On 9 April 2016, the weekend edition of the government-owned Al-Ahram newspaper – Egypt’s most popular paper – contained an article with a difference. Written in bold was the title: Love in Christianity.
In Egypt, preaching the gospel publicly remains a crime that can lead to imprisonment. Despite this, the article’s author, a well-known and respected Muslim journalist, dedicated a full page costing 10 million Egyptian Pounds (around £770,000) to 50 Bible passages on love. Other themes in the verses included forgiveness, peace, and even the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the atonement of sins.
The author ended the article by asking, ‘Have we ever heard anyone saying what the Christ, Isa, son of Mary, said when he told the love story we find in the gospel of Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven’?’
An contact in Egypt said, ‘What a great joy to read such a powerful article about Christian love! The thought that millions of Egyptians may have read the article and had, maybe for the first time, an opportunity to think about God’s love and some of Jesus’ teaching is so thrilling and exciting.’
Below are some of the Bible verses included in the article. As you read them, please pray that God will use them to bring his love to many people.
Psalm 146:8 – The LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.
Jeremiah 31:3 – The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness…”
Proverbs 8:17 – I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 – Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Romans 12:9 – Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
1 Peter 1:22 – Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
John 13:34 – A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Romans 12:10 – Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.
Jude 1:2 – Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance
Ephesians 4:1-6 – As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
2 Peter 1:5-7 – For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Matthew 18:21-22 – Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
1 John 4:7-8 – Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. hoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:16 – And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
John 17:26 – I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
Source: Open Doors