A Fervent Love
Clearly, our world has been forever changed. For the Church in America, it is a time of purging and building. I believe this is a time when Christ will teach His Church to fervently love one another. Paul wrote of this often. A fervent love for one another should be the hallmark that distinguishes us from the rest of the world. Knowing my own shortcomings in this area, I have been praying for a revelation I can pass on so we all can become part of the solution and cease being part of the problem.
The first thing God showed me was simple and encouraging, and it was all about a single element of agape love which is a selfless, unconditional love that seeks the best for the one loved. It’s the attitude of God toward His Son, the human race, and especially believers. It’s also the attitude God desires for us to have toward one another, and it’s known by the actions it prompts (God gave His Son). It’s the type of love we find most difficult to practice, so it seems reasonable that this is where Christ will focus as He purges and builds.
We Must Choose
With this knowledge, we can learn what Jesus is teaching us, and it’s all about choosing to love those we really don’t care for. If we refuse, Jesus will engineer painful circumstances through which we will have no choice. If we refuse to let our flesh control our response and take the initiative, we will reap rewards that can be gained in no other way. We will learn what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves, even the disagreeable ones. Since this is the second greatest commandment, isn’t it time we take it seriously?
Something Must Be Overcome
For me, the encouraging part of the revelation was that it’s okay not to like certain people, even those in the Body of Christ. This is natural. However, we are being called to show them love despite how we feel about them. This is what distinguishes agape love from the other kinds. To practice agape love, we must overcome something. For the others, the love just flows. God chose to love the world (John 3:16) while the world was clearly unlovable. God chose to overcome His feelings toward the world’s rejection of Him and look at the result.
For Their Sake
The lesson for us is that we must push through our feelings and choose to act, not out of religious duty but for the sake of the person God has placed in our life. Once we see the effects of our choice, we will find it easier next time. Eventually, we will develop the quality of love God has lavished on us. We need to be reminded that He loved us when we were filled with sin, and once we appreciate the magnitude of God’s grace towards us, we will know what to do with the excess as we learn to love our neighbor. We will make Christ’s job in building His Church a little easier.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Why do banks leave the vault door wide open and then chain the pens to the counters?
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