Are you a lover?

reallove

The word “love” gets tossed around often.  Preachers talk about it. Songs by the thousand are written about it. We fall into it and out of it, apparently. People profess to love various things, causes, and people. Love is powerful, sometimes painful, and as necessary to our health as the air we breathe!

John wrote to the churches in his charge and to us to remind us that a genuine experience of Christ Jesus will make us lovely people! “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. … We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death … If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 John 3:11, 14, 17, NIV)

We know that our faith is genuine, our salvation real, when we are changed into loving people, when we no longer live apathetically towards those who are hurting, in need, or apart from God.  The word in the Greek of the first writer that is translated as ‘know’ is about seeing, perceiving, being convinced by examining the evidence.  The Holy Spirit is telling us that the observable evidence of our spiritual change is love.

What kind of love does the Spirit awaken in us? “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16, NLT)  We must not miss this! It is a love that other-centered, that is sacrificial, that is generous. That person in the church who just rubs you the wrong way, who you find obnoxious, that you ignore – is someone that Christ will cause you to love, actively.  That dysfunctional person who ‘just won’t get it together’ is someone Christ died for and calls me to love at great expense to myself!  Jesus did not just come for the beautiful, the pleasant, the well-adjusted people.  He came to save the world by love, giving Himself for those who were ‘sinners!’  He is the model for the love we experience and from which we gain great assurance.

C. S. Lewis disturbs me with this observation about love.
It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital ‘H’ than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.”

We will find it much easier to go and do some ‘ministry’ for a needy group than to actually love, deeply and consistently, those with whom we live and work. Some Christians say, “I am a very loving person. I give to World Vision to support a kid in Africa. I don’t do anything bad to others. I respect my neighbors.” And that is all good. But, if they will not do the arduous work of building and maintaining loving relationships with a group of Believers, sharing ups and downs, doing ‘life’ together, their love is not complete, perhaps not even authentic.

How do come to love others in an authentic way? Our word from the Word points us in the right direction. “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. (complete) So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. (1 John 4:16-19, NLT)

Let God love you. Inevitably, His love will make you a lover!

________________
Love Them Like Jesus (Link to song by Casting Crowns)

The love of her life is drifting away,
They’re losin’ the fight for another day.
The life that she’s known is falling apart,
A fatherless home, a child’s broken heart.
You’re holdin’ her hand, you’re strainin’ for words.
You’re tryin’ to make sense of it all,
She’s desp’rate for hope,
Darkness clouding her view,
She’s lookin’ to you.

Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him.
His yoke is easy, His burden is light.
You don’t need the answers
To all of life’s questions.
Just know that He loves her
And stay by her side,
And love her like Jesus,
Love her like Jesus.

The gifts lie in wait in a room painted blue,
Little blessing from Heaven would be there soon.
Hope fades in the night blue skies turn to gray,
As the little one slips away,
You’re holdin’ their hand, you’re strainin’ for words.
You’re tryin’ to make sense of it all,
They’re desp’rate for hope,
Darkness clouding their view,
They’re lookin’ to you.

Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him.
His yoke is easy, His burden is light.
You don’t need the answers,
To all of life’s questions,
Just know that He loves them,
And stay by their side.
And love them like Jesus

Lord of all creation,
Holds our lives in His hands.
The God of all the nations,
Holds our lives in His hands.
The Rock of our salvation,
Holds our lives in His hands.
He cares for them just as He cares for you.

So love them like Jesus,
Love them like Jesus.
You don’t need the answers,
To all of life’s questions.
Just know that He loves them,
And stay by their side,
And love them like Jesus.

Bernie Herms | Mark Hall© 2005 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
My Refuge Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s