Loving the Bride
Verse 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
We talked a lot in the last few days about the nit and grit of living as a Church family. Having said that Paul points once more to the reason he can love them the way he does.
A favorite verse of many says, “For God so loved the world…” God’s love is first and foremost in Christian relationships. It is first in our lives as we were created in in His image. He could have created man in a new and unique image but He chose humans to be made in His own image so that a relationship could be enjoyed.
This relationship is what sets the groundwork for His Church to have the loving relationship that He has created us for. The Church was created to be the bride of Christ and that speaks of His love for us. And to be His bride requires the unity of love. His love for us and our love for each other.
We have already talked about how Jesus prayed for us to have a unity that reflected His oneness with the Father. We have also talked about how Jesus said that the world would know we are His by our love for one another. Try as we might we can’t love each other as He would like if we don’t love Him first.
Loving Him is revealed by obeying Him and obeying Him brings us to the end of our own selfish desires. To love Him is to want what He wants and fight His fights. As His bride, the Church should be the very evidence of this love. This love should be evident in our relationships with others in the Church. Not noticeable just to us, but to others, including those outside the church.
Paul’s love for these friends is established and matured through his relationship with Jesus. This is the kind of love that binds the Bride of Christ as one. This is shown through the love, grace, and long-suffering we have with each other. Christ is long-suffering in His love of us. The grace and mercy that He constantly bestows on us reveals His character. But it is also what should define us as His bride.
Making It Personal
Do you love what Jesus loves? What does your love of the body of believers reveal about your love for Christ? Who in the Church do you need to learn to love more fully?
Making It Personal Kids
Why does Jesus want you to love other people in the Church? Do you have a hard time loving some people in the Church? Who does Jesus want you to learn to love?
Father, thank You for the reminder that we are the bride You have chosen for Your Son. Help us to love as You want us to love. Grow the unity in the body of believers so that we can reveal the love that can only come through You. In Jesus’ name, amen.