LOVING THE BELOVED
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”
// Romans 12:9
Coffee dates with fellow believers sometimes make me laugh in the best type of way. I have a close friend who likes to start conversations by asking, “How is your heart?” The great thing is that I know her well, and know that her genuine, straight-to-the-point question will lead me to an answer that will allow her to love me and encourage me where I most need it. She has experienced the pure, compassionate and preferential love that God has for us, and doesn't one second in showing it to me.
When God reveals the preferential and compassionate love (agape) He feels towards us through Christ, it is the first step on a beautiful journey to understanding how we can care for His beloved. And because we feel this love, we want to share it from the genuine outpouring of our overflowing hearts.
Catching a glimpse of this love opens doors for us to speak life and truth into others by recognizing the unique part of Christ’s character that exists within them. We recognize in each other gentleness, joy, mercy, steadfastness and other unending characteristics of our Savior. When we ‘hold fast’ to these godly qualities that already exist within His beloved ones, we immediately close doors that allow darkness to seep in. What better way to rebuke the enemy than by daily recognizing in one another the presence of Christ?
With all confidence, we can proclaim that agape love is the purest form of love that any of us will experience into eternity. This love that our Creator feels towards us is one of goodwill, gentleness and ever-lasting favor. He looks at us with compassion and preference – a mighty Father rejoicing in His created children, already celebrating our return to His side. There is no better way to worship our God than by approaching all of our relationships with His preferential and unconditional love overflowing from our hearts, and encouraging His sovereign identity in one other.
// Nathalie Mansueti