Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Love Above All

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:13-14

Love Above All

During His time here on earth, Jesus modeled what living out the gospel with your life looked like. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, describes what it looks like to live our lives for Jesus every day. Yesterday we talked about how we are to “put on” the gospel as we live out our lives day to day in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Without Jesus, we cannot be any of these things. With Him, we can wrap ourselves daily in these because they are the overflow of Him from our hearts. We know we are supposed to “put on” these characteristics of Jesus every day, but how exactly do we translate these to those around us in our every day lives? 

Bear With One Another and Forgive One Another… Just as the Lord Has Forgiven You -

When Jesus gave His life on the cross, He forgave our debt we could never pay. As sinful human beings, we deserve death but instead, He gave us the free gift of grace. Our sin debt was forgiven and we received the gift of eternal life as well. 

How much did Jesus have to forgive you? How much does He still forgive you daily? The answer is more than you could ever pay. We are told that we are to bear with each other and forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us. I know how much grace the Lord gives me, and I know where I would be without that grace. Therefore, how could I not have grace and forgiveness for others? When we understand this grace, we have been given, it makes us freer with our willingness to forgive and bear with others. The extravagant grace and forgiveness our Heavenly Father shows us is the example we learn from of how to treat others. We forgive much because we have been forgiven, and accepted, and redeemed, and loved so much more than we ever deserved. 

Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity…

Love is the royal robe that goes on over everything. Without love, how could we possibly “put on” compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience? Without love we couldn’t even know what these things are. 

We bear with each other, forgive one another and put on love – the way God loves us. He loves us when we are difficult. He loves us when we are rebellious. He loves us when we are in the flesh. He loved us when we were sinners and gave His life for us. We love others this way when we bear with them, forgiving them. Understanding the depth of this love stirs that love in us for others in the same way. These character traits are an overflow of our relationship with Christ. 

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 john 4:10-12 NIV

On our own we cannot love others like we are called to, but in the power of the Holy Spirit we can. His love is made complete in us, and His love completes us. We are one body in Christ, united in His love. Above all, put on love… Above all, over all love wraps it all up. All the other things Paul tells us to “put on” are manifestations of love - compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, and yet love is bigger than all of them. 

Love is the perfect bond of unity. As believers we are all given new life in Christ. We become sons and daughters of the King, brothers and sisters in Christ. We are unified in Him as one body. This love we have from Him, flowing through us to others is the demonstration of His love for us – the perfect bond of unity.  

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