As we go through life, we often wonder what it is we should be doing, or how we should be acting. The answer is right in the Bible, just like the answers to a lot of life’s questions.
Many times throughout the Bible we are instructed as to how we are to act. I will be covering just a few of those many verses. And all of these answers have a common thing: they start with the heart. They start with love.
Our God is a god of love, and as His children, we should have and show that same love.
To understand the coming verses, lets go over what love is first.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.
According to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, we can do great things, but if we do them without love, then they mean nothing. They are more of an annoyance than a help. The love that is talked about here in 1 Corinthians is more than love between spouses, it is a selfless love.
So if we have love, then we are…
- Patient (long suffering)
- Not envious
- Not proud
- Not boastful
- Polite/not rude
- Not selfish
- Not short tempered (not provoked)
- Not evil
- Not joyful in sin
- Joyous in truth
- Protecting (bears all things)
- Understanding (believes all things)
- Endures all things (never fails)
Love is an action word: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
So once we understand what love is, and does, then the following verses will be easy to apply.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself“. Matthew 22:39
First we have to be able to love ourselves, before we can love our neighbor. If we don’t love ourselves, and know our value in God’s eyes, how can we extend that same love? When we love our neighbor as ourself, then we aren’t seeking harm towards them, we aren’t going to lie to them, we are going to be patient and kind, just as we wish others will be with us. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” Romans 13:10. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8
If we have (selfless) love towards our God, then its not a burden to do what He asks of us, to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. We will desire to do it because we love Him, and we know how much He loves us. He knows what is good and prosperous for us, we should desire to follow after Him, if we love Him.
“Always be filled with joy in the Lord. I will say it again. Be filled with joy. Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. And do what you learned and received from me—what I told you and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you”. Philippians 4:4-9 (ERV)
If we love God, then we will be filled with joy, be gentle and kind, we will trust Him, and pray for what we need, because we know that He will provide. And of course we will be thankful for all that He does. When we love God we will have peace, a peace that passes understanding, one only He can give. If we have love in our hearts we will “continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected“.
Once we know what love is, and what it has done for us, and what it can do for others, it makes this command easy, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’” Mark 16:15. We will want to share this love with everyone, so that God can change their lives the way He has changed ours.
Lord help me to remember that if I am ever questioning what I should be doing, that your Word always has the perfect answer. Help me to love my neighbor, and to show your love to the world, in Jesus’ name.