the weblog of Alan Knox

Love is in the air…

Posted by on Jan 30, 2007 in blog links, discipleship, love | 12 comments

Don Edelen at Cerulean Sanctum writes about “The Jesus Love Revolution“. His post prompted Heather at free heart reflections to write “The word love isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Book of Acts“. These are both excellent articles, well worth reading.

I have little to add to this discussion. A few months back, I posted the following statement by Robert C. Girard: “If we fail at love, there will be nothing left.

“Love” is not something that is “tacked on” to a believer’s life, like the perfect tie or just the right handbag. For a believer, love is everything. As Girard stated, if we do not have love, we do not have anything. Similarly, we cannot confuse this love with attraction (romantic or otherwise). Our love is not based on our response to the person being loved. Our love is not based on our own feelings. Our love is based on the response of the Holy Spirit toward others – the same love that Jesus Christ demonstrated toward us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). God loved the world in this way: he gave. When Jesus came, he cared, he touched, he healed, he listened, he loved… he loved with more than his words. Though Jesus taught, people did not understand his teachings. However, they did understand his love.

Unfortunately, we are now known more for teaching than for loving. Actually, the church is known more for disagreeing about its teaching among itself than it is known for loving anyone – even those within the church, much less those outside the church.

If we are having problems loving other people, the problem does not lie with the other people. The problem lies with our relationship with God through the Holy Spirit: we are quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As believers, if we are not known for our love, then something is wrong with us.

Consider these passages:

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35 ESV)

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Gal 6:10 ESV)

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 ESV)

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10 ESV)

Given the church’s history and contemporary culture’s attitude toward the church, we have a long way to go to convince the world that we love them. However, may that be our aim. May we demonstrate the love of God in such a way that the people around us cannot deny our love for them, even if they disagree with our beliefs. May our love be evident to all – especially those who reject our teaching.


12 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-30-2007

    Dan,

    You wrote a great post. Thank you for visiting us here.

    -Alan

  2. 1-30-2007

    I love how your “little to add” still takes multiple screens .. ;-)

  3. 1-30-2007

    Maël,

    Don’t get me started…

    -Alan

  4. 1-31-2007

    Unfortunately, we are now known more for teaching than for loving. Actually, the church is known more for disagreeing about its teaching among itself than it is known for loving anyone – even those within the church, much less those outside the church.

    Truer words have never been written (forgive the hyperbole).

  5. 1-31-2007

    Tony,

    You and I can begin changing that… are we up to the challenge?

    -Alan

  6. 1-31-2007

    You and I can begin changing that… are we up to the challenge?

    Count me in, too, guys!

  7. 1-31-2007

    Steve,

    One at a time… loving others… in spite of our proclivity to only “care” about those like us… loving those who are unlovable… one at a time. I think that’s God’s plan. It’s a radical plan. I’m glad that you’re “in”.

    -Alan

  8. 1-31-2007

    It’s that “only those like us” mentality that always seems to cause the divisions. This is exactly why I have tried very hard to make sure my blog stays a safe place for dialogue between people who don’t always see things the same way.

    Do I always succeed at that? Unfortunately, no. But it is always where my heart is, and what I strive for.

    Thank you for continuing to encourage and spur me (and many others, I’m sure) on to love in this manner.

  9. 1-31-2007

    Steve,

    You are exactly right. I am not always successful either… that means that neither one of us deserve to be loved – we are unlovable. Do you think others will choose to love us anyway? Do we love others anyway? Honestly… this is convicting…

    -Alan

  10. 2-1-2007

    Alan -

    Thanks for linking to my blog :-)

    How can we better understand what love – agape – really is? Too many of us too often use the word flippantly or don’t understand it’s true meaning. We “love” pizza, we “love” our neighbor. What about the numerous times that 1 Cor. 13 is read at a wedding?

    I guess the only real solution is for us to learn ourselves exactly what agape means and then to live it … then we can show and teach others what it means. I am being challenged right now by the Lord to do this.

    Thanks for the post :-)

  11. 2-1-2007

    Heather,

    I think you are right. How do you think we learn what love is? I think one way may be to do it. Can we understand love without loving? Perhaps there are other ways to understand love, but I can’t think of any.

    -Alan

  12. 6-30-2007

    I appreciate your comments. Since you mention Bob Girard in your post, i thought I’d let you know that he is dancing with the angels now. If you are interested in his obit you can find it here– http://www.legacy.com/AZCentral/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=89436646

    In addition a website has been created to make much of his writing, as well as his sermons available, here is the link– http://inlawfilms.com/robertgirard/Welcome.html

    peace…