The Result of Love

What is the result of Christian love?

God is LoveThe Bible speaks of love in many different ways.   In fact, the Bible defines love much differently than the world.  Ohh how the world likes to make love a mushy, romantic commodity with a little sexual icing on top, but the Bible’s definition of love is very different.  1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love.  Some streams of Christianity fill in that definition of love with the very cultural understanding of love I have described above.  Yet, John is speaking about a very different kind of love; in fact 1 John 4:8-10 defines love through an illustration of true love in the person of Christ.  John defines love as God sending His Son, Christ, to be the propitiation for our sins.  Far from sexual chocolate, cupid, and fleeting feelings is a decision by God and participation by the Son in the sacrificial giving of His life in exchange for ours.  That is love.

The Bible also gives us many different characteristics of love.  In the list of virtues in 2 Peter 1:5-7 love is at the end of the list, the seemingly paramount Christian virtue.  1 Corinthians 13:1-13 gives us many attributes of love all fitting into a paradigm of sacrificial service to others.  Jesus in John 13:34-35 commands Christians to love others in a pattern after himself and by this action all people will see that we are followers of Jesus by our love for one another.

So what is the result of all this Love?  Does the world become a happier, friendlier place?  Maybe.  Will there be a resurgence of bell-bottoms and hippies?  Probably not.  Will marriages last longer? Most definitely.  Will parents spend more time with their kids? Yes.  Will churches be friendlier? Yes.  But these are all by products of the main result of what the Bible promises from Love.

Paul in 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12 gives us a little glimpse into what the result of Christian love will be if we are bold enough to step out and love like Jesus.  Here Paul is lifting up the Thessalonians in prayer asking God to make them “increase and abound in love for one another and for all.” In 1 Thessalonians 3:13 Paul gives the result of this abounding love; salvation for yourself and those around you!  When we choose not to love those around us the converse is true as well; destruction for yourself and those around you!

When we choose to love other believers it results in our mutual sanctification.  This is not easy at all but this is what God has intended for the church.  The church is designed to be a society that would learn to sacrificially love one another and through that process the members would be sanctified as each person’s true heart intentions are revealed and corrected.  In addition, when we choose to love other believers it stands as a witness to the world!  By our example of brotherly love we gain the opportunity to love the world well.

My challenge to you is to boldly choose to love the people at your church knowing that sanctifying process will result in your salvation and theirs.

Who do you need to engage with Christ like love today?

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