Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Challenge to Love

LOVE is a word that gets used quite a bit in this world. In music for example, the word love is used millions of times. It was estimated that the Beatles used the word love 613 times in their songs. Many book titles contain the word love as well. The Bible has a lot to say about love. I believe that is because God is love. I have found however in life, its a lot easier to sing about love, or even read about it then it is to walk in it. 
Jesus gave a command to His followers concerning love when He said,  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (Jn.13:34).
Jesus also spoke about the challenges of love, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"(Mt.5:44-46)

Jesus pointed out that it is much easier to love people that love you. In fact He said that it really wasn't that big of a challenge to love those that love you. No, the real challenge is loving those people that do not love you. The challenge of love is loving someone when they curse you, or say spiteful things about you. What are you to do under those circumstances? You can become bitter and resentful. You can react in the flesh, and do the same thing to them in response.  Or you can follow the example of Jesus. Jesus gives us a pattern to follow. 

First He says to LOVE them. This is a choice that we have to be willing to make. No matter what is said or what is done, you have to make a conscious decision to love. 
Secondly Jesus said to BLESS them. Don't try and overcome evil with evil. Don't do what they are doing. Don't try and defend yourself. Don't try and call every person that they have spoken to. Simply make a choice to bless them. 
Finally Jesus said, PRAY for them. Pray for God to continue His work in and through their lives. Pray that the Lords will would be done. Take it to Jesus.