He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8
Do you ever have one of those seasons in your life where you feel like God is just really working you over about something? A time where it seems that he takes an issue in your life and He shines a light on it from many different directions? Over the past few weeks I feel that is what He’s been doing with me on the subject of love. Love. Now you would think that love is pretty simple, and there’s not much that we can do to mess it up. You’d be right about the first part of that statement, but there are plenty of ways that we can mess things up when it comes to love.
This all started when my good friend David Hendrix passed away back in January. David was a joyful person. He was always laughing, joking, and more importantly loving on people. On occasion he would even sign his name “Love” instead of David. He loved life, he loved people, and he loved the act of loving people. David understood that when we love people, we give them a glimpse of Jesus.
Fast-forward a few weeks to the passing of Billy Graham. I have always been a fan of Billy Graham. I’ve always seen him as a pillar in society that steered clear of politics, scandal, and anything that could bring his ministry into question. He stayed on point, and that point was that God loves you, He sent His Son to die for you, and He wants to spend eternity with you. He often made the comment, “It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.” Billy Graham loved people regardless of the sin they were dealing with which is what attracted millions of people to him.
Recently I was also introduced to a person that I will be seeing often. Most likely a few times a week for the near future. This person has a very different lifestyle than I do. They give the appearance that God has no place in their life, and it’s very obvious by the lifestyle they appear to live. Was my meeting this person coincidental? I think not. You see historically, I would have had a problem with the lifestyle this person lives, and for that reason I would have begun to distance myself. Not this time. God began to prompt me to love this person, accept this person, not their sin, but this person, and show them Jesus.
And today, it’s as if God tied it all up in a neat package with a bow on top. I’ve mentioned before that anytime I drop my kids off for school, the last thing I tell them is to “Tell someone about Jesus”. I feel that you can’t say that enough these days. But today was different. It was almost as if God brought three simple words to my mind. It’s three words that can be found at the end of 1 John 4:8. GOD IS LOVE.
God is Love. That’s it. Pretty simple. You see, it’s a principal that we all know, but it’s also a principal that we often complicate. Show someone love, and by definition you show them God because God….is…..Love. David Hendrix loved people, therefore he showed them God. Millions were attracted to Billy Graham; he loved people and showed them Christ. If I just love this person who’s been placed in my path, I will show them God. And if my kids just love people they will also shine Jesus!
Does it stop there? Absolutely not. The Great Commission is clear that we are to take the Word of God, the good news of Jesus Christ, to the ends of the earth. But 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that we can have the gift of eloquent speech, the gift of prophesy, and the gift of great faith, but without Love, we are bankrupt. “Showing” others love is where the process of “Telling” them about Jesus begins.
Today, when you see that person cross your path who doesn’t look like you or live like you, Love Them. When you hear that person gossiping or causing drama at your workplace, Love Them. When you see a person you feel deserves to be in the predicament that they’re in, Love Them. Don’t judge them, Love them. Because what we are doing is taking a situation of judgment and turning it into an opportunity for God to shine.