I’ve been doing some soul searching about my own pursuits lately. Maybe you have too as we have been studying and hearing sermons on spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit’s power and our roles in the church body. And last weekend, Love, Plain and Simple. And I think to myself, if only it was.

One of Paul’s simplest commands I can think of is his command to “pursue love” (1 Corinthians 14:1). It comes as he is writing to a divided church, a church filled with people focused on their own personal gifts, a church puffed up in many ways. And in this setting, Paul says simply but powerfully, “pursue love.”

The word “pursue” means to chase after, to diligently seek. It involves going after something or someone. And here, that something is love. Love, which as he just said, is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not rude, not insistent in its own way, not irritable, not resentful, and more (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It is this we are to pursue. It is this we are to intentionally seek.

I also just read that we are to love love. In other words, make loving love our pursuit and we know that all true love comes from our God. So, loving Him and loving others as He loves us. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Why is it so much harder than it sounds? Maybe because the words unconditional and sacrificial complicate things for us very human beings. They require intentional choices and then are achieved only with the help of the Holy Spirit at work in us. They mean loving the unlovable, praying for those who make our lives harder and are “very annoying” and pursuing the lost and lonely.

Those two words also mean treating our own family with the same consideration and kindness we do our “friends and acquaintances”; not taking advantage of their unconditional love for us by letting our words of frustration fly and wound them. Doesn’t sound so simple now, does it?

To live a loving life is to be purposeful with who you spend time with, where you invest your energy and how you use your resources. Our natural tendency is to buddy up with people we already know, prioritize fun activities and use our resources for ourselves. Paul is imploring the Corinthians to love those who are different than they are in the body of Christ, pursue service and give to those in need in their midst.

We need to ask him to make us people who deeply love love, who delight in opportunities to sacrifice. Will you join me today in praying for insight and direction from the Holy Spirit in how I and you might better spend time pursuing loving Him and others He puts on our path?

Father, we do so need your help to sacrificially love others, serve them and pray for them. Amen.

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant to
the Lead Pastor

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