More Than a Feeling
Maybe you remember or heard the unique 1967 song crafted by The Beatles, “All You Need Is Love”. It was not only a popular song but a popular saying during the 60’s anti-ware movement. Though its 55 years later, the music and the message still ring in the hearts of many today.
But the message has been around much before 1967. The Apostle John spent an entire letter talking about love; love for God, love for one another, and how love is a litmus test for identifying true Christians. It’s easy to say how much we love someone, but John raises the bar by telling us to put some action behind our words.
Verbalizing your love for someone, giving a hug, a kiss, and even praying for someone are all great things that align with how Christians should treat others. But it doesn’t stop there. In the fourth chapter of John’s first epistle beginning at verse 16, he describes what love is and what it looks like for you and I.
He starts with the ultimate model of love…Jesus Christ. And he describes why Jesus is love; because he gave his life for us all. So right there, we see that the love Jesus had for the world was much more than a feeling. He willingly showed us His love by surrendering His life for us.
But John takes it step further. Verse 17 tells us that if we have possessions but see someone in need and we don’t have compassion for them, how can God’s love be in us? There’s obviously a direct connection between the godly love we have for one another and giving sacrificially. Jesus did it, He loved us to death!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…there’s always a unique situation or an extenuating circumstance. But far too often I think we make excuses where there should be none. We are commanded to love. And we can disagree on many issues, and still love one another. That’s the litmus test of authentic Christians.
Verse 18 of that same chapter puts any skepticism to rest…John tells us that we should not love with words or speech, but with action and truth. Love is sacrificial and not convenient. You can always tell a mature Christian by how they treat others and how they handle their possessions towards the Kingdom of God and other people.
Our love is demonstrated by the pouring of ourselves into the lives of others; we are an extension of Christ. How many times have you known people, maybe even yourself, who say that they generally love everyone? Sounds nice, but loving everyone in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.
The bar is raised, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Be intentional about pouring your life (time, talent, and treasure) into the Kingdom of God and other people. Ask God to open your eyes and show you opportunities right around you, and take a step of faith in knowing that He’ll keep you and provide for you as you use your life to be a blessing to others.
Be safe, stay healthy, and be blessed!