World vs Word
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. John 4:9-10
Take a minute and look around you everyone is searching for love. People want to be loved. In fact, we were created to be loved and to love. Most of us tend to use the feeling of love to determine the duration of a relationship or friendship. A lot of times we also rely on the feeling of love to determine how we will treat others. Is it possible that we allow the feeling of love to have more authority over what we say and do then we should? The feeling of falling in love with something or someone is easy to do, almost effortless, but losing that loving feeling is not that hard to do, either. Feelings are fickle and are subject to change at a moment’s notice. Suppose love was more than just a feeling. Instead of love solely being a feeling, what if it was a choice we had to make, that calls us to action?
The world says …
The worlds definition of love is an intense feeling of deep affection. The world often suggests love is just a feeling. Which is correct, but not in its entirety. The world also views love through a lens of perversion which results in lust. The worlds view tends to place limits on love according to gender, religion, status and race. The world says since love is a feeling; we are to treat people according to the way someone makes us feel. The world says love someone because they are lovable. Love someone because they love what you love. Show love to someone because they give you that warm fuzzy feeling. Do something in love because they love you in return. Let’s be honest, it isn’t challenging to show someone love when you have that feeling of love towards them. (Luke 6:32) What does the world say to do when someone treats us unfairly? What is the world’s solution to someone who repeatedly says hurtful things towards us? That feeling of love we once had toward them becomes calloused. A person doesn’t agree on the same topics of interest, therefore my feeling of showing them love disappears. We will help those we love out, we will even do favors for them, but those same people do something that hurts us, in a moment we decide we don’t care to show love anymore towards them. They didn’t react the way we wanted them too. They didn’t show their gratitude toward us. They didn’t stick up for us when we thought they should have. They didn’t text or call us back. Whatever the case may be, we get offended and the feeling to love them despite their short comings is now gone. Why? Because feelings are fleeting. Before we know it, we take the easy route out. We stop making the choice to love them, extending grace, forgiving them and we simply move on. The worlds idea of love is subject to change.
The Word of God says …
The Word’s definition says love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) When we understand the true definition of love there is a freedom to love no matter what. According to this scripture when we use the word “love” toward someone we must ask ourselves these questions. Am I being patient and kind? Am I rejoicing in truth? Am I enduring, believing hoping all things? Am I being humble? Am I keeping no record of wrong against this person? We have to get an understanding that unconditional love places no limits on the other person. The greatest call we have is to love God! (Matthew 22:37) The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark12:31) We have been called to love those the world deems unlovable. (Luke 6:32-42) And, then there is our call to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who mistreat us. (Luke 6:27) The Word goes on to say Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2) “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) Love must be sincere. (Romans 12:9) A friend loves at all times. (Proverbs 17:17) We get the opportunity to be used by God to show the world what love looks like! We can make the choice to be kind and patient whether we think someone deserves it or not.
Our key verse shows us that love is a choice. God made a choice to send his Son, Jesus to die for us that we might be reconciled to Him. Love is a choice calling us into action. An invitation to show the world what it looks like to be patient, kind, not prideful or arrogant. God shows us His love for us through His actions. If God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked then so should we! (Luke 6:35) God deeply and intimately loves you! His love for you is unconditional—no strings attached, and there is nothing that you can do to get God not to love you. God is patient and kind towards you. He sent His son Jesus to take your place on the Cross bearing all your sins so that your record of wrong doing would be thrown into the sea of forgetfulness. His love for you came at the high price. Knowing that God loves you is central to your understanding of the Gospel, for the entire Gospel is based on God’s love. God’s love for us is not based on our works or our accomplishments. God doesn’t ever fall out of love with us. Nothing you have done whether great or horrific in the past or even now could ever change the love that God has for us! God’s love for us only grows deeper and more passionately toward us. God’s love for us never ends.
What would our work place, community, church, school, neighborhood look like if we made the choice to be conduits of the same love God shows us? What would happen if we purposed in our hearts to live love out loud well? You see, one love encounter with God changes everything! You are never the same! God’s love has the power to change anything in one moment. God wants to use us a vessel that His great love can flow through bringing a shift to a lost and broken generation. We are not citizens of this world but of Heaven. We have been called to show God’s love to those around us in its purest form. There is no expiration date on our call to love. There are no terms that ever call us to stop loving those around us. Let these words encourage you today to make the choice to love according to God’s definition not the worlds.
“Love has no meaning if it isn’t shared. Love has to be put into action. Intense love does not measure it just gives.” – Mother Teresa
Oh Father God, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross as the greatest act of love. Thank you that you are the very essence of love and you’re always showing us your love for us. Help us to live a life, loving others in alignment with your Word. In Jesus name. Amen