Love The Foundation of Christian Growth

Some would say love is all you need. Years ago, a popular song proclaimed that, "what the world needs now is love, sweet love." Well, more love and less hate would go a long way, but love is really the foundation for Christian growth. Consider this prayer: "Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints." (1 Thessalonians 3.11-13)

When Yahweh God produces and increases love, it is agape love (sacrificial love expressed through loving acts). As he produces this within our hearts, we are established in blameless holiness, fully prepared for the return of Christ. This love is not all we need, but it is certainly the fountain from which all else springs. Truth manifests itself in this loving behavior.

This kind of love that our Father wants to produce in our lives is much needed in a hate-filled world. As Jesus predicted, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." (Matthew 24.12) Pessimistic as that may sound, it also means that the love our Father produces within us will shine brightest in that dark hour.

The distinguishing mark of Jesus' followers is this love Paul prayed that the Thessalonian believers might have (John 13.35). This alone distinguishes us in the world as His disciples.

May we walk in truth, and allow our Father to more greatly produce this shining love within us.

©Steve Taylor, 2016 --Used by permission

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