Loving people is tough! It is hard work. The lawyer who questioned Yahushua understood the implications of the two commands Love God and your neighbor as yourself, which is why he tried to get out of obeying. (Luke 10:25-37)
It is only as we love God that man becomes lovable!
What does Christian love look like?
Christian love is not a warm, fuzzy feeling that believers try to “work up” so they can love others.
• It is a matter of surrendering your will to His, it is not an emotion.
It is a matter of determining–of making up your mind—that you will allow God’s love to reach others through you, and then acting toward them in loving ways. You are not to act “as if” you love them; you act because you love them. This is not hypocrisy; it is obedience to God.
• It is practical
Love is about meeting needs. How do we show the world the love of God? By meeting the needs of the people around us!
Feed the hungry (Matthew 25:40) Find someone who can use some encouragement (Proverbs 12:25) Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) Be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32) Don’t think more highly of yourself than others, associate with the lowly (Romans 12:16) Accept people right where they are, just as Christ accepted you (Romans 15:7) Pray for them (Philippians 1:3-5)
Stephen, a man in love with God, a man filled with the Holy Spirit, prayed for the people who were killing him. Now that is love! (Acts 7:54-60)
If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love.
The best description of Christian love!
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails
1 Corinthians 13:4–8
Love doesn’t define God, God defines love!
Love one another, especially Christians!
Many of us have little trouble feeling compassion for the non-believer. But, we quickly take offense at our Christian brothers and sisters! We expect them to behave in a certain manner and condemn them when they don’t. We often find it hard to move past our disagreements with them. The result is there is disunity in the body.
We know we should love and pray for our enemies, but what about our brothers and sisters in Christ? Those who don’t worship the way we do or appreciate our music or even dress like us at church? What about the fellow believer who has hurt you?
Yahushua set a clear standard for how He expected His disciples to treat one another! We are to love one another as Christ has loved us. (John 15:12)
What would happen if believers actually walked in obedience to God’s words? If we were forgiving one another, loving one another, being of the same mind it would make a HUGE impact in the church as well as in the world!
Think of Yahushua’ love for the twelve disciples. They must have broken His heart as they argued over who was the greatest or tried to keep people from seeing Him. Each was different from the others, yet Yahushua loved each one in a personal, understanding way. He was patient with Peter’s impulsiveness and even with Thomas’ unbelief. When Yahushua commanded His disciples to love one another, He was only telling them to do as He had done. In effect, Yahushua said to them—and to us—“I lived by this great commandment, and I can enable you to follow My example.”
It is easy to practice a Christianity of words—singing the right songs, using the right vocabulary, praying the right prayers—yet through it all deceiving ourselves into thinking we are pleasing God.
But the real mark of a believer is love!
Yahushua does not ask us to do something tht He has not already done Himself!
He demonstrated love by the very life that He lived. He hated all sin and disobedience, but He never hated the people who committed such sins.
Take for example Saul, the persecutor and destroyer of the church! Despite what Saul did to His church, Yahushua loved him enough to call him into account for his actions and to bring him to salvation. Even His righteous announcements of judgment always included an undercurrent of love in that He always gave an opportunity for those being judged to repent.
But I challenge you to ask yourself, “Am I loving others?”
Do I love the unlovely? Am I meeting needs in the lives of the people God brings into my life? Do I pray for my enemy? How do I respond when a brother or sister in Christ doesn’t meet the standard I expect? Am I talking to others about Yahushua?
Ask God to show you the needs of your family, your co-workers and your neighbors. Then go out there and love your neighbor as yourself!