2014-07-29 - The Hard-to-Love
Originally Published 1997-10-17
Luke 6:32 (NCV) If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners love the people who love them.
Love, ah it's easy for us to love each other. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. It's easy to love members of your family, of your church and it's easy to love friends. But how about the hard-to-love?
What about the person that has wronged you? The person who has talked bad about you, spread gossip, rumors? The person that did you wrong in a business deal, at school or at a social function? How about that person you truly despise? We all have them, don't we? Or am I the only one? ; )
Jesus is saying, "Hey Christians, even the pagans love those who love them. How are you going to show MY Love?" Notice how the love of Christ turns the "world's" value system upside down? The world says, "hate your enemies;" Jesus says love your enemies. But how do we do it?
Ready for the answer? Hang on to your hats! Pray. Yes, prayer. Simple answer yes, but a powerful solution. Pray for that person who has wronged you. Now don't go and pray like I used to pray, "Lord get back at that person. Lord, make them pay for what they did to me, or Lord, give me a chance to blow him out!" You really don't think God wants us to pray to change God, do you? Prayer changes us. In my opinion, God uses prayer for two reasons. One -- to allow us to participate in His plan, and two -- to change us. Pray fervently and earnestly for someone that is hard for you to love, and God will change your heart toward that person. God will show you what He Himself sees in that person.
How will the world know us Christ-Followers? They will know us by our love that flows from our love of Jesus Christ.
John 13:34-35 (NCV) I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.
Well tough stuff, but we need to do it folks -- and we can do it -- armed with His love.
Dear Lord, we praise you and thank you for all you do for us. Father, help us to love the hard to-love; help us to see them through the perfect eyes of Jesus. Lord, forgive us for not loving others as You command us to do. Forgive us for falling short of Your mark. Restore us, Lord, and fill us up with Your Spirit and Your love, so that through us Your love will flow to others. In Christ's precious name, Amen.