Dear Precious Friends,
On this beautiful new day, I was thinking about this amazing passage as well as our job description as Christians. This short and powerful scripture is what is needed today. It is also one of the greatest challenges we have. For it is the Holy Spirit who calls us to live as Christ lived and to love as Christ loved. Such divine love is an impossibility in our own limited, human strength. It is only as the Holy Spirit is given the reins of our lives to carry out His work within, that this impossible command can be carried out. Our thoughts, feelings, actions, and inactions should be done with Godly love towards God and towards others.
Paul gave the church in Corinth the direction for how they should act. They were guilty of bad conduct in a number of ways, one of which was acting in the best interests of themselves and not for the good of the congregation.
Just previous to this verse, Paul had summed up the characteristics of a Christian, using the imagery of a soldier. He said that Christians should be alert to various dangers, be steadfast in your faith, act like an adult, and have a strong will so you can remain pure in the faith. He wanted to make sure that when Christians acted in these ways, they were not rigid or unforgiving, and so he added that all should be done with the grace of Godly love as a motive for their actions.
Whereas in the previous verse Paul spoke of actions, here Paul focused on changing the hearts of the Corinthians. Without changing their hearts, their conduct would ultimately revert to their sinful ways. But more importantly, without love, their actions would fall short of the Lord’s command for us. Paul tells us that the greatest of all the graces is love, greater than faith and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13), and the greatest of all virtues (Colossians 3:14). Peter the Apostle tells us that we should love each other deeply (1 Peter 4:8). John the Apostle tells us that anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love (1 John 4:8).How can we let all that we do be done in love? It is as we abide in Christ and He in us, that we begin to learn the lesson of love - godly love - sacrificial love. It is as we die to ourselves in all things and live for Christ alone that we begin to be fashioned and formed into the lovely image of Christ. It is as we permit the Holy Spirit to carry out His good work in and through our lives, that we can become a channel through whom His love can flow out to others.
We are living in a hurting world and need to love like Jesus loved. So every action and every attitude; every word and every work; each thought of the heart; each decision of the mind and even the motives that influence the choices we make, need to be bathed in the purifying gaze of the Holy Spirit; washed in the fountain of God's divine love and covered with the unconditional grace of Christ, who for love of His church went to the cross willingly - so that like Him everything we do, may be done through HIM - in LOVE.
Now my friends, Let us go out and LOVE.
Source: Holy Spirit, God's word, Knowing Jesus devo.