What is love and how are we to act? In the book of Acts, Stephen was stoned for his presentation and defense of the good news of Christ’s coming. Jesus’s disciples were persecuted. Early on the Apostle James was killed by the Sword. Throughout the 1st century, the Hebrew and Greek Christians lived lives of good works, suffering the world’s hatred and persecution. They suffered loss of property, work, and even their very lives. They lived lives in this world, but not of this world. What of us in these trying times? Let us be defined by love.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Co 1:4–7)
God Is Love
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 Jn 4:7–12)
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Photo: Giovanni Battista Lucini artist QS:P170,Q3766693, Giovanni Battista Lucini – Martyrdom of St. Stephen, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons