These days you hear all kinds of words flying around, words of truth, gossip, lies (which are really the same as gossip), etc. In a world where we could be more intelligent than ever, there is so much ignorance. In an age where everyone wants to be accepting of everything, they are really accepting of nothing. They want everyone to be tolerant but they are not tolerant themselves. Accept me for who I am but do not expect me to accept that you don’t agree with me.
We live in a world where love is so misunderstood. People don’t feel loved unless you agree with everything that they think is good and right. They don’t feel loved by you if you have your own beliefs or standards of living that may be different than their own. Unconditional love is unknown in this society. The “love” of today is a selfish “love” it is not true love.
I remember when I was a kid my mom had a best friend. Their lifestyles were totally different. Each one was making different choices in life but they were still best friends and loved each other. But today it is way different. It is hard for me to even use the word love when speaking of our society. There is this mentality, “Take care of me, accept my ways because they are right”, “love” me but I will only “love” you if you agree with me. The fact is that you cannot really be a true Christian and not treat people with the true love of God. But what does true Christ-like love look like?
There are so many concepts out there as far as what Christ-like love looks like. I think our human nature tends to take over and starts’ defining what we think Christ-likeness is. But for the most part, it does not come even close to what Christ-likeness is all about. So where do we even start?
What is unconditional love? Is it a love that has no law or boundaries? There is definitely a class of people that have that belief. Is it a love that fences you in so tightly that you feel controlled? And there is a class of people that also believe in this way as well. And there are probably many other options out there. But I believe Christ-like love is very difficult for us to comprehend. It is beyond our scope of imagination. But I believe the Bible gives us a perfect example that we can follow in the life of Jesus. It is with His love and methods alone that we can win the hearts of men to true love.
You don’t have to agree with someone in their beliefs or ideas to love them. True love is beyond self. Self teaches, “You don’t love me unless you agree with all my ideas and beliefs. Therefore I won’t love you and I will do what I can to destroy you.” It is true that not everyone goes as far as to destroy someone’s reputation, business, family, etc. We live in a society that makes us feel “poor me” if someone doesn’t agree with me. But in reality, none of this is true love it is selfish love and is definitely not Christ-like love.
True love sighs and cries for the evils of this world, looks passed what things appear to be and sees the potential in each individual. The only way that we can have this kind of love is to be filled with the love of God. We are not capable of having this love with our own strength. When we look at each individual we need to see Christ hanging on the Cross for them. Christ died for every individual.
As Paul says in Romans 8:38, 39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If nothing can separate a person from God’s love then why do we try to separate people from our love? We may be the only “Jesus” they ever meet. We should be so reflecting Christ that when people have been with us they should be able to say, “I felt like I have been with Jesus.” And this is nothing of ourselves. It is Jesus living in us and reflecting through us as we surrender all to Him.
True love does not condone sin and the standards of Christ. But God gives everyone freedom of choice to choose and we should do the same. One of my favorite stories is found in John 8:1-11. This is a story worth reading and I would encourage you to do so. Here is a couple of verses. “When Jesus had lifted up himself and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?’ She said, ’No man, Lord.’ And Jesus said unto her, ’Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.’” She had sinned but Jesus did not condemn her, He loved her. But He did give her admonition to go and sin no more.
Although all have to go to God for the forgiveness of their sins we do have a part to play in forgiving. We can’t forgive someone’s sins for them but we can forgive them for the wrong that they have done to us. And we can love them through the process.
How could Jesus endure the shame and suffering that He endured here on earth without the love of God? And the amazing part is that He still showed love and pity to all those that were treating Him with disdain and cruelty. The love of God is so deep and unexplainable but we can have that same love if we allow Christ to dwell within our hearts.
God loves us so much He has given us the freedom of choice. We can accept Him and allow Him to change our lives into a character that is fit to live with Him. Or we can choose our own desires and ways. He still loves us although He does not accept sin. His ways and law never change because His law is the essence of His character; it is a part of Himself.
Satan’s ways and those who follow his ways do not give every person freedom of choice. The devil only gives “freedom” of choice to those who follow his ways and that is not a true freedom of choice. He wants to convince all that God is not giving you freedom.
Satan convinced Eve in the Garden of Eden that God was trying to keep something good from her. But if she ate the fruit she could “know” everything, she could know good and evil. Knowing evil was not a good thing and led this world into sin. God never intended for us to know evil. And what misery it has brought to us all. But the devil wants to convince you differently. Thus he brings contention and arguing to our world. He brings “tolerance” into the equation but tolerance on his terms, which is not tolerance at all. He is only tolerant of his ways. When it comes to God’s ways he is not tolerant. Thus you see the chaos in this world today.
There are only two powers in this world of ours and we get to choose which power we want to follow. We can choose the power of the evil one that is “tolerant” of all those that choose his ways. Or we can choose God’s ways.
God’s way is a way of love, a love that came to die for you and for me so that we could live with Him forever. He loves the sinner so much that He doesn’t want to leave them in a state of sin. But while we were yet sinners He died for us (Romans 5:8). He does not condone sin but He loves in spite of the sin. He lovingly draws the heart of the sinner to repentance. God’s love is so unconditional that He never gives up on you and me. He sees potential in us. His heart yearns to give us peace and happiness, which comes with repentance and forgiveness. The freedom is so amazing.
I want to go with God’s way in my life. Does that mean I am going to be perfect at it? Probably not, but I am going to strive to look at others as Jesus looks at them. I want to see Christ dying on the cross for them and love them with Christ-like love. A love that does not condemn. I want to have a love that shows in my face when others are not tolerant of my choice to follow Christ’s ways.
As Christ was beaten, spat upon, and condemned to death He still showed love and pity for those around Him. That is a love that is hard for our minds to comprehend but it is the love that we must have to be a follower of Christ. And with the love of Christ that flows through us plant seeds that can bring change to the lives of many. We can only do this as we allow the Lord to dwell in our hearts. Judgment will come to those that want “tolerance” for themselves with no consideration for others. My heart longs to plant as many seeds as possible so that each of those individuals will surrender their lives to Christ so that in the judgment they will have been forgiven with the blood of Christ and be saved. What a glorious day that will be.
We live in a sin-sick world that must grieve Your heart beyond words. But You have an amazing love for all. I pray for that love to flow through me so that others may see Your love. You are waiting with open arms to save all who come to You surrendering to Your ways. I want to praise You for Your ways of forgiveness, peace, and life. The joy that comes to life with full surrender to You is so amazing. Thank You for loving us with such amazing love. Today I want to surrender my life to You again. Prompt my heart to be more like You in showing your love to those around me.
In Jesus Name,
Surrender your life to Jesus today. Love all those around you with the true love of God, not with condoning sin or joining in with sin, but with a love that makes people know that they can come to Christ. You may be the only “Jesus” they meet. How are you representing Him?
Love you all!
Do you have a testimony of how the love of God has changed your life? I would love to hear your story. Share below.