Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living Love

I've been mulling over what love looks like. 

What does love look like?

There are many kinds of love.  There is the BEST kind, agape love and that is found in 1 John 4:8, "God is love."  It is more of a self sacrifice, not a romantic or brotherly love.  If I am to love as Christ loves, it has to come from the true Source.  “By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)  Only God can well up in me the kind of love needed to love my enemies.

Take the Samaritan woman that Jesus had "a sit down" with at the well.  Not only did Jewish leaders not talk to women in public, Jews in general did not associate with Samaritans because the Samaritans were unclean and they too, could be become unclean if they touched them or anything the Samaritan had touched.  Here's this woman who, by all accounts, is an outcast.  Jesus not only talks to her, but asks her to get him a drink from the well!  Talk about going against the grain.  The two of them have a nice conversation on living water, history of the well and finally, Jesus gets down to business... she confesses that she has no husband; He says, ""That's nicely put: 'I have no husband.' You've had five husbands, and the man you're living with now isn't even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough."  (John 4:17-18)  She of course, is amazed and in awe that He knew this and admits that she knows Christ is coming and He tells her, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:26)

They talk longer, the disciples return, she runs to town to tell anyone who would listen that she thinks she has met Christ, they go with her to see Him and, "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony."  Once they saw and heard, they believed. 

That to me, is love.  Real love.  Talking with people others don't talk to.  TOUCHING people other people don't touch.  Listening.  Sharing.  Love.

In John 8 we read of a sinful woman being brought before Jesus (thinking they could fool my Lord) and when all is said and done:

"Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.  Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?"
"No one, Master."   "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."

That is love.  Forgiveness.  Grace.  Simply speaking and moving on. 

Love is...

Washing what needs washed.

 Holding what needs held.


Comfort and support.


Making someone smile.

If I am to be the hands of feet of Jesus, I need to know what that looks like.  I must spend time reading His Word and seeing with my own eyes what it is He did so that I can say, "He does those things through me."  I have to be willing to do those things.  Whatever they are... feed the hungry.  Donate clothes to shelters in my area.  Stop and just listen to who He leads me to.  Love in action is me being the hands and feet of Jesus. 

It's listening to Him guide and call me to do things that scare and excite me all at the same time! 

It's seeing His children through His eyes - all blinders off.  Raw.  Real.  Loving.  Life-changing.

"This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God's love? It disappears. And you made it disappear." (1 John 3:16)

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