Last week we were looking at John 3:16. Jesus didn’t just die for my or your sins, He died for the sins of the whole world. Humans are created in the image of God. Yes, all human beings are image bearers of God, see Genesis 1:26. Sin may distort that image, but that person is as loved by God as you are loved even when you were a sinner. Romans 5:8 says, “But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!” Just because someone is unsaved doesn’t mean we get to treat them badly, we love them. We love all people saved and unsaved. Good and bad. Good looking and well… yeah. Lol.
I think love is what attracted people to Jesus. When Jesus did His earth journey all sorts of messed up people were drawn to Him and He was always kind to them. He loved them. Love is what changes us. When we change because we are afraid, what happens when the fear leaves? We go back to being messed up. Love, God’s love, is the only constant in life. He loves us when we are messed up and He loves us when we’ve got our acts together. His love never changes.
We are to imitate Jesus Christ in our lives. We need to be able to love one another regardless of background, ethnicity, socio-economic status, race, nationality, whatever boundaries people may try to set. The fruit of the Holy Spirit in us or the evidence that we have the Holy Spirit living in us is love in its varied expressions, see Galatians 5:22. 1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
I find that mind blowing that our perfect God chooses to partner with imperfect people to show His love. God’s love finds its full expression in us. When we love others, others begin to see how much they are loved by God through us. Isn’t that crazy? Someone can do something nice for me and I’ll think “Aww God sees me.” Or it will be an answer to a prayer that I know I told no one about but God. God’s love finds its full expression through us. We need to be vessels of God’s love to those around us. So, the question then becomes, “How does the Bible describe love?”
We find the answer to this in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 which says, “Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving.”
Now that’s the God kinda love. I know myself and I know that by myself I am incapable of releasing the God kind of love. So how then are we to love others with the God kind of love? By becoming aware that we have God living in us. Holy Spirit is the One who releases this love into our spirit. Our spirit then releases it into our soul and we can in turn release it to others. There is a limitless supply of this love. But we have to grow into it. Our soul needs to grow into it. Which is why it is called the fruit of the Spirit. It takes a process in our soul for the fruit to be released.
The Holy Spirit is doing a work in us until the day of Jesus Christ, see Philippians 1:6. The more we allow Him to do what He needs to do in us, the more we listen to His voice and obey what He and what the Bible asks us to do, the more we find ourselves bearing more fruit in our lives. It happens gradually but the more you walk with Him, the more He will transform you into the image of Jesus Christ, the more you will bear fruit. It is possible to love people with the God kind of love. Our role in the process is just letting that love flow from God, through our spirit and soul and out to those around us.
John 13:35 says, and this is Jesus speaking, “For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.”
Jesus says we are to release the “same love” He gives to us, to those around us. We are to release His love to those around us. Not when we think they deserve it, not when we feel like it and not when it is convenient. We release it all the time and in all situations. This is how people will know that we are followers of Christ, not by how many scriptures we can quote but by the quality of love we release to them.
Love and blessings,