Over the past couple of decades, it seems that love for one another has fallen to the wayside. Greed and violence has seemingly taken over and all we see daily in the news are crimes against others. Robbery, assault and even murder has become a daily occurrence. Over time, we have become desensitized to all those crimes and accepted them as the new reality for the world. Humans have devalued life of all creatures and seem to be more inclined to destroy rather and cherish life. It seems that violence and greed have easily replaced the word and concept of love in our minds and especially in our hearts.
We have often been told that violence only begets violence and that greed is good. I am not saying that you cannot defend yourself or that you should not achieve and desire to improve your condition. However, when it becomes an obsession and the only thing you seek, then those ideas get perverted and they become a means to an end.
When I was growing up, people truly cared for one another and loved one another. If something happened to someone, the entire community would come together to help or lend its support to the person or family that needed it. For example, if there was a death in a family, neighbors would come together to help by cooking meals for the family.
When I was extremely ill and didn’t have the strength to do anything, our neighbors provided meals to us. When I found some work that needed to be done on our home, friends came to the rescue and fixed them without the thought of being repaid. There are pockets in communities that still, to this day, believe in “loving one another”.
Throughout the Holy Bible, we see the word, “love”. Depending on the translation, it appears as little as 310 times to the highest of 686. It isn’t just the number of times, but it is also how it is expressed.
John, in chapter four of his first epistle bearing his name, writes, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
As Christians, we have only an idea of the depth of God’s love for us. He gave His son, Jesus, out of His love for us. Jesus became our sacrifice for our sins. It is through him and only him that we can have a relationship with the Father.
God truly is love. If we love one another, we show the world that God lives inside each of us. But, it is not enough to say that we love each other. Love is not just a word. It is a call to action. We must actively show that we love others, including our enemies. Love knows no boundaries or borders. It is our place to help, encourage and lift up those who need it most by acting out of love rather than violence or greed.
Jesus, in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, says, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Our love for one another may require the ultimate sacrifice. If that is what is needed, then that is what we are called upon to do for one another. If we are willing to lay down our lives for others, then we have truly shown the world God’s love.
God loved us before we loved Him. We walked in darkness, but He still wanted to give us the gift of eternal life and salvation. We spurned Him at every turn, but He patiently waited for us to respond to His love. In time, we came to our senses and realized God’s plan for our lives which started with a simple profession of faith.
Like Jesus, I ask that you show someone in your life that special love that knows no bounds and fills the heart and soul to overflowing. With the Christmas season coming up, it would be a perfect opportunity to express love for others. There are a lot of people who are in need. Food banks have been pushed to their limits. The economy is bad and there are families in need of food and comfort. Fall will soon become winter and many will not be able to afford heat for their homes.
Don’t wait any longer. Show your love for others and do something. Do what you can. Donate to your favorite charities and volunteer to help by feeding the hungry in community kitchens and food banks. Donate warm clothing to those who cannot afford it.
When you do these things and so much more, you are telling the world that God lives inside of you and that you want to share Him with others. As you act in Christian love, you will most definitely stand firm in His grace.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.