Love in Action
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT)
Love is a verb. Love that is sustaining – deep love – is more than a feeling. Love is an action. Love doesn’t just “happen.” Love is chosen.
Jesus chose to love us. His choice meant that he left the glory of the heavens and became human. His choice meant that he suffered real humiliation, scorn, beating, and death for us. His choice means I have life in his name.
I can imagine Jesus having the love of butterflies in his stomach when we were created but I think those butterflies were gone as he suffered and died on the cross. The love that nailed him to the cross was not “feel good” love, but a love of commitment and sacrifice that he made a choice to give. In the original New Testament Greek this kind of love is called agape (pronounced ah gah pa).
Colossians invites us to not only receive this love from Christ but to make the choice to intentional embody it in our own choices and actions towards one another.
Colossians defines Christian or agape-love that grows and sustains us:
Love is compassionate
Love is kind
Love is humble
Love is meek
Love is patient
Love binds people together
Love provides harmony
Love is thankful
Love means teaching one another
Love means admonishing one another
Love means praise God
Love is of and through Jesus
Bringing It Home:
1. All of the above parts of love are first an action we choose to do and may or may not be a feeling inside. Which action of love is God calling you to “do” more of in your closest relationships? How will you specifically “do” that love?
2. Who embodies this type of love best in your life? What do they do that you are thankful for? Then go thank them (it is one of the actions of love we are called to do).
Lord, I thank you for the love that you have chosen to live out for me. I am awed by the magnitude of your choice and the power of your love in my life. Grant me wisdom and courage to not just receive your love but to share it with others. Amen.
John A. Holm
Transforming Church Institute