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
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For: “Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not lust;” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love works no ill to its neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 MKJV)
Do I need to say why love does not commit adultery, murder, stealing, bearing false witness, lusting, or worshipping idols instead of God?
Let us look at murder, sense we probably think it is the worst.
In John 13:34–35, 15:9–17, we read we are to love one another. When I think of this I think of loving our like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ: and so much the more we should. But that is not what this verse is telling me.
Christ died for all mankind. His atonement for the world covers all the sins for all people past, present, and future. We may with difficulty die for a loved one (husband, wife, child) or even a very close friend, but what about a righteous man or woman? Maybe, but there may be a little hesitation… What about someone on death row? Now that is just not worldly. The notion for dying for such a criminal just does not seem normal. But GOD!! But Jesus did so. Remember the thief on the cross? He was not there for a misdemeanor. The word thief in the Greek is the same as the Greek word used for Barabbas, robber; (Mr 15:7 And there was [one] named Barabbas, [which lay] bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. Joh 18:40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.) We see Barabbas was a robber who robbed with the intent to kill and do bodily harm. Another example is in Luke chapter 10 and the Good Samaritan where the man fell among thieves (same Greek word) and was half dead. Beaten half to death… And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (Luke 10:30 KJV). Don’t forget about the thief on the cross. Yes, this is the same Greek word used for Barabbas. He was not some petty thief. Yet Jesus said Today you will be in Paradise with Me.
But God commends His love toward us in while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!! Godly love, agape love… If we are to be more like Christ we must at least acknowledge the fact that we are to love as God loves us, even to die for the least likely of mankind.
I would say this is a hard pill to swallow. Ask God to put the love of Christ in your heart as Christ loves us and gives us salvation and the hope of eternal life even while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. “and hope does not make us ashamed”. We have hope through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! Remember 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” Charity being agape love. We find the love of God in the company of faith and hope. These are all essential to becoming more like Christ. We have faith and trust in God Who gives us hope in a sure salvation because He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that we can have eternal life. A future hope that is in faith, trust, and agape love.
Lord help us have your agape love abiding in our hearts so that we may shed your love aboard and be Christ-like. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.