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A Call To Love

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one … It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

After Clive Staples Lewis lost his wife to cancer, he wrote these words describing the powerful link between love, suffering, and vulnerability. We know him as C. S. Lewis who wrote works of fiction like The Chronicles of Narnia and Christian apologetics writings such as Mere Christianity but in his book, The Four Loves he describes the four Greek words for love, with Agape love being the greatest:

  • Eros – Physical love, attraction, appreciation of beauty
  • Storge – Affections within a family bond, love between parents and children, love between brothers and sisters
  • Philia – Deep friendship, brotherly love, the bond between believers in Christ
  • Agape – The love of God for man and of man for God, to will for the good of another person (even when wronged).
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
In the light of God’s perfect love, here are three ways we are called to love:
We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
  • Be Vulnerable
Being vulnerable is not easy because you may have past hurts or the fear of potential hurt but remember that nothing good happens when you aren’t being true to yourself and God. Jesus had left the comfort of heaven to be vulnerable to us. We are vulnerable to Him when we give over our desires.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26
  • Be Serving
When you serve others, you should be giving out of God’s perfect love. It matters to God that you serve with pure motives. Jesus has set the example as the servant leader who was highly lifted up but freely washed the feet of others.
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 Corinthians 13:1-3
  • Be Sacrificing
When you choose to keep loving through difficulty, you will suffer. It is not easy to keep short accounts of wrongs, see the best in others, and respond in love to those who are unloving. We forgive because God forgave us, which will produce a righteousness that God desires.
”Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor, act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.” – C.S. Lewis
People may let you down but God can never let you down. God is fully good and He is the fulness of love. When you walk in love like Jesus, you will be able to love God and love others more deeply.
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
– Pastor Josh Ryan

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