When we think of the word “love” our minds reflect on several aspects of love in our own lives. We have a love for our spouse, which is a strong heartfelt bond that’s greater than any other human relationship, and we have a love for our children that is equal in commitment and totally unconditional. Some of us have a strong love for our parents and our relatives that’s unbreakable, and even for a few select friends that’s unique. We live each day because we have people to love and because we are loved.
We know that love is the greatest virtue of God and we know that He has done everything for us since the beginning of time because of the love that He has for us, His children. We know that His love is so great that He even gave His own life on the cross for us so that we would no longer have sin in us and we could be redeemed back to Him.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” … John 3:16
“Greater love hath n man than this, that a man lay down His life for his friends.” … John 15:13
As Christians, we share this love with people outside the family, as well, and we want to love our Christian brothers and sisters the same as God loves them because we know that God is love and so we should also abound in love.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” … 1 John 4:7
Yet, there is so much more to love than just sharing it with those who are close to our heart. We need to show God’s love and passion toward everyone we meet and to those who we’ll never meet.
There are so many missionary ministries all over the world that can use our prayers and our financial support, and if all of us would just give a little to God’s starving children they could be fed and clothed, educated and protected. We need to be wise, though, because there are many false ministries that just want our money and can deceive us. We need to pray for God’s direction and then support the ministries that come across our path so we can be an extension of God’s arm and show His love through our love, our prayers and our gifts.
We need to look at people the way God sees them, and not the way we are programmed in this world to see them. There are many people who come against us and hurt us, and this world tells us that these “enemies” are bad and deserve to be punished. They have earned their bad name and should suffer for the pain they have cause others. Yet, this is not what Jesus told us to do. He told us to love our enemies – not by being their friend and approving their actions – but by seeing them through God’s eyes as people who are lost and who don’t know Jesus and who NEED Him desperately.
We need to pray for their salvation because we may be the only person in the entire world who is able to see them as lost. We need to hate the sin, but love the sinner. Wouldn’t it be great to get into Heaven and know that people are there because we prayed for them? Because we saw them as God sees them and not how the world sees them?
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy’. But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.’” … Matthew 5:43-44
We must never raise ourselves up to feel better than the unsaved person and we must always remember that we were once unsaved, too. We weren’t born saved; it was a commitment that we made when we realized that WE needed Jesus. And so we need to extend this opportunity of grace toward others because no one deserves an unhappy life without God.
“Freely ye have received, freely give.” … Matthew 10:8
We need to always be in prayer and ask God to help us be more like Him. When we see the beggar on the street, instead of walking away in disgust, we need to see that person as someone crying out for help. They may stink of alcohol or drugs or repulsive body odor, but ignore all that and look deep and you’ll see that they are crying out for help, not just a handout. Give them a coin, a handshake, a smile. Give them even more than that; tell them that Jesus loves them and then give them a little page with the address of a Christian help centre where they can go to reboot their lives.
Love is all around us when we see things through the eyes of God. The little birds that chirp bring peace and joy to our busy world as we realize that they are His colorful and glorious creations made for us to enjoy. The flowers and the trees and the gardens, whether they’re ours or a neighbor’s, all reveal God’s amazing ability to continue to create beauty in a world that is dying.
We live in a very busy and demanding world that’s ruled by ungodly people, and many of us have no choice but to be part of it as our jobs keep us tied into it. But even so, we can all take a few minutes every day to deliberately see God’s love around us and praise Him for keeping His love alive through His creations. And we can purpose in our own hearts that we will help others to see the love of God so they, too, can have this joy. The beautiful thing about prayer is that it takes us into God’s presence where we can fill up on His love and then share it with others in this hurting world.
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you; that ye also love one another.” … John 13:34
*If you are looking for a ministry to reach out to with your monthly financial support, please consider The Passion of Christ Ministries Pakistan. In this challenging area of Pakistan, a Christian family has taken in more than 30 orphans left to die after various destructions, and they have become an official orphanage but without any government support. They depend on God to bring them clothes, food, books and the basics of life, and they are raising up children who love God. Your monthly commitment of only $15 a month would be a tremendous blessing to them. Check out their website and be part of God’s extended arm.