“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Christ preempted a problem plaguing our local churches today by about 2000 years. Love. I don’t mean that husbands are forsaking their wives and children are going through life never feeling appreciated (those these issues could also be addressed). The love I am talking about is what Christ spoke to His disciples about. Christian love. This is something that even in the past days has been on my heart heavily.
I will be the first to admit that my life is not an overflowing cup of love for everyone I come across. That is to my own shame. Christ is still working out the pieces of rock in this lump of clay as I am shaped into His image. But I feel that there is a severe lack of true Christian love.
Let me give you an example. This is a personal example and it is half of what really got me thinking about this topic. I don’t think I am alone in saying that the Christian life is hard. One of the hardest things about it is true, unchanging, consistency. We have our own flesh against us, we have the world against us, and we have the devil against us. All three of which, probably have completely controlled our lives at one point or another. Now, we have a new master but those other three are still all seeking the throne. So, I will say I struggle with consistency in my life. One thing I’ve never struggled with was being convicted about sin when I’ve messed up and desiring to get back on the right track and enjoying the amazing fellowship with God when He restores me. Even when we are struggling with things in life, and maybe we are headed down the wrong path, something inside a Christian is never right and a true Christian will never be happy and will always have remorse and eventually come back. I really believe that. When I have been to my lowest points, and actually really enjoying myself, yes I was having a lot of fun, but at the cost of my relationship with God. Inside? I was miserable. I wanted to give everything up and run back to God. That is the mark of a true Christian. The innate desire for God. Always. Now, there was a lady that I respected, older than I. And it got back to me recently some things she said about me. I will summarize, “Rob is just on a spiritual high. He goes through spiritual waves of highs and lows. Right now he is on a spiritual high and he will crash soon.” Hearing those words hurt immensely. Why? Because this was a woman that I actually respected and looked up to. I have lost much of my respect for her now but I learned a lesson. How is my love? I’ve had to look over my actions of the past and see that not all of my decisions were based on love for others. What have I done to help out my fellow believers, just because I had a deep love for them. Look at the local church in Jerusalem in Acts 2:41-47. Verses 44 and 45 just show what this church’s motivation was: love for each other. What an example. I’m sure old brother Scott wasn’t there looking at a younger brother Carl and saying “well I’ve seen Carl and he goes through waves of being spiritual… right now he is doing well but just give it a little bit and he will crash again.” I bet Scott was doing everything he could to make sure Carl didn’t crash again. Is that how I am? Do I look at my fellow Christian and judge them or do I come along side of them and encourage, strengthen, motivate, and love them?
Love is where it all begins. And, where it all ends. What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 13 (the great love chapter)?
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
It all starts with each of us. I have to just work on myself and how I can love. It doesn’t matter to me what anyone else is doing or saying. It doesn’t matter to me what anyone else is living for. My Savior said that other people shall know I am His by my love. So I think its about time I did a love check. I think it’s about time to heal up wounds I’ve created in others in the past. Where is the love? Christ. Let’s pour that out. Especially to believers, and then to the entire world.