As is so often the case, I opened my blog this morning with a certain subject in mind, and God took me in a totally different direction. I can remember times when my Dad would walk to the pulpit to begin his carefully, and prayerfully, constructed sermon, only to say that He felt God leading him to a different subject. It’s possible to fight God’s leading and continue on with our own thoughts, but so much more satisfying to follow Him.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” – Romans 12:9-10 NLT (http://bible.com/116/rom.12.9-10.NLT)
How much of our love is real and not for show? My thought this morning was to talk about life, and how no matter how dark our yesterday was, the Light of Christ is always there for those who believe in Him. Matt Maher’s song “Hold Us Together” was playing on the radio as I sat down:
“This is the first day of the rest of your life, Cause even in the dark you can still see the Light – it’s gonna be alright… Love will hold us together, Make us a shelter to weather the storm; And I’ll be my brother’s keeper So the whole world knows that we’re not alone…”
The two thoughts go hand in hand. When our love is real, it is the kind of LOVE that is only obtained through a relationship with Christ Jesus. Not only does His Love hold us together whenever we are in a dark place, but His Love shines through our brokenness to light the way for others to find Him. Not through anything we can think up to say or do, but HIS thoughts and HIS actions through us.
There’s another song by Ryan Stevenson that says “You Alone are the Anchor when my sails are torn in the eye of the storm… ”
There is such truth in these 2 songs, and I love how the lyrics compliment each other. That happens a lot when we choose Christ. When we strive to follow Jesus’ command to love, really LOVE, our brothers, we begin to see how God is working for good in our lives. When we love with God’s Love, we honor others and Him, and that is all He asks of us. “Don’t just pretend… Love them with genuine affection… and… Honor each other.”
The Truth is that these things are impossible to do without Christ. We can throw money into missions and missionaries and mission trips; we can even give our time and efforts. But without Love, this is nothing. Now, don’t shoot the messenger! Scripture says:
“If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And He has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.” – 1 John 4:20-21 NLT (http://bible.com/116/1jn.4.20-21.NLT)
Today is the day to start a new life; a life to follow Christ’s command to love, really love, others. Today, not tomorrow. Will you pray about it, and pray for the person who has hurt you the most in this world?