The Scriptures have much to say about Love. In fact, it is arguably THE central theme of the entire Book. It is certainly the primary and fundamental motivation for all creation. It is the impetus, the driving force of faith. [Galatians 5:6] and it is the most perfect expression of God.
What more can we say of love?
Love Never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:6)
God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, (John 3:16-17)
God is Love. (1 John 4:16)
Love one another as I have loved you. (John 13:34)
If you love keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart soul minds and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27)
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Love has commended great and precious promises to us, so we rightly have a great expectation of what we can, what we will and what we do receive from Love. But what can Love expect from us?
Certainly, our obedience is fundamental in our response to God’s Love. But there is more. God expressed His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. So, being called to imitate God as dear little Children, [Ephesians 5:1] Love (God) expects from us the same mercy and compassion extended to others that was so lovingly extended to us when we didn’t deserve it.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God could rain provision and blessings down from out of the sky and fill the earth with enough stuff that we would drown in it. But He has chosen by His great wisdom and sovereign will to work His will, His purpose, His love in and through us. First, to work is love in us that we would be transformed into His image and our minds renewed to His will and purpose.
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5
Then He works His love through us to show His great mercy and compassion to others. Nothing delights God more than to see His children acting like Him especially in their extravagant expressions of generosity toward one another and particularly to the poor, the marginalized the outcast the widow and the orphan.
But did you ever think the some of the most “needy” people among us are those whose wealth or positions of power or public influence insulates then from the Love of God, because they are walled in by their fears, their greed, their pride and their lusts for power. They appear outwardly to need no one but inwardly they are poor, wretched, naked and blind, hungering for peace and desperate for true love that does not come with a price tag or a deal, a condition of reciprocity, or a quid pro quo?
Now, consider this. You and I have that kind of love to give them. It’s the same love we give to the poor, the weak and the helpless. It’s the same love we extend to our friends, to our neighbors, even to strangers. And if we are willing to receive it, it is the same love we are commanded to give to our enemies.
But not so fast…this is sounding a lot like some Utopian fantasy in a perfect world where Christians are just that, little Christs, walking around with halos over their heads, waving their hands in an ultra-Holy manner over the masses and they all fall to their knees repenting of their sins and in an instant, being born again, and everyone living happier aver after.
It’s not that simple…is it?
Not in the real world where most of us live. Try as we might, there are some people who will not hear us and will not believe the message Jesus has given us to share. Some may receive our gifts and continue with the same zeal for the darkness before we befriended them. But, they did this also to Jesus, so we should not be surprised when our love is rejected. Remember it is not us they are rejecting, but the spirit of God who is drawing them.
What love expects for us is to not be deterred or dissuaded from doing the good we know, living the love we’ve received and letting God’s love accomplish His purpose in His time. What love expects from us is a heart warmed to desire what the Father desires, to yield our wills to the work of the Holy Spirit and to follow Jesus by the example He set for us to live the successful Christian life.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:21-24
This is what love expects from us, an open hand to receive from Him and to give to others, an open heart to be transformed to His desires, and an open will to let the Holy Spirit work His work in us. The rest will take care of itself.
Is God prompting something of His will for you to do today? Then get on with it. There is so much more and even greater yet to come.