By This Everyone Will Know
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13.
The apostle Paul helps us understand that to love is above everything else. I cannot be a true disciple of Christ without God’s love being evident in me. If I am not motivated by love, whatever I do is meaningless. Paul goes even further teaching that love is fundamentally foremost to the experience of faith and hope.
It is not about what we experience first, but rather what is most important. In my opinion, the reason for this statement is so that we can understand just how important are the motivations and purposes that drive our decisions and attitudes to God. Since God is love, He clearly sees if I love Him and if what I am and what I do is out of love for Him and for others.
When the love of God lives in us, we may still make mistakes, have weaknesses and even sinful experiences along our journey. Nevertheless, the God who loves us with His infinite grace sees our hearts full of His love and in Christ we are justified and sanctified.
I challenge you to do a sincere and simple self-assessment inspired by the Word of God. Let's evaluate ourselves and make sure that what drives us to persevere, serve, lead and witness is a sweet and powerful experience rooted in love.
We can help our self-assessment and evaluate the sincerity of our life’s purpose when we read the apostle John and reflect on: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18.
When we lay our lives at the feet of Jesus in service to others, our hearts are opened and our love is manifested in acts of compassion.
We must love our spouses, children, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, church family and of course those whom we must disciple “in actions and in truth.” May we bring them closer to Jesus and His eternal kingdom through our genuine love for them.
How can we do this? Only in Christ. John tells us to “abide in Him.” John 15:1-17. Christ calls us and commissions us. He promises us His power. He assures us that our love for others will be the best way to show that we are His ambassadors, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35.
By Osvaldo Rigacci, Vice President for Multicultural Ministries