Character Quality: Love

Character Quality: Love with free coloring page.

Character Quality: Love

Today is Good Friday. It stands as the epitome of loved lived out loud. On this day over 2000 years ago, Christ exemplified love as He stretched out His arms on an old rugged cross and died, paying the price for our sins. We couldn’t pay the debt we owed. Only the perfect Lamb of God, His only begotten Son, could pay that price. And He did.

In a culture that scrambles to define love and to find love, Christ’s sacrificial love is the answer. He is what their hearts long for, the healing they desire, and the rest they run after. He is the hope of the nations.

Love is the theme of the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to His children. God’s love for His children motivated Him to send His only Son to die on a cruel cross. From Genesis 1.1 to Revelation 22.21 God’s message to us is “I love you!”

Christ’s proclamation is that the greatest love sacrifices and dies. The greatest love doesn’t think of self or profit or personal gain. True love, real love, commits. Genuine love determines to stay the course, to fight, and to stand firm. Authentic love drives out fear, it inspires courage, it faces danger, and it confronts evil. When love is legitimate it does not compromise, give up, or deny.

In the great discourse of Jesus to His disciples in John 15, Jesus talks to His disciples about the importance of abiding in Him. He uses the analogy of being the Vine and His followers being the branches. The idea of abiding means staying attached—that’s real relationship.

The relationship he describes will bear much fruit. After admonishing them to abide in Him by keeping His commandments, He talks to them about loving each other based on His example of laying down His life for them. “Love one another,” He encourages.

Jesus was not suggesting they consider loving one another, but He commanded that they (that we) love one another. But He did not ask them to do something that He Himself knew nothing about. He knew what it meant to love them, to love us. He knew the cost of love.

Before He hung on the cross, before he He faced paying the price, He exhorted them to love each other. He even mentioned “lying down” one’s life for a friend. It foreshadowed what He faced.

Jesus had a life focus that was to glorify His Father. Over and over He talked to His disciples about doing the will of His Father.

Jesus washed the dirty and smelly feet of his betrayer before He faced him in the garden. But by the time they met again in the garden, Judas had already dirtied his feet again. He betrayed Jesus with a kiss, but not a kiss of love.

A crowd accompanied Judas. This crowd was armed with torches and weapons against a Man armed only with love. He did not fight them or resist their arrest. Jesus was ready to die for the very ones who had plotted, lied, schemed, manipulated, and contrived. He died for the ones who beat, who spit, who slapped, who mocked, and who wounded. He laid down His life for us all.

What does it mean to lay down your life for others?

-It means that we serve them as the Lord has served us. That we think of them instead of ourselves.

-It means that we over look the little things that don’t matter.

-It means that we pray to the Father, that we spend time with Him each day as we prepare ourselves to serve for the day.

-It means that we make the most of the interactions we have with each person throughout the day. Each one has been providentially appointed and we should treat it as such, we need to live in each moment, not halfway.

-It means we listen to others, that we meet them right where they are, that we pay attention to the outcast, the sick, the dying, the mourning, the hurting, the desperate, the hungry, the thirsty.

-It means that we dare to fellowship with sinners, answer hard questions late at night, and submit to the will of the Father.

Today’s challenge:

Look for opportunities to love. They are all around!

Stay focused on what really matters: glorifying the Father.

Worship as you love others!

Enjoy loving by not expecting attention or demanding reciprocation.

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

 

{Simply click the image below to download your free Character Quality: Love coloring page.}

 

 

Character Quality: Love with free coloring page.

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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: April 18, 2014, by : Rachael Carman