I know this is two posts in one day. Some would say that I should probably wait and post this tomorrow, but I feel in my heart that there is an urgency to this one. Please take a moment and read.
From my devo this morning:
“While there are many different dimensions to Christian love, I believe the ability to love unconditionally most characterizes the spacious, abundant life that we have in Christ. I suspect this willingness to love others unconditionally and its regular practice are significantly missing from many believers’ lives. We say we want to love others just as God loves us, but too often we end up choosing comfort and convenience over compassion.” -Pastor Brian Houston from the “Live, Love, Lead” Devotional
That last line is really hard to swallow. We end up choosing comfort, and convenience, over compassion and love. I read something like this and wonder how Jesus feels when He sees this happening.
He left the splendor and comforts of heaven, a place that our minds can not even conceive. He left angels who would gather around him and sing of His holiness. He left the ultimate light. A throne. He left it all to be crowned with thorns and mocked by the very ones that he came to save, yet He chose compassion. And I know so many of us, myself included, would use the excuse, “Oh, He is Jesus. He’s God. I’m human.”
Cop out! Major cop out.
I’m imperfect in this, but I’m also convicted in this. How well do I love those who are not like me? How well do I love those who believe differently than I do? How well am I loving even those who repel me? The Holy Spirit lives inside of us and empowers us to do just what is talked about above, to love unconditionally. But how many times do we shove the Holy Spirit out of the way when someone offends us and we sever that relationship? Why even have the Holy Spirit if we won’t allow Him to help us do the basic thing that Jesus asked us to do? Love others!
But we give ourselves an out by saying that Jesus was God. Since God is love, Jesus had no choice but to love. Never forget that Jesus chose the Cross. He chose the pain over His pleasure. He chose the humiliation over the comforts of Heaven. He chose our mess over His majesty.
So what are we doing? Hating Muslims. Hating homosexuals. Hating immigrants. Hating that person who cut us off in traffic. We are rapidly becoming a society that is Pro-HATE, and Anti-LOVE.
We are choosing the path of least resistance because it is easier than loving. Loving is HARD. It hurts. It is messy. It can mess us up. But it will also make us more like Christ, which should be the goal of every Christian if we let it.
I’m preaching to myself first, here. I’ve gotta do better. I have to be willing to forgo my comfort and choose the hard path. Love.
Sure, Jesus is God. But Jesus is also in me, which means I’m one with God also. His character should be my character. His unfailing love should be what others see through me.
It’s hard. But it’s truth.
“Be challenged today to live outside of yourself. Stop and give time to people you may not normally associate with, be aware of your surroundings and of people who may need the love of Christ lavished on them today- through you. be willing to be a vessel used by God, not just toward people whom you love and agree with, but to people whom you ay find difficult or disagree with. Ask God to give you wisdom and strength to be Christ-like to each and every person you encounter.”
And I hear God saying to me as I finish this,
“My love sought you out while you wanted nothing to do with me. Quit waiting for people to come to you to love. Seek them out and bring them into My love.”
Be blessed today!