Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Christian Life as a Life of Love + Romans 12:9-11

Every generation’s poets have said it in some way or another
Shakespeare – Love is a many splendored thing.
John Lennon – All you need is love!

There is no shortage of “love speak” in the world but does the world mean the same as our Lord who says…
Love your neighbor
God is Love
Love covers a multitude of sins
They will know you are mine if you love one another

Saint Paul speaks of love as a mark of the regenerate life in Jesus – the Christian life.

Love reveals itself in giving for another.
The Apostle warns against hypocritical love – i.e. a love that acts only to receive.

Human love is give and take – but that is not the fullness of love that the Christian is called to live and offer.
The Spirit moves in us the divine love that comes in and through faith in Jesus Christ.

Faith and love are so related that any division is fluid at best.
Faith and works, love and trust – The Apostle Paul and Saint James agree. Faith without works is dead.

What drives godly love? – It is a love that seeks to offer itself in honor and sacrifice to God.
That others may come to know the relationship we share with our Heavenly Father through His beloved Son.

That others may then come to (by the Holy Spirit) trust the One who exemplified this greatest love. The love of God for sinners is seen in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

This as our foundation we are granted avenues for service one to another.
Love in families
Love in congregations
Love in all the world

Practice of Christian love is hard, deliberate work…It requires
Prayer, encouragement, discipline and practice.

The call to be “selfless” is not a call to self depreciation. Rather it is “an emphasis on the positive, on seeing the person beside you with the eyes of the God of all mercies, a person of infinite worth, a person for whom Jesus Christ died, worth your love and honor, not because they are such and such a person but simply because they are there, placed by God…this Christian love can never remain a sentiment; it becomes an action with a zeal that does not flag – this is the work of the Spirit – and He is the source. (Franzmann) Amen.

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