“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
Women who are keeping in step with the Spirit and are being led by the Spirit will walk in love. We are called to imitate God, who loves perfectly and chose to love us while we were still sinners. To walk in love, we must first realize that love is not an emotion but a choice we make. Love is an act of our will. We must love whom the Scriptures say we are to love. As children of God, we should want to be like our Father who loves completely. Let’s begin by reviewing who our first love should be…God.
“’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37
This is a command spelling out how we are to love God. This love includes our thoughts, reasoning, understanding, will, judgment, affections, intellect, and emotions. In other words, our whole being is to love God. The Scriptures give us some specifics about loving God, which we need to take seriously in our walk of love.
Love God’s Name
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” Hebrews 6:10
We’re to love God’s name. This love is evidenced by our service to the body of Christ. When we serve others, we are putting Christ on display and honoring his name to those we serve and those who observe us. The love of God’s name is evidence of his grace to us. When we display Christ in service, our salvation is evident. It’s the saving grace of God which brings us into position to love his name. Do we think about God’s name in a loving way? Are we influenced by our culture, which takes God’s name and abuses it? Is God’s name just taken for granted by us? We need to treasure the name of God and display our love for it with our service to others.
Love God’s salvation
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, ‘Great is the LORD!’” Psalm 40:16
God is the one who saves. The salvation of the Lord to the Psalmist, David, refers to the help he receives from the Lord and the deliverance from his enemies and his own sin. This applies to us, as followers of Christ, because we fail to recognize God as the one who has saved us. We’re tempted to think it’s our own doing. But it’s God’s doing which should cause us to be humble before him. We should love our salvation which results in the recognition of the greatness of God which results in praise. Are you apathetic concerning the gospel? Are you just concerned about going to heaven? Do you equate salvation with your life? We should NEVER get over our salvation but, more than that, love the giver of salvation, God.
Love God’s Word
“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97
The Word of God is not just dead words on a page. They are “living and active” according to Hebrews 4:12. The words are “God-breathed” according to 2 Timothy 3:16. All of these descriptions make it evident that the Scripture is from God, given to us in order for us to learn and grow as his children. If we love God’s Word the result will be meditation during the day. To meditate is to reflect on and be devoted to the Word. It’s not sitting cross-legged and humming. It’s thinking about what we’ve read during the day. When we love the Word, we’ll take a theme or a few words of what we read to stimulate our thinking. Is your reading of the Word just a check list? Do you consider the words you read or just plow through them? When we love God’s Word, it will result in a life that pleases God. The influence of the Word of God will drive us to do what it says.
Love is not our idea, it’s God’s. John tells us in 1 John 4 that “God is love” and “We love because He first loved us.” Our perfect Father is the one we are to imitate. We must seek to keep in step with him by walking in love. A child will hold an adult’s hand seeking safety and direction. Women in step with the Spirit will hold onto their Father’s hand allowing him to lead and keep them safe.
“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24