Love Matters -

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” 
- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

‘The church’s manifestation in time of the glories that are yet to come is not accomplished in the gift of tongues, nor even in prophecy, giving, teaching. It is accomplished in love…. The greatest evidence that heaven has invaded our sphere, that the Spirit has been poured out upon us, that we are citizens of a kingdom not yet consummated, is Christian love.’
- D.A. Carson, Showing the Spirit, p. 76

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
- 1 Cor. 13:1-3 

And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 
-1 John 4:21

To love, and love well, is not difficult…it is impossible. We may have an inclination of affections or grand feelings of inducements towards others, but to love well must come from outside of ourselves. We cannot love well without example, or without demonstration toward us. To love well is to apprehend, if even in a small way, love demonstrated to us. Luke tells a story in chapter 7 about a woman who loved well. She was a woman with a tarnished reputation...a woman who was known by her great sin. Luke doesn't fill in all of the blanks, but we can safely say that her notoriety was common knowledge. Her transformation from a great sinner to one who loved well was nothing short of miraculous. Simon missed the point, but she got it. She loved well, because she experienced gospel love first hand. Forgiveness came to her...she was loved...and out of love demonstrated to her she then loved well. Mark this my friends, when gospel love apprehends the sinner's heart a transformation takes place. Loving others well is the inevitable by-product of being loved by demonstrated gospel love.


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