables us to know God’s love for us, motivates us to serve the Lord by bringing the Gospel to the world, enables us to put God and others first, gives us a faith that pleases God, and keeps us eternally minded. When we are motivated by a heart of love, the things listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 become natural and the Bible now describes our character.
Today, live with a heart for love which will make serving the Lord natural and desirable, just as it was for Jesus. As you continue to minister to others, your heart will fill with God’s love.
Prayer: Lord, fill my heart with your love as I follow the Spirit ministering to the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen