Last weekend our church partnered with a Christian group and attended an event where we handed out free literature and shared Christ’s love to others. The event was great and we had some amazing conversations with people who stopped by. One person in particular stood out to me that night. He was an intelligent man who had clearly read the Bible several times, but did not believe in God. Shortly into our conversation I realized that our friend did not come to just talk, he came to argue. There were times that I struggled to say the right thing and at those times I would stop and pray. I felt the Holy Spirit leading to me to just talk about love. I felt the urge to share with him that Christ loves him and so did I. In that moment, it was difficult to utter those words. I was talking to man who was putting down my Father and saying really negative things that hurt me, and yet all God wanted me to do was talk about love?!? In that moment I was reluctantly obedient and for a second, my friend began to listen. Although he didn’t hear everything I said after, I know for a fact that heard me say I love him and so does God.
Why was that so difficult for me to talk about love? It’s probably because I was acting on my feelings rather than what I was supposed to be doing. He was saying really negative things about my God and to be honest, I was offended and frustrated. As a believer I think that it is important for us to love anyone and everyone God chooses to place in our path. This was an opportunity for me to set aside my own personal feelings and show him Christ’s love. I didn’t know this man and I didn’t know his struggles, but all I could do was love him and share that love with him.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. – 1 John 4: 19-21
God calls us to love all! His love is never deserved, and yet it has been freely given to us. He doesn’t call us to pick and choose who we want to love, we are to love because He first loved us! After my interaction with the man above, God led me to this quote during my quiet time, “To recognize that there is someone I do not love is to say to God, ‘I do not love You enough to love that person.’ ” It is through the Holy Spirit that we have the grace we need to show His love to the people around us.
We need God’s help when it comes to love. Love is difficult and demands action, not just words. It’s a commitment that we must be willing to make, but it is something that we cannot do on our own. We need guidance and strength from our Heavenly Father. Do you know someone who God has placed in your life who may be difficult to love? Go to God and ask Him to fill you with His love. The more we sit at His presence and allow Him to fill us with His life-giving love, the more likely we are to pour that love into the lives of others. When we are willing to love as He loves, then God is able to show His love to the world through us! He has chosen you and me to share His love with the world.
34 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. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
The world may not accept our love and may at times be angry, but we are called to be obedient and love. Even when we were in a lowest state and unlovable, God’s love was poured out on us. In the same manner, we should share that love with everyone God has placed in our lives. It may be difficult and it may be demanding at times, but when you feel like you have nothing left to give, go to God and let Him to fill you up. Allow God to use you as His vessel in a world who so desperately needs His love and grace.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. – 1 John 4: 11-12