No.164. More about love.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No.164. More about love.

Yesterday we were looking at how the power of ‘Christ in us’ enables us to love others in the way that Jesus loves, something that Jesus spoke about at the last supper. He gave them a new commandment saying to them ‘love each other as I have loved you’, John 15:12. This was His great desire that there would be love and unity amongst His followers, to demonstrate to the world what the Father was like. John 17:20.

Now we know two things about God’s love. Firstly it was not just going to be for ‘His people’, the Jews in Jesus day and the Christians in ours, and secondly it was not just a benevolent feeling towards everyone. We read ‘God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son’. John 3:16. God loves each one of us, and His love provoked Him to act, to send Jesus to save us from our sins, and the consequences of sin. So love is about how we think, feel and speak about others, but as James is quick to point out, it needs to result in faith filled action as well. James 2:8,14-16.

The phrase we used yesterday ‘Something beautiful for God’ comes from the title of a film made about Mother Teresa. She was of course the nun who spent her life helping the poor and dispossessed of Calcutta. Because of her and her team many of them died surrounded with love and with a dignity that they hadn’t ever been given in life. The love that Jesus puts within us is not just about loving Christians but also about winning the world, by love, for God. Loving the unlovely and unloved, just as Jesus did.

In Matthew 25:31-46, we have the very challenging story of the sheep and the goats. What to me is so amazing is that, in this description of the judgement, the things that people are commended for are not huge displays of power like raising the dead, casting out demons or silencing storms, but simple acts of love. Things that we can easily imagine the Lord would like us to be doing. He sees and commends the hidden acts of love and kindness to the hungry, the outcast, the prisoner, the sick and the homeless.

I believe that the Lord loves to see this kind of fruit in our lives because, not only does He want those people to know His love, but it is also this kind of fruit that shows the world what He is like. He wants us to ‘represent Him’ to the world, to show people His kind of love. To let people know about God’s love is so important, especially since the devil works so hard to give God a bad press. They need to know that there is love at the heart of the universe.

So when it comes to producing this fruit of love, lest we get into striving, let us remember that it is a ‘fruit’ of the Spirit and that Christ within is the power that will enable us to produce this fruit. We need the Holy Spirit to lead us in order to see the things that we can all do in our own contexts.

In blog.162. we were describing the difference that ‘the fall’ made to mankind, one of the consequences being that what had been a joy in God’s presence i.e. tending the garden and ruling over the living creatures was now going to be hard work. Genesis 3:17-19. As I wrote about that I realised that for mankind, anything done without the close and intimate friendship of the Lord will become hard work, and so we come back to our present theme of ‘rest’ and fruit bearing.

I believe the Lord will give us the opportunities to do many ‘beautiful things for God’, in the context of our daily lives, that won’t feel like real hard graft because we will be doing them in fellowship and friendship with Him. We will be led by His Spirit to do things ‘with’ Him and not just ‘for’ Him. We may not know too many homeless people or prisoners, but we may know those who are sick and need a visit or who are hungry, not for food, but for friendship.

As we give thanks to the Lord for the honour of representing Him on the earth, in our corner of the world, I believe the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to the opportunities around us, and the life of Christ within will empower us.  Jesus did, after all, say ‘If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit………this is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples’. John 15:5-8. And as we give thanks that we are in partnership with the Lord of Glory, far from being hard work there will be a lot of joy involved too. John 15:11. ‘Fulness of joy in His presence’.


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