Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh, to Love as Christ

The past few weeks, during my mentoring sessions, I've realized just how incapable I am of loving people the way that Christ loved.

I'm judgmental, analytical, critical, superficial with my relationships...the list could go on. And as these things were running through my head, I thought: I wonder what it would look like, if for one day, I could love, and I mean really love the people around me; friends and family, the strangers that I walk by on the street, the clerk that checks out my items at the grocery store.

My love for people is anything but the love that Christ had for the world; a love that would drive Him to give His life for the very people that were taking it away. A love that would forgive the people who least deserved it.

At many times, human love is one-sided. We expect people to love us, but we aren't so great at loving them back. We're interested in what we can get out of the relationship, rather than being concerned with how well we are loving them.
Galatians 5:22,23 -- the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
All of these things are tangible. They're words that could describe my character. They are things that I could possess. Yet, my heart is so far from them. Note that the first in the list is love. When we learn to love, our lives become rooted in joy and peace. We experience patience in areas that impatience once ran rampant. We choose good over evil. We remain faithful until the end. We are gentle with our words. And our self-control speaks of a character that is disciplined.

Christ was the perfect example of what love is and what it should be.

As we go through our day today, let us pray that God would reveal what that love should look like in our lives. When we come across people who don't deserve to receive our love, let us remember that God chose to love us when we least deserved it. Let us forgive and be forgiven so that love can permeate our relationships to the core. Let our responses be rooted so deeply in the love of Christ that people see Him through us.

It's not an easy feat to love as Christ did, but oh, how beautiful a day it will be when we come to know a fraction of that love.

This is my prayer for you.

Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Be encouraged. Be blessed.


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with love.