God says a whole bunch about love in His word. In Matthew 5:43-48 it says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” We are supposed to love our enemies. Oh man! Now that is a tough pill to swallow and we are supposed to pray for them. It’s one thing to get caught short on loving my neighbor but my enemies. Come on now…
In yesterday’s post I asked the question, “Do you think there is more love shown to humanity and between our neighbors today than in days gone by or do you think it is less? I think we can easily be assured there is less love being shared around the land today. Several years ago the son of the late Stephen Covey wrote a book called, “The Speed of Trust”. In it he had all the documented evidence that trust had reached an all-time low throughout the world. Nobody can trust anybody anymore either. There could be a series written and it could include, ‘the speed of commitment’ or ‘the speed of responsibility’ and of course, ‘the speed of love’. I’ll bet some interesting facts could be laid out on those subjects and I’ll bet there is a lot less love shown today. The speed of love has it’s brakes on and is somewhere around 5 mph.
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8). Everything that God has commanded us as to loving God and living together is summed up right there. Love God wholeheartedly and love your neighbors as yourselves and that is all that is required. Love is the fulfilling of the law. See how easy it is? Similarly in Galatians 5:13 -14 it says, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Serve one another and love one another. Take action.
I pointed out yesterday that when it comes to love it is action that makes the difference. You can talk it all you want and you can preach it till the cows come home. It will not be noticed until action speaks louder than words. I mentioned the simple things like acknowledging people with a smile and a hug or handshake. Even just approaching and talking shows love. And don’t underestimate what a nice handwritten note would do for someone. When it comes to love we do better when we get as far from the automated technology as we can. Pastor Chuck Swindoll tells of the time he dashed off a quick note to someone on a yellow pad of paper, thanking them for something. Not too long after that, he found himself in their home, and to his surprise, he found that note framed on their wall! “The first thing I did was check it for spelling!” Swindoll shares, “You have no idea how much a simple note in your own handwriting (not emailed or typed) can mean to someone.”
Talk does little but action can move a mountain. Part of action is prayer. We should all be praying for God’s love to show through us. It was proven a long time ago that negative just soaks our brains; however, the positive stuff needs to be actively forced in. If we read God’s word often and pray often along with some accountability we can make purposeful change. One thing I have been doing is evaluating my-self at the end of each day as to whether I have glorified God. Did your day glorify God today? Don’t beat yourself up too bad if some days the answer is no because there is none righteous, not one. The only true righteous is the Lord. The more times you check yourself though the better the averages get. Give it a try.
So if we say we are a child of God we are supposed to live like we are a child of God. Verse 2 of Ephesians 4 tells us how we are to live, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love”. With all lowliness and meekness we are to live. With long-suffering and forbearing one another in love we are to live. Can you see it? How do each of us stack up at the end of the day when we ask, “Have I glorified God today? Have I lived in lowliness and meekness today? Have I with long-suffering (patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties), with all lowliness and meekness, forbearing (accepting pain and hardship calmly with no complaint) one another (that is anyone we relate with, it is each other) in love? Oh Lord, forgive me! To kind of pile on we read in 1 Peter 1:22, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”.
We are to bear fruit as explained in John chapter 15. We know the Holy Spirit is working in us when we have the fruit to back it up. When the fruit of the Spirit is in our lives it is love. Love for one another. Agape love, not the mushy television soap opera kind of love but the love that the Holy Spirit instills in us. Agape love goes to the Spirit level and is all about giving. It encompasses Joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and trust. Oh boy, there is the speed of trust coming up again. That’s for another post.
I need bring this to a close now.
If you are a Christian and say you are of God, a child of God, what action have you taken today to demonstrate God’s love. Are you talking the talk or are you walking the walk? Several reading this have a stamp on the forehead. The stamp is DNA. What is DNA? It means does not apply. But I assure you, it applies. It applies to all.
Sometime long ago someone either said something to me or wrote something to me that suck in my craw like barnacles on a dirty boat. It was, “What you do speaks to loudly that what you say I cannot hear”.
Let those words settle in.
God bless you all in Christ’s love,