Invited into the Way of Love
(Ephesians 5:1-2) Jesus invites you into the way of love. The way He has loved the world through sacrifice and as a pleasing aroma to God.
I remember Jason’s anger.
It was seventh grade. We had spent a couple hours hanging at the park, riding bikes, and messing around at the playground. Trying to enjoy the remnants of the weekend.
But something felt off as we talked about family. Jason started to pace, hands opening and clenching. He pulled his palm across his forehead and gritted teeth.
Suddenly, he shoved me backwards.
“Jason, what’s wr —”
He shoved me again.
I stood there. I knew this wasn’t about me. I couldn’t get defensive.
He shoved one more time, and then hopped onto his bike and left.
“The lasagna is about done, boys!”
My brother and I placed some forks and paper plates across the table while mom lugged the pan over.
As we scooted our chairs in to eat, the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it,” mom said.
We watched as she opened the door.
“Oh, hi Jason!” she chirped. “Come on in, we were about to have dinner.”
“Can I join?”
Jason glanced at me as he sat down, but then held his gaze on his empty plate below.
“So glad we have someone else here to help eat this giant lasagna!”
Jason grinned at this. He then looked at me...and smiled, opening his napkin.
My friend Jason had a rough home life. Though he never opened up about the details, we knew he craved some normalcy. He spent years hanging at our house, eating many dinners with my family. Though I haven’t seen him in over a decade, I know my mom’s hospitality and unconditional love towards my friend could have saved his life.
She always showed “the way of love” towards my friends.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
The way of love is a Christ-like love.
It’s a giving love. A love which sacrifices and endures.
When the Whitman samplers run out and the valentines are gone, the love of Christ remains.
"The way of love is a Christ-like love."
And it’s this way of love — the love of the suffering King — that the Apostle Paul tells you to “walk” in. Walking in the way of love is loving like Christ.
And Jesus demonstrated love through sacrifice as a “fragrant offering to God.” Throughout the Old Testament, especially in Leviticus, the drink and food offerings of the Israelites would please God as a beautiful aroma.
Your life, as well, is a fragrant offering when you give yourself up for others like Christ. When you invite someone into your home. When you sacrifice time, or turn your attention to someone forgotten.
It's the way of love.
🔥 Bonus Sauce!
Did you know that Paul uses the word agapé when describing the love of Christ and love of Christians for one another? It's one of four Greek words used for "love."
Oh, and there's also some big game happening today. :-D
Here’s a post on my personal blog that talks about both the Super Bowl and what agapé love really means.
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