The essence of our calling is summed up in a single word: Love. In a world that has romanticized and sexualized love, the church has a beautiful opportunity to show the love of God Himself. Yet, each local church must ask, “Have we confused being ‘nice’ or ‘neighborly’ for being truly loving? Do the people of our community see us as a loving people? Are we dependent upon the Spirit to live His loving fruit through us?”
What does Love in our lives look like? What if it looked like a Starbucks coffee shop?
Did you see the love of Christ here?
Here are the scriptures I will be looking at for the next few blogs.
Matt. 22:34–40; Luke 6:27–36; John 13:34–35, 15:9–17; Rom. 5:5–8, 13:8–10; Gal. 5:6, 13–14, 22; Eph. 3:14–19
But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And to him who strikes you on the one cheek, also offer the other. And to him who takes away your garment, do not forbid your tunic also. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from him who takes away your goods, do not ask them again. And as you desire that men should do to you, you do also to them likewise. For if you love those who love you, what thanks do you have? For sinners also love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you have? For sinners also do the same. And if you lend to those of whom you hope to receive, what thanks do you have? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return. And your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36 MKJV)
Jesus gives us a deeper meaning of love in Luke 6:27-36. He is commanding us to love our enemies. This is very contradictory to our human nature and the ways of the world. It again is vulnerable. We first must trust Jesus and believe that He, God, has our best interest in mind. Not only does He have our best interest in mind but also our enemies best interest. If we can love our enemies than they will see the love of God, the seed (not the coffee bean, watch video above) being planted in their hearts. “Every tree is known by its own fruit” (see Luke 6:43,44; Mat 7:17; 12:33). Jesus also tells us to bless those who curse you and to pray for those who despitefully use you. Vulnerability! Meekness! Ring out. Emotional transference may make us bite our tongues. How do I handle those who curse me and despitefully use me? Jesus tells me to bless and pray for them. I believe it is a spiritual law that works. It is the opposite of this physical world and it is ignorance to put it bluntly. I must trust God, Jesus while on earth gave us examples of meekness, strength under control. How much easier is it to love like-minded people? Yet Jesus concludes for our mercy we will be rewarded.
Where is your reward? Are you storing them up in heaven or here on earth?