Put on Love
August 9, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. - Colossians 3:12-17 NKJV.
The apostle Paul says in Colossians 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Now the love that Paul is talking about is Christian love, which is defined in the 1 Corinthians 13. We know that we are to love, but who is it that we are to love? Who do you love?
Jesus tells us in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” So we know that a distinctive mark of a true disciple of Christ will be that we will love other Christians. But who else should we love? I believe that you can look at John 3:16 and see who God loved. “For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son....” Every person living upon this planet Earth is someone for whom Christ died.
As we demonstrate our concern for the non-Christians by serving them, ministering to them, caring about them, and loving them, we become Christ’s hands and feet to demonstrate His great love.
Do you love everyone? If we really get right with God, we will. We will even love our enemies, because we want to follow our Lord’s example; and our Lord died for us while we were still sinners, still the enemies of God.
If you do a Google search for forgiveness and murderer, you will receive 1.8 million hits. Even if someone murders your loved one, you are as a child of God called to forgive and you can forgive through the power of God. We know this, but we hope and pray that we are never faced with having to do it. However, you are continually faced with smaller offenses. You may be faced with things like not receiving a promotion that you thought you deserved, receiving an unkind word from a friend, or a boss, not receiving recognition you thought you deserved, and on and on. There are so many little things that others can do that are irritating. Do you overlook them? Do you forgive them? Do you return kindness for their evil?
Who is it that you can share the love of Christ with today?