Walking in the Way of Love

When we think of the people in our lives who have come and gone, who comes to mind when we consider who of them we have looked up to? What has made, for us, an example? What qualities and characteristics did they possess that meant we found them an example to follow?

I suspect that if we were to list them, then there would be the more admirable qualities a person can possess.

Goodness and kindness.

A compassionate heart.

A charitable outlook.

Warmth and friendship.

Wisdom and knowledge.

And there are likely different times in our lives when we have benefitted from the influence of one or other person. I know for myself that when I became a mother, all the little gems and pearls I had picked up from some of the mums I had admired the most came flooding back. I had a great mum growing up, and I have worked for some wonderful mothers as a nanny.

Then, there’s work. Our work lives often feature great individuals who have influenced us positively. I was fortunate enough to train to teach under some very fine leadership and learned much from having had amazing teachers to look up to.

But being a mum, or a member of the workforce are not forever jobs. They are seasonal and come and go. And children grow up and leave empty nests, and retirement comes eventually.

But what of the walk that never changes? The walk we are on as Christians? Because whatever other season of life we are in, this is a walk that will never fade. It’s an onward journey for the duration of our earthly lives.

And Paul has something to say here in Ephesians about what should characterise and shape this walk.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

It’s good to have people in our lives who can influence us positively – important even. But God’s example is better.

Paul tells us to “walk in the way of love”…so what does that mean? How do we ensure that this journey through life is not only characterised by love but the love that Christ demonstrated on the cross?

Matthew Henry’s commentary on this passage says, “the character that we bear of God’s children obliges us to resemble him, especially in his love and goodness, in his mercy and readiness to forgive” and that we should allow this to influence the way we talk as well as the way we act.

Walking in love is a progressive and continuous action. Not a one off or an occasional activity. When we walk, we use our whole selves. It takes the effort of our whole body to walk, and so it should be with the way we love. Whole-heartedly and completely, with every effort.

 

we should be

 

And sacrificially. Christ’s love put others first.  Christ’s love was characterised by selflessness.

Walking in the way of love is ongoing, active, sacrificial, merciful, compassionate and sincere. So we have the ultimate example to look to, to remind ourselves of how our lives should be in Jesus – may our lives be a fragrant offering to our almighty God.

 

Thoughts for Today

 

  1. Who are the people in your life who have positively influenced you the most? Write down how and why.
  2. Walking in love suggests that we must live love out in a practical way. In what ways are you currently engaging in activities that are practical in loving other people, whether they are in the church or not?
  3. Is there a practical ministry that you would like to become involved in, or maybe even start?
  4. What ways of loving people does your community need the most and how is your church currently seeking to meet that need?

 

Prayers for Today

 

  • Whatever practical ministry we are already involved in, we always need God’s help. Let’s take time today to seek his guidance where we feel unsure of how to serve, seek his wisdom when walking in the way of love so that we make the best choices, and ask for his help in areas we know we struggle when it comes to loving others.

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

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