Wednesday, January 18, 2023
2 Peter 1:6 “…and to brotherly kindness, [add] love.”
I’m going to get right to the point today because if I don’t, I will still be here tomorrow morning writing this. The subject matter of love is vast. According to the Psalmist, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” There are 505 references to love in Scripture. If I don’t limit myself, I will get carried away.
Our modern-day culture, under the control of our enemy the devil, has accomplished an extensive and effective brainwashing of our minds. If not for the influence of the Holy Spirit, we would be firmly convinced that life is about us, and that the focus of all activity must be on the betterment and enjoyment of self. Every choice we would make would be to make ourselves feel better. Every activity in which we choose to participate would be designed to bring some personal benefit. Every expense of our resources would be invested to build greater treasure for ourselves in this life. Every moral and ethical decision we make would be rationalized by the need to express personal freedom and gain personal favor.
Praise God for the power of the Holy Spirit in us to resist such deception. Give thanks to the Father who has covered us with the righteousness of Christ and has transformed us from children of darkness to children of Light. And give glory to God that the character of Jesus is growing in each of us so that we reflect His glory in ever increasing measure.
Because the character of Christ is increasing in us, we are growing in the activity of love. It is the culmination of character development. We sacrifice our personal dreams on the altar of community. We learn to put aside our own preferences for the good of others. We shift the focus of life from affirming self so we feel accepted to affirming others, so they are accepted. We learn that one of the greatest expressions of love is to encourage others.
So, I’ve written an acrostic for love. It is not intended to be the total expression of the theology of love. It is just today’s helpful application point. I hope it lasts longer than today. May it be said of each of us that we are the living expressions of the character of Christ because we have added this action to our repertoire of love. May every word that we speak today and every day Leave Others Visibly Encouraged.