Friday, January 21, 2011

5 1/2 How Do We Love?

Well, it is Friday, and because of the the weather I decided to take the day off from commuting. I am teaching my class tonight - I think it will be live on the web if your not busy at 6:30 EST. Video Feed Page

I was pondering a few things this morning - and I was thinking about how the church always says that we need to love. Then they proceed to define love by actions that make others feel loved - or so they think. I have written about love a lot of time, HERE is my take on the 1 Corinthians 13 "the love passage."

What I am thinking about this morning - and winging it here - is how we love others; what is the method of love? I read a lot about how we can love the poor by feeding them, by drilling wells in Africa where there is no water, buying goats for farmers, and stopping human trafficking, all of which are noble, important and valuable ministries.

We can love others by serving them. I am always stunned when churches don't know what the needs of their congregations are. So many seem to choose sexy ministries to exotic places, when they could serve their community by buying a snowplow and doing driveways for the elderly, or offer free babysitting so single moms and couples could work or get a relationship building date night.

I once new a guy that wanted to buy an old limo to pick up kids for youth group; how cool would that have been?

When it comes to loving others, we can use the 5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. It is important to communicate love to those we are in contact with. According to the Word of God, it works on neighbors, wives and enemies!

Have you asked yourself how you could love more? Would you be more patient, or offer more grace, or more understanding? Would you be tolerant? Would you serve others more?

Christians give lip service to love all the time. "Jesus loves you!" they say. Well, now I want to make a few points about HOW Jesus loved us.

-1 He Choose To: Jesus chose us, he didn't have to. We didn't discover him, he has always know us and our eyes were opened.  Matthew 22:14 For many are invited, but few are chosen.

-2 Sacrifice: Jesus backed up his words with sacrifice; he laid down His life for you and me. He served those around him, and told them the truth regardless of what others thought. 1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

-3 Discipline: It is interesting how even Christians avoid any confrontation of their own sinfulness. I don't mean in an abusive, controlling or mean spirited way. God does not expect us to know what good character is, but he expects us to respond when it is pointed out. Hebrews 12:6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

-4 Devotion: Jesus is in love with us, he is devoted to us as a brother and a father. He is devoted to raising us as sons and daughters whom he is already delighted in. Nothing can separate us form the love of God - then we get to pass it on.  Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

-5 Not Doing Evil: TV only speaks of evil when things are seemingly, unspeakable. Sin however always harms others. The collateral damage of our actions is amazing when we ponder it. Personal holiness is pretty much defined in this passage. Jesus did not evil, we need to follow His example. Even in his anger, He did not sin. Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor.

-5 1/2 He was: 1 John 4:8 God is love.


Su said...

Very true! Sometimes in our attempts to creatively love others, we get a bit *too* creative, when simple acts would go much further.

photogr said...

I heartedly agree on the love principles here.

You would think after drilling for water wells in Africa over the years at a cost of millions of dollars we could divert these funds into helping our own needy right in our own back yard.

Tony C said...

I know you write a lot of your stuff in advance...and that's scary we both are on the same topic on the same day.

God is trying to say something, and I for one am listening.

Tracy said...

Good Word!

May we daily be open to how God wants to love people through us. Be it in the "big" ways or be it in the "small" ways, may we just be faithful.

jay sauser said...

a limo to pick up kids for youth group - that is crazy and cool!

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