Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday love. You may or may not, depending on your age, remember this 1985 duet by Alexander O’Neil and Cherrelle? This morning doing my devotion these lyrics popped in my head while I was reading Matthew 18:21:22. Peter asked Jesus how often we should forgive, seven times? Then Jesus said, “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” And I thought what if Peter had asked how often we should love one another. That’s when the lyrics came to mind. I believe Jesus would have answered every day, all day. In fact, He tells us that loving one another is the second greatest command after loving God. (Matthew 22:37-39).
God is love. And He will show up in us if we allow Him. Do you remember a time when love showed up? Just at the right time, right when you needed it the most. I have experienced this so many times! And surprisingly, sometimes love shows up in the last person you would have suspected. That’s how God works. He uses who he wants, but for Him to use us in love, we must have love within (Holy Spirit). Especially if we are to love the unlovable, as Jesus says we should. I believe sometimes people get confused. Jesus didn’t say we have to like their ways or their actions. He did not say we have to tolerate wrong doing. He didn’t say we have to have them in our inner circle. Sometimes as my mama used to say, we have to “handle some people with a long handle spoon.” In other words love them from a distance. But close up or from a distance, Jesus said we must love, forgive, help, and have compassion even towards those who we feel don’t deserve it. Doesn’t that sound like the love Jesus has for us? Has God ever tried to use you to show love and compassion and your first reaction was why me Lord? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been guilty of this. The person never treated you nice. Did you think to yourself, this is such an inconvenience or what have they done for me lately? It’s easy to love those who love us, the challenge is loving those who don’t. Thanks to Jesus, who left us with the Holy Spirit, we can do it. We just have to open up our hearts to the love within (Holy Spirit) and He will help us.
God uses people in our lives to teach us valuable lessons about relationships. Patience, kindness, flexibility, humility, and compassion are relationship skills of a disciple for Christ. Sometimes it is hard and stressful but if we follow the characteristics of Jesus, it is easier. Relationships is a classroom for learning to love the unlovable and forgiving the unforgivable.
I believe when we fall in love with Jesus we can love anybody, even those who make it difficult. Why? Because Jesus loves us in spite of our sinful nature, He loves us unconditionally. His love should make us want to replicate it to one another.
Love and Blessings…..
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him; whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:19-21)
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I have told you.” (John 14:26)