Tuesday, August 13, 2013

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Love.  The number of songs, poems, speeches, and written dissertations on this subject is staggering.  So, I might-as-well add my two cents worth to the mix.

Perhaps you know these verses that describe God.

  1. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. - 1 John 4:8
  2. 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 him. - 1 John 4:16
Now that you know God is love, take the infamous 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 passage and replace the word "Love" with God and "it" with He.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, 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. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

What a mighty and lovely God we are befriended by - "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." - John 15:15

You thought I was gonna say, "What a mighty God we serve", didn't you?  The Christian perspective, concerning our relationship with God, has got to change to a more intimate one.  Not only are we considered friends of God, but the Church, the true followers of Christ, is considered His Bride (John 3:29; Revelation 18:23; 19:7; 21:2, 9; 22:17).  Love is supposed to flow between a bride and her husband.  Love is suppose to flow out from a bride and her husband also.  "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" - Matthew 5:46

This leads me to three kinds of loving that I have been enlightened to recently.  I am sure there are probably more, but consider the following.
  1. Love to and from those that love you.
  2. Love unto a stranger.
  3. Love unto the unlovely. 
Number one is very important.  Once you know you are loved it is important to from time-to-time remind them of that love.  However, that love sets you up for the other two kinds of people to love.

When loving the stranger (say fixin' a flat tire), you do not have to know their background, you just show up and show God's love and if it leads to more share time then great.

When loving the unlovely it is naturally challenging.  However, all of us were the most unloveliest things imaginable, BUT GOD loved us anyway - "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8.  Now, we need to follow His example and touch those "lepers" that nobody else will touch.  Speak into the lives of those that are speaking negatively about their own life or others around them.  Hang around those who don't have The Answer because you, as a Christian, Do!  Jesus loved people's souls as well as their bodies that he healed.
  • While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"  On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." - Matthew 9:10-13
I challenge myself as well as the rest of my brothers and sisters in Christ - love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).  Love your family and friends.  Love a stranger.  Love the unlovely.  You can have faith, you can have hope, and you can have love.  But the best one to have of these three is Love. (Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:13).