Do I have to?

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, & love – & the greatest of these is LOVE. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

“Whatever you say, mom.  But I don’t have to like them!”  I can still close my eyes and replay this conversation with my mother many moons ago.  I didn’t necessarily enjoy it, but it stuck.  I was a brat.

Our Savior doesn’t label, debunk, not love, or ignore, and He certainly didn’t during His earthly ministry.  Jesus said in John 12:32, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.”

ALL PEOPLE, folks.  

Let’s talk about a four letter word that is super powerful.  LOVE. You mean He wants us to love others even when just liking them is hard? Yes. Yes. And Yes.  Have we ever thought that maybe the problem is that we just don’t see what Jesus sees?  OUCH. Guilty.  This world is full of messy people, and believe me, I am one of them.  But, underneath the muddle & mire is a beautiful masterpiece worthy of love, grace, & mercy.  We have to push through the muck to see what’s underneath it.  Jesus did this beautifully during His earthly ministry.   He saw beneath the surface.  He loved big, and His cynics could not deal with it. This man, Jesus, was claiming to be the Savior of the world and has the audacity to love & accept everyone?  What?  It was truly scandalous!

In the Bible, Jesus said that loving others is the second most important commandment.  The only thing more important than loving people, is loving God Himself.  In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes love.  When you get a chance, read it sometime. In the scripture it is defined in two ways:  What love is and what love does. What love does is a direct result of what love is. If you notice, Paul doesn’t talk about feelings when he is describing love. He describes it as an act. An act of valuing others as much as we value ourselves.

What does it mean when Jesus says that we will be known by our love?  It means that our love should stand out.  To shine brightly. To be conspicuous!! Side note:  I’ve been wanting to use that word for a long time in something and I just did. How conspicuous of me!! I just used it again!  Ha!

Look. When we truly love each other with the love of God, our lives become amazing testimonies to the breathtaking power and the person of God.  And when that happens, people see it, and many of them will be drawn to it. Is it easy?  Heavens no.  It’s only through the grace and power of God that we truly and consistently love others.

You guys, we are called to love those who no one else does. We are called to love unlikeable and certainly unlovable people.

People are unlovely for a reason.  It’s not because they are unlovable, but because they are unloved.
Let’s love like Jesus. 


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