“I don’t know who this is for, but…”
“Who am I preaching to this morning?”
We have heard pastors pause midway through sermons to interject these kinds of statements. Sometimes our hearts are quickened and we lean in and listen more intently. Other times, the message doesn’t totally resonate.
You can be honest, we have all experienced it. It’s not that the sermon wasn’t packed with truth; nor did it give grounds to tune out the messenger. The message, however, was clearly more near and dear to someone else’s story.
One message, though, is always relevant and tends to always prick our hearts: the message of Love. Love is always a right-now word. Nothing could be truer. I say that because we usually get a full measure of convincing when we read or hear the following verses:
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV)
Ever familiar, yet ever relevant! These scriptures get our attention because we can all relate to the fact that we miss the mark sometimes. We also have a knack for not always doing what Love does.
Do you have a couple of minutes? I’m sure I can own up to a few missed targets right now. Of course, that is not my intention. Nor is it my goal to give any hint of condemnation.
The sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ was the ultimate gesture. Jesus chose to deny Himself, chose to obey His Father’s will. This act of obedience forever holds the supreme crown against all other choices.
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love…. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15: 9-10, 13 NKJV)
Let the Love of Christ permeate your being. This is done by abiding (vs. 9). Meditate on what it means to lay down your life. This is not just a fleeting or casual thought. This is placing a high value on the veracity of Christ’s sacrificial love.
Similarly, if your mind is focused on what you have been through—the pain you’ve endured—you may consider a million reasons why laying down your life is so difficult and not even worth your time.
Cue the hand-held mirror and take a look. Jesus saw that you were and still are worth His time.
I challenge you to consider what it means to fully love—to fully lay your will down—and then allow it to infiltrate your actions and your words. As you meditate, the inward work of love is produced effortlessly; it is nothing that you could ever produce yourself in your limited strength.
That doesn’t mean that you will never miss the mark again, but you will be checked within and promptly make a course correction. The inward work produces an outward change in us. Renewing the mind renews our perspective, which ultimately transforms us. (Romans 12:1-2)
Hear what the Lord is saying:
People watch the world instead of Me and My words. God is not mocked for whatsoever a man sows he shall also reap that harvest. Sow love, love, love.
Love with love (I am Love). Be in love with Love (Me), make it your aim, your mission, your driving force. Don’t go by what you see with your natural eyes at all. Don’t look at their faces. Did I care what they said? I was on a mission for my Father. Period.
You are the mouthpiece for the Lord Jesus Christ. Let it come out; it is in you and on you. The power of the kingdom of God is waiting to flow and overflow in and through you. I spare nothing. It costs nothing because I already paid for it.
Walk in love, talk in love, see love. Shower in love, go to bed in love, wake up in love. Be love. Praise in love, pray in love, think in love, meditate love. Your soul will become love.
Master it, train it, conform to it, transform into it. Let it over take you, How? Joshua 1:8: Meditate the word day and night and it will not depart from you. Christ in you the hope of glory!
Good overcomes evil every time. Love covers a multitude of sin. My people need love; they need to feel valuable, worthy, wanted. They need to feel needed, secure, accepted; beautifully confident, strong, and courageous.
As your soul prospers in love, people will see the difference in your life and be drawn to Christ in you and God will draw them to Himself.
Imagine your life as a fountain. If you focus mostly on yourself you will be too dry or clogged up to flow properly.
God encourages you to truly grasp love. Be a fountain flowing to those within your sphere, and ultimately to the world.
I don’t know who this is for, but…