This month is the month for love. Jackie DeShannon said in his song, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some, but for everyone.”
Indeed the world needs more love. On Valentine’s Day we focus on the love we have for our spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. We need to develop a God kind of love for everyone. An old adage says that we are to, “love the sinner, but condemn the sin.” Sometimes that is hard to do. In Jude 21 it says, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” What a challenge, to keep ourselves in the love of God. How do we do that? Let me give you three things to keep in mind.
* You must love unconditionally – It is not conditioned on what you do for me. It is not conditioned on what I do for you. A love without conditions. God’s love is like that. Someone described the love of God as, “an anyhow kind of love.” We are to love each other, “anyhow.” The world and the church needs that kind of love.
* You must love unlimited – Our love must be a second chance kind of love. How many times are we to forgive someone? Jesus said in Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” When you do the math that is 490 times. The point Jesus made is do not keep track of how many times. It should be an unlimited forgiveness. My love for others is expressed in my ability to forgive them.
* You must love unmerited – As believers others should receive the unmerited favor of God from us. We call that, “grace.” We receive grace from God and we are to give grace to others. Grace has a bad memory. It forgets how many times it is given. It is the undeserved favor of God in our lives.
Oswald Chambers in his book, “My Utmost for His Highest” said, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.”
In the month of love, I challenge you to keep yourself in the love of God.
Blessings as you practice, “Love sweet love”
Rev. Richard Humphries
Pastoral Care & Sr. Adult Minister