The Story: The most characteristic Christian virtue is love (Jn. 13.35; 1 Cor. 13). The return of our Lord is at all times imminent, and it should be our primary concern, in the light of that, to be found loving as Jesus did when Jesus comes to take us to Himself. Sin will hinder us from loving, for it encourages us to indulge our own interests and fancies rather than to look out for the needs of others. We must control our sinful tendencies and be ever mindful of the dangers that lie on the far side of temptation (cf. Ps. 73.16-19). Love covers sins in others, but it smothers them in us as well. It’s hard to sin against others when we’re actively seeking to serve them in love. Hospitality is a convenient way of showing love, and it does not require that we own a home. We can extend an attitude of grace, welcome, and rest to people in any situation and at every opportunity.
The Structure: The ability to love others is also a work of the Spirit of God – indeed, the first component of His fruit (Gal. 5.22, 23). In order to love, therefore, we must call on the Spirit and be filled with Him, setting aside our own interests, as Jesus did, for the sake of serving others (Phil. 2.5-11). When we do love, then, let us bear in mind that this is a work of the Spirit, and, rather than think ourselves to be anything, let us think soberly, and give praise and thanks to God who is at work within us to will and do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2.13).
What are some “everyday activities” you might do in order to show the love of Jesus to the people in your life?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Endure Hardship: 1 Peter 4,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.