God is always placing different things on my heart that He is wanting to teach me. Which is wonderful because I know that to a certain degree I am in right standing with God. That he is drawing near to me. “Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.” James 4:8. However, I find myself at a constant struggle will a particular area and that is in Loving Others.
A constant theme that comes out of my mouth at times is “People make it so hard to love them”. Which they do, people do some stupid things and get caught up in stupid messes. I am no different. I am just as sinful as the guy to my right or left. God calls us to “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others too, and what they are doing.” Phillipians 2:3-4. Did you catch that? Thinking of others as better than yourself. Better? Come on now, we live in a society where you fight to be better. I have heard people say things such as, “well it could be worse, you could be that guy”.
“Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing, he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form, dying a criminal’s death.” Phil. 2:5.
This also got me thinking about the Gospel as a whole. I know, that i know, that i am saved and going to Heaven because Christ died for me, and all he asks in return is to accept Him and be willing to be changed by His love. And I know that their is a God, and I know that all of life came from him, but something hit me last night. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt there is a God and the Bible is a true book of wisdom given by God. I know this because I got to thinking, the things found in this book, are so radically different and so counter culture. There is no way a human, or a group of humans would decide to write a book and talk about things like, laying down your life for others, washing the feet of your neighbors, humbling yourself to the point of nothing so you can exhalt others, and that you must put kingdom work above all else. No one would say those things. No one would go against the grain that much for no gain.
Back in Jesus’ day women used to be labeled as less than human. They were known as a commodity, that you would use and then trade in for the next. This is why when Jesus stooped down to the prostitute (John 8) everyone around was shocked, why would he do that? Why would he tell her that he doesn’t condemn her sin but to go and sin no more? Jesus and God are so passionate about his people, you, me, the rich, the poor, the widow, the orphan, the forgotten, the unloved. God is so loving. There is no way somebody made this up, for what, nothing? This is the true, living, breathing word of God.
I was watching a sermon by Andy Stanley last night and he made the analogy of a man going to God’s house and picking up his daughter. God’s daughter, every woman on earth is God’s daughter and they must be treated with respect and honor. The analogy was that when a man comes in contact with a woman, wherever that may be, a gas station, a bank, whatever, that you are coming in contact with God’s daughter, and God is sitting on the porch cleaning his gun. How would you treat her in that moment? Would it be respectful, or would it be something else? God is so passionate about this that he says your prayers will not be answered if you do not get this, 1 peter 3:7.
We must learn to love others. “By this, they will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35. Do people look at you and know you are a disciple of Christ, because of your love for one another? I challenge you today to live in such a way that people can’t help but be inspired to love and serve each other. What a great world we would live in, if everyone did just that.