The Sweetest Thing: Love expressed through our God-given gifts.

Holding a newborn baby, hearing a 2 year old’s laugh, hugging a friend you haven’t seen in a while, and snuggling with a beloved pet, these are all some of the sweet ways that we experience love. Real love is an action. Love is something we live out and live in.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

John 15:13 NKJV

Those of us who know God can see this amazing love as expressed through Jesus Christ. He laid down His very life to save us, who have all sinned, and to pay the price for our sins so we can be restored to a right relationship with God and stand clean before Him. We also have been given His Spirit to live in us and flow through us to help others experience this same love and be reconciled to God.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us.

So, we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Dear children, let’s not merely say we love each other;

let us show the truth by our actions.”

1 John 3:16,18 NLT

What does this look like? How do we really give up our lives for others? One of the ways we do this is to be led by the Spirit of God and to serve one another with the love of Christ. This does not mean that just a few carry the whole load. When this happens, loads become burdens and those carrying them become weary. Also, those who are not taking up their part in serving are missing out on the opportunities and blessings that come from serving together in Christ.

You may be asking, what does this have to do with love? One of the things I have been reflecting on is how faithful God is. His plans for our lives are good, and He cares about the details of not only what gets done for His kingdom, but how we do it. In Ephesians, Paul talks about how we are each given divine gifts for the ministry we are called to do in the body of Christ. These gifts are given to help us fulfill our God-given destiny, to help us grow in maturity and love, and to bless us with passion and purpose as we serve.

For His “body” has been formed in His image

and is closely joined together and constantly connected as one.

And every member has been given divine gifts to contribute to the growth of all; and as these gifts operate effectively throughout the whole body,

we are built up and made perfect in love.”

Ephesians 4:16 TPT

Summing all this up, let’s ask ourselves, do we know God’s love? Are we part of His body, and in what ways has He gifted us to contribute to the growth of all?

This is love in action: knowing and living out God’s great love for us by serving and staying connected to each other in Christ.

May God continue to strengthen each of us as we grow in our faith and live out His love in action every day.

Betsy O’Callaghan