The last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to better understand & live out the reality of God’s love and power. I’ve been reading the letter Paul writes to Corinth (the first one) to get a handle on it. The letter is full of interesting things of note but the main message that comes out is that power and love go together.
In fact, I would go a step further to say that the expression of God’s power in and through us is His love. This community in Corinth was birthed in power and there was many incredible things going on – but they had not grown-up into the love of Christ. It was a bit like a toddler with a stick of dynamite – they had all the power but without the maturity of a life of love to understand how to use it well. Needless to say, it was causing all sorts of emotional and spiritual blow-ups.
So, here’s where I’ve landed as reading this letter:
POWER + LOVE = Wholeness
POWER – LOVE = Brokenness
So, we want to be a community of people that are deeply rooted in the love of God, who tangibly love one another and actively love our city. That is Paul’s vision (and God’s too) of what church should look like.
That’s all very well but how do we start? Well, we need the powerful love (power + love) of the Spirit of God to shape us from deep in our lives. Paul would say that we need to be rooted and established in love. But how does that happen? What does that look like?
For me I’m learning it starts with letting the powerful love of God shape my identity – the core of who I am. When I know how he sees me, that I belong to him, that I am love by him deeply then it enables me to live a powerful life.
Letting the love of God shape my identity creates the right foundation for loving friendship with God (intimacy) and from that deep friendship our lives begin to look more loving – more Christlike (integrity). If you are into diagrams here’s what it might look like below.
So, we’re going to look at how this might operate in our lives as we seek to live lives full of the Spirit. This blog is the first of 5 parts so let’s begin the conversation. Next instalment we’ll look at how to create rhythms in our life that enable the love of God to shape us in the area of our identity.
Part 1 conclusion – to move in God’s power is to move in God’s love. To live a life of love means we need to let the powerful love of God shape our very core (who we say we are). As we respond to the love God shows us, developing a deep friendship with Him, it leads to a life that looks more Christlike.