I have been challenged by someone close to me and whom I love about that thing called love. In fact I thought I knew what love was and is, until recently. In fact, God is always teaching me and I’m ALWAYS learning about love.
God wants us to love the ones that are near to us. I’m talking about people that we live with day in and day out and see all the time, our friends and family, the ones who we know intimately.
See of course it’s easy to love strangers. It’s easy for me to go out Evangelising and loving on strangers, because I value that short time that I have with them so I put my best efforts into speaking with them, ministering to them, loving on them, encouraging them, praying for them and hopefully leading them to Christ and a lot of the time, I don’t see that person again. That is the nature of ministry and street Evangelism.
So, can we apply the same principles and dedication to the loved ones around us. As I’m writing this, I’m challenging myself, I often preach to myself. I often write about what God is teaching me at the time. Look I know I’m not the only one that struggles with loving people and so this is why I’m sharing this revelation that God has given me over the last 24 hours.
The world will know us as Christians by our love for one another, so it’s important we explore this subject regularly and keep checking in on where our love level is at.
Okay, back to loving the ones near to us. The reason why we let our guard down on love is because we become “familiar”. We get to know almost all the flaws, imperfections, character defects, insecurities, fears as well as dreams, goals, passions, and the things that excite and motivate the ones we love.
This is actually a gift, its special, its a privilege. However, when we are challenged and confronted with other peoples flaws and inadequacies and short falls, how do we deal with those people? How do you deal with loved ones with mental illness, how do you deal with loved ones who display controlling and manipulative personality traits, how do you deal with men in our lives who are passive and complacent or how do you deal with children who are rebelling and just not honouring you in your home.
I have one answer for this and it’s a confronting and challenging answer for all Christians to face. The answer is we need to love them unconditionally as GOD loved the world. John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. (King James Version). What an extraordinary statement and declaration of love.
Now Gods Son was Christ Jesus, The Messiah, The bright and morning star, The light of the world. Jesus was God manifested in flesh, not separate but One and the same, united. Now Jesus loved His heavenly Father so much that He was willing and obedient unto death on the cross. Jesus died a glorified and horrific death by crucifixion for the sins of the world, for us, for you and I, for our families, our children, our loved ones and every single human being that has ever lived and will ever live. Now that Is some kind of love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Now what an amazing scripture that is. Now God not only displayed through His Son Jesus Christ how much He loves us but He also tells us how to love others. He also tells us to pick up our cross daily and follow Christ, why? Because Christ Jesus was the perfect and the only perfect example of how to love and how to walk in love. Everything He did was out of love, because everything Christ did was the will of the father so that means that God is the Creator of love. God is LOVE. But it’s not the love that we think or feel, it’s Heavenly, pure, holy and righteous love that God has for His children, us.
We need to be vessels and carriers of God’s love, we need to love like Jesus. We need to love unconditionally and persevere, trust and hope in our loved ones when they are going through the storms of life or when they are angry and bitter, when they hurt you, when they abandon you.
There is nothing in life that you could ever go through or experience that Christ has not endured. He walked that path of pain, rejection, fear, sickness, hate, ridicule, mockery for our sake and it led Him to the cross so that we can have the victory through Him.
Now isn’t that the love that makes you want to weep. Isn’t that the love that makes you dance and sing. Isn’t that the love that we all want? Our first and foremost calling as Christians is to Love God and to love others.
Matthew 22:37-38 – Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
This is NOT A CHOICE. It is a commandment from Jesus. Remember Jesus did what the Father did, therefore He was only reflecting the LOVE of God.
Turn your gaze off everything and everyone and look to Jesus. He is our example of how to love. Jesus will strengthen you and teach you, but you have to be willing to learn, willing to change, willing to SACRIFICE yourself in order to love others.
You have to be willing to ask God for help in this area if you are struggling as I have had to yesterday. I know this is a hard word, but it’s so important. It is the number one thing we must grasp as Christians.
In order for us to win souls and rule and reign for God on earth is to learn how God wants us to love. All you have to do is follow the example of our Lord and saviour Jesus. Love and blessings in His name. ~ Jonda