Got Love? (Part 1)
Leader, are you truly loving the people you lead—truly?
Evidence of a dangerously low love tank signals there's a leak somewhere. Let's diagnose the problem, and repair the leak!
Mandate for Love
The apostle Paul exhorted in 1 Corinthians 13:1–3 that if a love vacuum exists in God's family:
- Spiritual gifts are meaningless.
- Knowledge is wasted.
- Faith is worthless.
- Service and suffering are squandered.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Jesus made it clear that loving your brothers and sisters in Christ is second only to loving the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Loving people is rooted in God's immense love for us in Christ, and it's an overflowing expression of our love for God. Loving the people you lead is a not an option.
In light of these truths, leader, it may be time for a love checkup. If your heart lacks self-sacrificing affection for those you lead (and it will), your ministry is in potential distress. But thankfully, distress doesn't spell doom.
Where does love originate? It's not conjured up from your heart or mine. It's poured down from the heart of God.
Symptom #1: Unloving Toward God
Romans 5:5 describes a constant channel of love flowing from God's heart into ours through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 15:9, "As the father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love."
God's love (manifested through the life and atoning death of Christ) must be actively inflamed through abiding in His Word and in prayer.
- Are you delighting in the Scriptures as a personalized love note sealed with a kiss?
- Since obedience is a measurement of love, do you joyfully obey the truth, trusting that each word is from a kind Father who gave His treasured Son to make you His?
- When was the last time you whispered to your beloved Bridegroom with white-hot affection, "I love you so much"?
The Love Prescriptions
- As an adopted child of God, try vocalizing love to your Savior three times a day for the next week, or for as long as it takes, to warm a lukewarm heart.
- Increase your intake of the Word of life to reverse the effects of malnourishment. Select a few meaningful Scripture verses to commit to memory.
- Set an alarm at intervals throughout the day. At its prompting, take two minutes to adore the Lord.
- Explore the names of God and journal their significance in your love relationship with the Father.
Choose from these love prescriptions and watch for their healing effects!
Written by Leslie Bennet
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