9. It is a life marked by love
“I just don’t feel like doing it.” This is how some people, including Christians, respond when they see a situation that needs an intervention. When it comes to love, service, and help, we are moved by feelings. If we feel like doing, we do it. If we do not feel, we just ignore and keep moving along. This is why all the advertisements for non-profit organizations are based on emotions. Most the time they show a poor and unhealthy child asking for help and many other similar images. Their intention is to trigger a feeling with the hope that that feeling will produce a response.
The Christian life is and should be marked by love. In the Bible, more specific in the New Testament we find Jesus talking about love, but he uses a word that goes beyond the feeling, the word is a call for action, for service, and for sacrifice, even if we do not feel anything. That kind of love must be directed at least to four different people. Let me share with you to whom we should express this kind of love:
1. A love for God and Jesus – The first one is God and His Son Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus said: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37.” and ““If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15.” This love will involve everything in our life and also will involve obedience. When I love God and His Son, I will obey Him, even if I do not like a specific command and teaching.
2. A love for your neighbor – The second group that we are commanded to love is our neighbors. Here is the text: “honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 19:19.” The neighbor is that person that is closer to us and is in need. It can be a relative. It can be a next door neighbor. It can be a colleague, classmate, etc. It can be a totally unknown person, but his or her proximity and need will dictate my action.
3. A love for the fellow disciples – The third group is our fellow disciples, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus told the disciples that for this group we should use a deeper kind of love, here it is the text: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.” This love is not like the other “love as yourself”, this love is like Jesus loved us, “As I have loved you.” What Jesus is telling the disciples here is that our love to one another should be sacrificial.
4. A love for enemies – Finally, Jesus tells us that we should love even our enemies. Here it is the text: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35.” Because this love is not based on emotions and feelings, I am able to love. This means to help and serve anybody in need, even though I may not like that person.
As you can see brothers and sisters, love is a distinctive mark of a real follower of Jesus. You cannot say that you are a Christian if you do not show that kind of love toward God and His Son, your neighbors, your fellow disciples, or even to your enemies.
I pray that God through His Spirit will fill your heart with His love, and in this way you will be able to share it with people around you.
Have a blessed week,