Friday, October 9, 2015

Love Revival

I know. It sounds like the title of a Motown song. It's the best I could come up with.

A number of Christian groups are seeking revival. Of course, revival means different things to different people. To some, a revival would mean a return to the morals of the past. To others, it means an increase in charismatic activities. Still others are looking for a revival of adherence to doctrine.

While a revival of some of those things may be a good thing, I believe what is needed is a revival of love. The vital importance of love is a theme that runs all through the New Testament. In the gospels, Jesus tell is that the two greatest commandments are, love God with all our being and love others as we love ourselves. He later upped the ante when he said to his followers that we are to love our brothers and sisters as he loved us.

The Apostle Paul said that we can perform all sorts of good and even spiritual acts, but if we don't have love we are wasting our time. He also said that what counts is faith working through love. Peter tells us to love one another deeply. It is hard to read through any of the apostles' letters and not find commands and encouragements to love one another. We are commanded to love more often than anything else we are told to do. It seems that love is something that God thinks is pretty important.

I believe the Church needs a revival of love for God that is shown by following Jesus and doing what he commands, and a revival of a love for others that is self-sacrificing and lays down our lives for others. It was said of the first Christians, "Behold how these Christians love one another." Stop and imagine with me. What would the Church be like if those of us who claim to follow the one who laid down his life for us really loved God and didn't just talk about it? What would it look like if we laid down our lives for others and were known for our love rather than what we were against.

I for one, would love to find out.

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