‘Honey, I love you in an abstract way’

By Jon Walker

This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. (John 13:35 MSG)

True love is never in the abstract. ‘We’ll never carry out our mission of being witnesses to Christ from behind pulpits or within Bible studies. We’re commissioned to “go therefore” and fill the earth with the presence of Christ so others may “observe” what He commanded us — to love one another as He loves us (Matthew 28:19-20 NASB; John 13:34).

We are to take our unseen and eternal fellowship, our oneness with Him and each other, into the seen and temporal lives of others.

To “observe” something, it must be seen. As others observe us, watch us “being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, intent on one purpose; not merely looking out for our own personal interests, but also for each other’s interests (Philippians 2:3-4),” they will naturally wonder where such uncommon attitudes come from.

And we have opportunity to say, “This is the attitude that ‘is in Christ Jesus who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant, being made in the likeness of men’” (Philippians 2:5-7).

In a fallen and self-oriented world, both that attitude and practice are particularly uncommon and profoundly noticeable. The witness of the reality of Christ and His love through our authentic and loving relationships is a living testimony that the world must deal with. Jesus’ personal and sacrificial love creates a safe place, a refuge, an opportunity to “be” that every person needs.

This devotional is based on my book, Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’.

We now have free small group study guides posted for each chapter from Costly Grace. The study guides are available at http://www.gracecreates.com/free-stuff/.

‘Honey, I love you in an abstract way’ is a post from: GraceCreates Jon Walker is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ and Growing with Purpose. He has served on staff at Saddleback Church and Purpose Driven Ministries and is currently the managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotionals and the Ministry Toolbox. Contact him at questions@gracecreates.com. This article is copyrighted 2011 by Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Thank you. Be blessed!

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