This morning in Sunday School, we were talking about the Love Chapter--1 Corinthians 13--the chapter usually read at weddings because it is such a profound passage of love and commitment. (In fact, it was read at my wedding 35 years ago, and my husband and I had little scrolls made up with v.4-8 printed on them as wedding favors. My son also had a portion of this chapter read at his wedding.) What God really impressed upon me this morning was that this kind of love discussed in chapter 13--this agape love--describes not human love, but God's love. It is a supernatural love, and God wants us to have this kind of love for each other. When you look at the attributes of this kind of love, it seems impossible for us to live up to it. And it is...we cannot hope to attain to this high calling of love without first experiencing it ourselves. We must let God lavishly impart His agape love to us so that we can lavishly impart it to others. God made it so clear to me this morning that this is how Christians--true believers in Christ--are supposed to be living. We were called to love, to be filled with God's Spirit of love, Who enables us to say no to our selfish nature and live for Him.
When I was in the depths of despair, broken-hearted and lacking in faith, it wasn't money or things that encouraged me or helped me to heal--it was a friend who extended the love of God to me by inviting me to a Bible study. Had she filled her life with other interests, I would never had received such an invitation. I will be forever grateful to her for calling me that day. I had not seen or spoken to her in 2years, but she called me anyway. She extended the love of God to me and it changed my life.
There is so much more awaiting us as brothers and sisters in Christ than just living an average life, keeping God an arms-length away so that we can do our own thing in our own way. The truly abundant life comes from God. If only we will draw near and focus our affections and attentions on Jesus. Oh, I want to! I want to let go of everything that hinders and focus on my God so that I may know Him, truly know Him--and then follow His leading of love so that I may be of service to Him and be the fragrance of Christ to those who desperately need Him.