Is it me or are we seeing a major lack of love in our world these days? I know for those of us who are believers and have actually read the Word of God, we know it was bound to happen, since we know how the story goes and ends. But I was hoping believers wouldn't go that way so fast! As we get closer to Jesus, we are supposed to become more Christ-like and in that, we grow more in love and are intentional about doing all we do in love. I ended 2016 and entered 2017 with an intentionality to be a #LoveWarrior in my community and of course, to those in my inner circle. But being a love warrior and doing all things in love means I have to remind myself of a few things.
First, God does not 'have' love, He IS love. His love is unconditional. It is not dependent upon anything we say or do. Romans 5:8 states, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God, knowing exactly how sinful and undeserving we are, was still willing to send His only begotten Son into the world to die for our sins. This is the Love of God. Jesus Christ paid our sin debt, asking nothing in return. Salvation is a "free gift" (Romans 5:15; 6:23). Thus, the gift of eternal life cannot be meriting, earned or obtained by self-righteousness. HE did THAT in love for love. Wow! So who the heck am I (or you) to determine who is worthy of His love or our love? He determined that already.
Second, I don't have that kind of love. I know I couldn't love someone that much that I'd give my kids for them. But He did. The truth is NONE of us can do much of anything in love like that without the love that can only happen as His Son Jesus lives out His life through us each and every day. But it takes us being intentional about our relationship with Him. I always find that when I spend time in prayer I get up calmer and more tender. More aware of my actions and more in tune on whether I am being loving to others or not!
The problem is this...too many of us Christians try to operate in the quality of love that comes out of our own strength and emotion. God wants us to do the best we can, but our best isn't good enough to express His love to the world. It's why we need Jesus. (1 John 4:7: "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.")
Simply put God wants everything that we do for Him in this life to be done in love. He actually set out the love warrior mandate way before anyone else did. We have just done a poor job with love. We have done such a poor job that 81% of "evangelicals" voted for a guy who showed NO characteristics of a loving Christian. That message that was sent into the world needs some serious repairing. Most people who were on the fringes now are completely done. Others are embarrassed that their friends would think they think as this 81% and others are simply blinded by party politics.
Nevertheless, I digress... So what are we to do as we begin this new year? We have to learn how to walk with His love working in our lives. (1 Timothy 1:5: "The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.") There is no other way that God wants us to live. We are to "Do everything in love."
If we meditate on these verses one after the other, the message comes through loud and clear --- God wants us to express our life in love. It is the number one quality that all believers need to have flowing throughout whatever we do. How is love expressed in your life? Is it your most observable characteristic? How can you be a love warrior to those around you? Do you even care to be?