The New Testament verses about love are nearly inexhaustible and we could probably spend a year just on this topic. But we will try to take this train of thought to the station in the next few posts. Here are a few more pictures of what love looks like in a healthy community of believers. It behooves us to ask ourselves if this is a description of our contribution to our church community.
Love is authentic – “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (Rom 12:9-10).
Love communicates and cares – “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not that you should be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you” (I Cor 2:4).
Love serves – “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal 5:13).
Love refreshes – “For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother ” (Philemon 1:7).
Love edifies – “Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies” (I Cor 8:1).
Love encourages – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24).
Love is hospitable – “Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Heb 13:1-2).
Love does not offend – “For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with food him for whom Christ died” (Rom 14:15).
Love forgives – “Above all, keep fervent in you love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” (I Pet 4:8).
Love keeps the faith – “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life (Jude 1:20-21).
Love obeys – “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (Jn 14:15).
A word I have borrowed from pastor Ray Stedman to describe this love is relentless. It also characterized the early church. “The early church saw its mission as one of reflecting God’s holiness, revealing God’s glory, and witnessing to the reality of Jesus Christ – and it did so by demonstrating relentless love, both toward those within the fellowship and those outside” (Ray Stedman in Body Life).