Do you struggle as much as I do with loving people?
I’m not talking about those who “love” you,
but ALL people.
Everyday, this world gets crazier and crazier.
People are doing some most outlandish things.
I would be content to just stay in my own little world and do my own little thing.
But God has called us to go out into the world, to share His truth, and to love one another.
My first thought is “why did He go and do that?!”
But then I have to look deep at my own self.
Sometimes I’m not too easy to love.
In fact, Christ died for me when I “was yet a sinner,” “ungodly,” “without hope.”
I have been reading an Oswald Chambers devotional call “Utmost Classic Readings and Prayers.”
If you are familiar with Oswald Chambers, you know he takes you quite deep into what it means to be a follower of Christ.
In fact, today’s reading, and many others in this little book, have “kicked my butt!”
Please bear with me as I share today’s reading.
It will lengthen this post, but I think I need to share the whole thing so you can grasp His message.
So here goes.
“Love One Another”
“…add to your…brotherly kindness love.” II Peter 1:5,7
“Love is an indefinite thing to most of us; we don’t know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the loftiest preference of one person
for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that this sovereign preference be for Himself (see Luke 14:26). Initially, when “the love of God has been
poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), it is easy to put Jesus first. But then we must practice the things
mentioned in 2 Peter 1 to see them worked out in our lives.
The first thing God does is forcibly remove any insincerity, pride, and vanity from my life. And the Holy Spirit reveals to me that God
loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to
others by saying, “…love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
He is saying, “I will bring a number of people around you whom you cannot respect, but you must exhibit My love to them,
just as I have exhibited it to you.” This kind of love is not a patronizing love for the unlovable–it is His love,
and it will not be evidenced in us overnight. Some of us may have tried to force it, but we were soon tired and frustrated.
“The Lord…is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish…”(2 Peter 3:9). I should look within and remember how
wonderfully He has dealt with me. The knowledge that God has loved me beyond all limits will compel me to go into the world
to love others in the same way. I may get irritated because I have to live with an unusually difficult person.
But just think how disagreeable I have been with God!
Am I prepared to be identified so closely with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness will be continually poured out through Me?
Neither natural love not God’s divine love will remain and grow in me unless it is nurtured.
Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained through discipline.
O Lord, touch my life with Your energizing power and loving-kindness and beauty. Make it a time of the unveiling of Your face.”
God has a lot of work to do in me!!!
But His Word promises that He will complete the work He has started in me.
My part is to allow Him to do His work as I am nurturing His love through a disciplined lifestyle.
It’s not easy, but the Holy Spirit will give me the strength to walk it out.
Lots of love, Sharon