Friday, July 13, 2012

what's love got to do with it?

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Colossians 3:12-13 "Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."

Have you ever felt so frustrated that you resembled a steam engine, a raging bull or possibly some literary character known for their frequent bouts of temper? What things, situations, or individuals cause you to pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and consider climbing up on the hills and shouting at the top of your lungs? A lot of situations can possibly come into mind. Recently, I’ve been battling emotions and frustration over some things that my friends, my family and myself are all experiencing. If I can be honest with you, it's a challenge to face things as an individual in this imperfect and ever changing world. However, it seems harder when you see people you care about getting hurt. That's when part of you wants to take up the role of an avenger. The thing is, the Bible commands us to the do the opposite - to love.

Now, people view love in trying circumstances either in three different ways: (1) love has nothing to do with difficult circumstances and people; (2) love has a little something to do with it and; (3) love has everything to do with it. During trying times, I want to forget what God commands and just consider point one and two. It seems easier, convenient and requires less action than I would think. However, God calls us to hold onto compassionate hearts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

This week, God used the verses in Colossians 3:12-13 to remind me what the point is behind loving people. Love has everything to do with it, because Jesus loved us enough to die for us on the cross and that's what we do as recipients of that love - it may not be physically, but we do sacrifice and "die" to our self by loving others. We have to consciously choose to put on love in obedience to God's will. God chose us not for our own merits but because He loved us enough to send Jesus to die for our own sins. Secondly, this love that we receive from God changes us greatly, by giving us compassionate hearts that become more like His heart day by day. Thirdly, this love gets passed on to other people and is an opportunity for us to show people how God loves them.

What does love have to do with this life, our current situations, the people we meet every day? It has everything to do with it because it allows us to rely and focus on God as our source of love; it allows us to remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross daily; and allows us to effectively preach and live out the Gospel. When it does get tough, I am reminded that it is not something I can do by myself, but something I can rely on Christ to teach me how.

Dearest Lord, may our eyes be ever fixed on You. Grant us the grace to always remember the love that You continuously show to us. Help us learn to appreciate it daily. Empower us to live this love from the inside out so we can consciously love others just like You did. Amen.

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