Since Love Trumps All, Let's Love! Holy Spirit: Who or What? #15
8/25/2017 1:18:23 PM
Unity and more love when we serve

Since Love Trumps All, Let's Love!  Holy Spirit: Who or What? #15






This is a call for unity.  Sure, it seems like our culture is splintered, but so are our churches, and worse, our personal relationships... I mean, right?  Over the last couple days, I have been thinking about how people start acting in love and from a place of love toward other human beings; it brought back a few vivid examples.


Several years ago, there were devastating fires in Southern California, specifically around the San Diego area.  I got a call from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association asking if my 'women's group', (Women of Passion), would we be able to assist the folks who had been driven from their smoke-damaged or destroyed homes-by bringing food and clothes and diapers to evacuation centers.  Oh, and could we make lunches to go to the front lines of the fires?  The answer: Of course!  So we got busy.                                 

                        The result-->A unifying-love worked in our women.



Since then, one day I was leading a prayer meeting in Long Beach-yes, in the old church basement at 9th and Atlantic, when a woman came in off the streets and was making her way down a set of stairs to us.  We heard an awful clatter and heard her land with a thud at the bottom, not moving a peg.  Quickly, many gathered around her to help; one called 9-1-1, another attended to her bicycle, another her plastic bag of belongings, and it was the Duke who rushed to cradle her bleeding head, call for a towel or blanket, and I prayed aloud over all of it.  A woman in need called for a response of loving concern on our parts.                           The result-->A unifying feeling in our, concern.


So, a need or needs in people called for love; and in unity, we served.  The result, love grew.  'What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.'1  How beautiful, how apt are those words ... Mother Theresa?  No, many years before her-Augustine of Hippo!  Love moves us.  What's more, when it does, it brings unity.  


That's because there is no unity or show of unity, without love.  "Above all, put on love--the perfect bond of unity," taught the apostle Paul.2   

.  Christians are called to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength ... and then, to love neighbor as self.3  Yep... love is what it's all about, love trumps all!  Jesus said so.  


Interestingly, within the community of Christ followers, [a.k.a., the church], we have each been given tools, Paul calls them 'gifts' actually . . . 'gifts given by the Holy Spirit'.  When we each use our gifts, the community flourishes.  Really, it is such a beautiful thing!  God has given us gifts that build up, equip and encourage-when used.  Here is how Paul describes it:  "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, [tongues], while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have."4 [more on the tools/gifts next briefing-this is not all of the gifts God gives]  But the Holy Spirit means for us to love each other well through these gifts he gives.


Yes, love trumps all! And 

the Holy Spirit within us is a fount of love,

and he equips us with unique gifts

that help us love and serve others well.

Fascinatingly, when we express love, love grows, 

and unites us together...

I love that.





1 - St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions 

2 - Colossians 3.14, HCSB

3 - Mark 12.30-31

4 - 1 Corinthians 12.7-11, NLT