“Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible,” Paul closes out his instructions to the church of Ephesus in Ephesians 6:23-24. Think about how you say goodbye to your family or a close friend versus someone you just met. When you leave someone you barely know, you might say, “Nice to meet you,” and give them a handshake. However, after leaving someone you are close to, you may give them a hug or kiss or even cry. This is how Paul felt about the people he ministered to. He longed for them to know God as he knew Him. He longed for them to feel the power of the Holy Spirit in the way he did. This is how he treated those he encountered.
What about you? Do you feel this way only about the ones you love or are close to? Or do you long for others to know God in the way you know Him? Well, the first step is to examine your relationship with the Lord. If you are close to Him and invest in your relationship with Him, then you will feel strongly for others. You will love your family, friends, church, and community with the type of love that only God gives. Your love for people will grow out of your love for the Lord, but there must be a love for the Lord first. Paul’s love for the Lord changed his life. He no longer cared about the things he did before; that was all part of his former life. Now he only cared about Jesus and his message of the gospel. May you follow in his footsteps today.