To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than burnt offerings and sacrifices. Mark 12:33 NIV
Our world has a skewed view of love. It was Tina Turner who sang the song, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” where she calls it a second-hand emotion. Hollywood shows our weekly stars falling in and out of so-called love. Romance novels and fairy tales tell us that love is elusive and something we must chase.
John, the beloved disciple, witnessed love first hand and wrote about it in 1 John the 4th chapter. Here we find the true meaning of love:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
Paul lived an abandoned life of love and in 2 Corinthians 5:14 says, “For Christ’s love compels us.” He was sold out. Are you gripped by the love of God? The Word tells us to love the Lord with all our heart, love our neighbor, love our enemies, love each other.
Romans 12:9 states that “Love must be sincere.” Sincere means free from pretense or deceit, proceeding from genuine feelings. Being totally abandoned to sincerely love will provide lasting fruit and exhibit Christ to a hurting world like nothing else.
If you are waiting to do something grandiose for God, consider this, what would your footprint look like if you left a Godly impression with every step? In those everyday moments in life, the only ones we are guaranteed to have each day, what would happen if at the grocery store checkout, the ball field, the bank, the school, at work, or even at the traffic light if you showed God’s love to others?
Love showed up one day in the grocery store. God placed me behind a young woman with two young boys in the check out line. God allowed me to notice her in a unique way. Her items were all generic and basic. No frills or goodies, only the necessities were placed on the conveyor belt. The boys’ clothes were worn and the mom was frazzled. The pounding on my heart began. It’s a familiar sound that accompanies a tug. When the cashier gave her the total I leaned forward and whispered, “Would you allow me to pay for your groceries today? Jesus has given me direction to show you His love.” Her eyes welled up with tears and she shook her head yes.
If your prayer each morning includes asking God to help you tune in to His work, you will begin to see opportunities. Slip on the God goggles and see His world through different eyes. Instead of blindly walking through your days, you will see someone that needs a hug, a word, or just a smile.
Romans 12:10 tells us to, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
That’s easier said than done. We may claim to put others before ourselves but the fact is we are quite fascinated with that person in the mirror. Most of our anxieties, our dreams, and our actions revolve around what we desire. When God said to love others as we love ourselves there was a reason! He knew, whether we admit it or not, our favorite person is us! Why else do we get so frustrated when other drivers don’t drive like we do? Or other parents, workers, friends or family don’t think like we do? We have this misconception that we are right and the world would be a much better place if more people were like us!
God uniquely made you, but He also uniquely made that girl in the grocery lane in front of you with the squirmy kids. He allows those circumstances to come into your life so you can choose to love like the world, dismiss her and walk away or to leave a lasting Godly impression of love. What does your footprint look like?
Abandon means when God gives you direction—don’t ask questions. Don’t argue with Him. Just do it. Make the determination in your mind to love like Jesus did. When we are abandoned to God, He works through us all the time.
Write in your journal a prayer asking God to highlight moments in your day where you can show His love in new and unique ways.
Watch with different eyes, slip on your God goggles and pay close attention to your circumstances. Choose to abandon your ordinary for God’s extraordinary way to love. Let His love be complete in you.
Oh Lord grip us with Your love so firmly that we can’t help but release it onto others. May we take our eyes off of self and onto the ones You placed in our path. In Jesus’ name amen.