Do you enjoy walking, or do you just view it as something necessary to get to your destination? These days we have a choice as to when and where we walk, but at one time it was the main mode of transport and walking was very much part of everyday life. In the Bible, the way we ‘walk’ is used as an analogy to describe our lifestyle and our daily relationship with God. Scripture is full of advice on how to walk in love and the freedom that is ours when we do!
What does it mean for Christians to walk in love?
What does it mean for Christians ‘to walk in God’s love?’ If walking describes our lifestyle, then walking in God’s love, is daily acknowledging and reflecting His love for us and for those around us.
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.”Psalm 89:15 NIV
When we come to know God by His grace, that is a place of privilege and blessing. Our lives are changed forever as we live in the light of the revelation of God’s love for us.
To walk in God’s love then is simply to follow Jesus, to acknowledge Him as the Son of God and Lord of our lives! The greatest gift that we have been given is God’s love, and it is the greatest gift that we can give to others. This is not sentimental love but conscious acts on behalf of another person – because love does!
Jesus links our love for Him with our desire to follow His example, to love and keep on loving. When we make that commitment, we are never alone because Jesus is by our side. He guides, encourages, and strengthens us to walk in the light of God’s unfailing love!
Walk in Love Bible Verse
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 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 4:32-5:2 NIV
This Scripture is found in the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus where he summarises the gospel of salvation, by grace, and through faith. Paul establishes our position as believers in Christ Jesus, re-affirming all that the Lord has done for us. Then he writes with guidelines for Christian living, the natural outward working of our faith. It is in this section of his letter that we are reminded to ‘walk in the way of love’ because without love our witness becomes ineffective.
How to Walk in Love
We love God because He intentionally loves us, it is the revelation of His love that draws us to love Him. It is with the realization of all that the Lord Jesus has done for us, that our love grows.
Jesus summoned up the greatest commandment as being to love God, and to love our neighbours – as we love ourselves. The two are inextricably linked – Scripture is quite clear – we cannot love God and not love one another!
How do we walk in the love of God everyday and demonstrate His love to those that He places in our path?
Three Ways to Walk in the Love of God
There will be times when we need to make a conscious decision to keep on walking by faith, when we know what is expected but we are struggling to respond in love. It is not always easy and sometimes walking in the love of God can be costly, but we shouldn’t be surprised as we follow Jesus…
Love is ‘the most excellent way’ and our effective witness. Our knowledge and experience of God’s love will grow as we give!
Let’s explore three practical ways on how to walk in love, and to be aware of those things that will prevent us from ‘being filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’
Guard Our Hearts
There is a simple but profound proverb that recognizes our hearts determine the way that we go. The choices that we make in life are influenced by our feelings and our hearts always goes with the strongest emotions.
If our strongest emotion is one of rejection, shame, anger, bitterness, or any other negative feelings, they all impact our behavior and the choices that we make.
In the same way, knowing that we are loved, and valued, makes all the difference! If we pause and reflect, we know that this is true our decisions are not based on information and logic alone. Life choices are governed by our hearts, whether it is choosing a partner, a career, or a place to live.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23
To walk and keep on walking in the love of God requires a soft, but strong, spiritual heart. Knowing our value and worth in God’s sight brings inner well-being, peace, and security.
The Word of God washes and cleanses us from the dross that life inflicts. As we read God’s word, our thoughts and feelings are realigned to His truth. We are precious to God, and He gave everything to reconcile us to Himself. Let go of every unkind word, those put-downs, all the critical comments, and meditate instead on God’s unending love and unfailing grace.
As we fill our hearts with God’s love, meditating on His Word, and reflecting on His promises, His peace will guard our hearts and minds.
Related Post: Guard Your Heart Above All Else
Keep Short Accounts
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to keeping our hearts soft, and strong, is unforgiveness. Being able to forgive is recognized as good for our mental health and well-being – but more than that forgiveness is a godly principle. Jesus taught that as we receive forgiveness from God, we are to pass on what we have received and forgive one another.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”Matthew 6:14-15
As we receive God’s forgiveness, we are humbled by His mercy towards us. As we are reconciled with God, through Jesus’ sacrifice, we are overwhelmed by his love. We cannot begin to grasp the suffering that was endured, the price that was paid, to restore our relationship with God. The gift that we receive far exceeds anything that we could ever give.
To all those who sin against us, we are called to forgive by drawing out of the mercy and forgiveness that we have received. It may not be easy to overcome our emotions but if we are willing to commit to being obedient to God’s word, His grace will bring an enabling power.
The act of forgiveness leads to a sense of release from all the anger and hurt which brings an inner peace. This is the peace of being fully reconciled with God, and allowing His healing touch to move us forward into freedom. The benefits of forgiving far outweigh the initial cost!
Related Post: Should I Forgive and Forget?
Submit to Pruning
Jesus has given us everything we need to know how to walk in love – through our knowledge of Him and the power of the Holy Spirit our counsellor and enabler!
The freedom of being reconciled with God, and knowing the peace of forgiveness, enables us to be led by the Holy Spirit. Walking in the love of God is keeping in step with the Spirit and being willing to submit to pruning!
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”Galatians 5:13-14
Walking in the love of God and following Jesus doesn’t always come easily. But love is a command and, with the desire to be obedient, the Holy Spirit will enable us so that we might bear fruit. Love grows as we love in the awkward, difficult, and hard moments as we remember the cost of the love that was poured out for us. And the benefits far outweigh any cost!
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”Ephesians 5:17-19
Psalms 160 – One Verse Sixty Seconds
Short devotionals on one verse from a favorite psalm in sixty seconds or less on the limitless-horizon YouTube channel:
Walk in God’s love – Watch and listen HERE