Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:8
Because love is such an important aspect of life, it is no surprise that the Bible is filled with stories and quotations from the Lord Himself concerning love. Life would be much more fulfilling if we could only learn to passionately love the Lord first and subsequently love others.
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
These scriptures basically outline the demonstration of love the way God intended in His Word; our adherence to them would leave no room for mistaking who our Lord and Savior is and Who we represent.
The Lord put the subject of love on my heart a few weeks ago. I have gotten to the point now that I know when God brings things like this to my attention, that I am about to become more aware of that particular subject than ever before. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I started hearing passages and sermons that focused mainly on love.
Nevertheless, at the same time, I also realized that most of what I was hearing, I have already heard before. So I came to the quick conclusion that the Lord will spark something in our spirit, soul, and body that allows us see the same things, but from a different perspective. I started to hear a variety of teachers and speakers talk about love and how important it is to show love in everything we do. They were saying “we are supposed to love everyone, all the time, no matter what.”
Well a few days after I heard this statement I really started thinking about it. And of course the Lord waited until I was not in a good mood and surrounded by people that I didn’t know or care to know, before He brought it back to my attention. That day I was in a long line at the post office, and randomly I started looking around at all these people that I didn’t know. People with different cultures, features, gender, and I’m sure different beliefs.
As I was standing there waiting in this long line of people, the Lord put the thought in my head, “so I am really supposed to love all of these random, strange people like I would love my own family? I am supposed to care for them and do things for them as if they were my own mother, or father, or sister, or brother?”
Well, I would soon have my answer. At the same time that thought entered my mind, the lady directly behind me calls someone to tell them that she will be late because she realized as she was walking in the post office, that she had a flat tire. Under normal circumstances I would either not think about her phone call all together or maybe think to myself “that sure is unfortunate for her.” But not today; I couldn’t help but contemplate my previous thoughts of loving everyone and doing generous things for them.
I said to myself, “I wonder if God is testing me right now to see how much love I am willing to show.” Then I thought, “No, this is not a test it is just one of those things that happens in life.” No sooner than that thought came into my mind, she made another quick phone call telling someone else that she had a flat tire. At that point I smiled and said, “Alright, I hear you Lord, I will help this lady.”
As I was walking out of the post office I remembered that I was in my sister’s car and she always keeps a can of fix-a-flat in the back of her car. I will just give the lady the can of fix-a-flat and be on my way. Well, as I approached her vehicle I realized that a can of fix-a-flat was not got going to repair the six inch slash in the side of her tire.
At that point I could do nothing but find humor in the situation, and I knew that I was being taught one of God’s lessons. So I rolled up my sleeves, jacked up her car, put her spare tire on and she was ready to go. The whole ordeal took about forty-five minutes.
The part of the whole situation most impacting was how excited and shocked she was to encounter a stranger willing to be so helpful. As I was putting on her tire one of the things she said to me, was, “oh you are such a savior; I don’t know what I would have done without you.” I quickly told her that I am no savior, only one willing to help out.
Later as I contemplated the situation, I realized that I was right; of course I am no savior, but because of the small expression of love and compassion I displayed, it allowed her to see the true Savior who lives in me. It made me believe that by showing love to others it allows the desperate and hungry to see Jesus Christ in a real and tangible way.
As I was leaving, the grateful lady insisted I take money for my assistance. I ardently refused her generous offer. I was only doing for her what I felt I needed to do and what I would hope someone would do for me if I were in a situation of need. The look on her face communicated her surprise at that reaction. My prayer is that she saw the true King that lives in me and pray that she also conveys expressions of love and kindness to others in their time of need.
If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. — Luke 6: 27-35
We are living in the days of harvest. While we earnestly contend for spiritual gifts and God’s power to advance His Kingdom, we also discover the purest form of evangelism is the demonstration of love. In fact, without it we will miss the mark of our true calling to this generation, no matter how spiritually gifted we may be. The greatest of these is love!