The title of this blog was inspired from the song “By Our Love” by For King and Country. I’m sure most reading this have heard all the Scriptures I’m going to reference, yet we must all ask ourselves: Can I honestly say I am living these truths in my daily life?
Honestly, I’m writing this as a way to preach to myself a message I very much need to hear, but I have a feeling a few others might need it too. So here are the questions I want us to really ask ourselves throughout this post:
- “Is the love you display for God and for others so radical, so profound and so visibly apparent, that people want what you have?
- Are you honestly representing the fullness of God’s love to others?”
There are countless Scriptures on love, and God’s call for us to love Him and others.
1 John 4:19 tells us that we “love because God first loved us.”
1 Peter 4:8 instructs us to “love each other deeply, for it covers a multitude of sins.”
Ephesians 4:2 directs us to “be humble and gentle and patient as we bear one another in love.”
God really gives us some profound insight on love here:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:7-8
Did you catch that? If we don’t love, that means we don’t really know God, because GOD IS LOVE.
Our deepest desire as human beings is to love and be loved. There is no way around it. People burdened by a lack of love in their life, more often than not, become hardened to the world and their lives easily go on a downward spiral, encompassing every sort of evil imaginable. Yet we have the opportunity to share God’s love with others and completely change their lives. True disciples of Jesus Christ have even more of a responsibility to do so, for God instructs us over and over again in His word to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Mark 12:31) He also tells us that our love must be sincere and without pretense. (Romans 12:9)
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Teresa
We live in a very sick, broken and dying world, everywhere you go there are countless people who are hungry for love. Unfortunately most of us go through life so focused on keeping our schedule, or are preoccupied checking all our social media and digital communications on our wireless devices that we miss the hurting people who are starving for love that we could directly impact. This is a behavior we as Christ-followers absolutely must fight against with all of our strength.
“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.” – Max Lucado
No one loves like Jesus. His love is radical, it sets the bar at an entirely new level. It breaks through all social constructs and shatters all cultural expectations! Jesus Christ took countless situations seen as a faux pas and turned them into a model and example for us all to follow. We see this time and time again in Scripture.
So the challenge I’m making to myself, that I pray you will take on as well, is first and foremost to make loving others your main priority as you move through you life. Let people see you are a Christian, not by the cross hanging around your neck, or the clever bumper sticker on your car, but by the radical, life-changing love you display to others. Especially when the person you are loving is un-lovable, or even hostile toward you. We must be so in touch with God and His amazing love that we can love through people’s hate–right in the face of it.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43-48 (emphasis mine)
There are no better words to end a challenge to love others than these words by Jesus Himself. If we only love people who love us back, what kind of love is that?