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CHURCH TALK: Living a contagious Christian life

Friday 1 October 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features


CHURCH TALK: Living a contagious Christian life
The Pharisees asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment. And He replied to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment”. Spiritual Friendship/21093019

It’s interesting when some people smile, they ignite smiles in people around them. They have contagious smiles. If that’s what a contagious smile is, what is a contagious Christian life? Pastor Eric Toleafoa from the Seventh-day Adventist Church explains.

Christianity is not to be lived in a bubble or in isolation from secular society, but rather, because of the active and indwelling love of Christ, it should be an infectious experience that people around them cannot help but be impacted and inspired.

It is difficult to read a book, watch a movie, or speak about relationships without eventually hearing about love. It is a present force in our society and in our lives. God, through His Word, speaks of love generously in the Old and New Testaments. It is the one common thread that runs through the entire fabric of Scripture.

In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul gives this definition of love: “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 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. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” (1 Corinthians 13:2-8 ESV).

These characteristics are by-products of someone who has experienced love. Many may look at this text and conclude that this standard is too challenging. But if we look closely, most of us can see an area or areas where we have fallen short of this ideal.

You may be asking, “Who on earth can be patient and kind and never irritable?” “Who would dare say that they believe all things and can endure all things?” It seems an impossible task. However, this is the beauty of this passage. Of ourselves, it is an impossible task to love this way. This is why the first and greatest love requirement is not to love our neighbour, but rather to love God.


The Pharisees asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment. And He replied to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as (you do) yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22: 37, 38, Amplified).

We find from this text that loving God is our first priority. Have you ever wondered, “How do I love God”? Is it enough to just utter the words toward heaven? How do you show love to someone who is as big and self-sufficient as God? What can you say to Him that will make a difference?

The Bible describes God as love in 1 John 4:8. It says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” This simple statement is heavy with truth. If you do not love others around you, you do not know God. The verse does not say that God is lovable or that God is loved or that God is loving, but rather God is love. This means that God does not get love from some other wonderful place and then gives it to you. It begins with Him. If He did not exist, love would not exist. It is impossible to separate the two. Therefore, we cannot create love on our own. It does not originate with us, but with God.

Because love begins with God, He does not need our love to feel validated or whole. He is not insecure or lacking when we do not love Him. He instructs us that the only way to show that we love Him is to take the love that He gives us through our relationship with Him and share it with those around us.

We show our love to God by how we treat people around us each day. The verse says, “if you love me, keep my commandment,” and His commandment is to love one another as He loved us.

How much did He love us? Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows and clearly proves His (own) love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us” (Amplified).

The entire Bible leads up to this point. The Old Testament sanctuary services point us to the cross of Calvary and to Jesus, our wonderful Sacrifice. All biblical teachings find their end in Jesus our Messiah and the fact that He loves us so much that He was willing to give the ultimate gift, His life. This was done while we were still sinners, or still His enemies.

This is the godly love we are to show to one another. Regardless of race, gender, looks, smell, or family, when we love because God loves us, there will be no limit. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for each other” (John 13:35).

God sincerely desires to have a deep and loving relationship with you. He wants to reveal more of His love to you each day, but our hearts have to be sensitive enough to receive Him when He does.

Share a smile with the people around you!

Keep safe, stay blessed over the weekend, but most of all Be Encouraged!