The song recorded by Tina Turner has the words, "What's love got to do with it?' It was a popular song that is still enjoyed today. Knowing the abuse and emotional pain Ms Turner endured in her relationship with her husband Ike Turner, it is not surprising she would choose to sing this song. However, love has everything to do with it. If her husband loved her as instructed in 1st Corinthians chapter 13, she would have experienced the love God intended for her.
It is time that we remind one another how truly to love and the best way to do that is to point to the ways Jesus loves. He has compassion, he was able to empathize with those unlike himself, he gave up everything for the benefit of those he knew would reject him. If you are one that follows the teaching of Jesus or one who sees the darkness of hate growing in our country this is an ideal time to examine what love got to do with how we treat others. To examine how we act and react to our friends and family and to the person we pass on the street. This is a great time to examine our attitude towards our neighbors and those who dislike us. The greatest commandment to love brings everything into perspective. Love is more than a feeling it is everything!
Below are various articles from back issues of my Kingdom Builders Newsletter. As we think on love it is also important to accept that we will not always agree. That there are those whose personalities afford stronger voices that speak out against wrongs and it does not make them less spiritual or godly. Let us in our daily lives lay aside our words of scorn and ridicule, and lack of compassion for another man's plight, let us lay aside the fear of rejection and loss of identity or privilege, let us be quick to listen and slow to speak. As for my fellow Christians we must display through our words and behavior what the love of Jesus looks and feels like so that the world will be able to identify us by our love.
Can You See What I See?
Kingdom Builders Newletter
Volume 19, March 2010
Jesus would ask, "Can you see what I see? Do you see a diamond in the rough or a worthless ugly rock? "A diamond in its natural, uncut state is described as a "rough diamond". "Its natural appearance resembles a glass pebble that most people would pass it by without a second glance." (www.costellos.com.au/diamonds/
A man living with mental illness, or a woman struggling with drug addiction are often passed over without even a second glance. We humans find it easier to dehumanize a criminal, an addict, a rebellious juvenile delinquent and treat them as a "rough diamond" of no value. "It is the skill of the diamond cutter that unlocks the brilliance for which diamonds are renowned." The diamond cutter is Jesus Christ and he did the work of cutting on the Cross. He died so that our sin and flaws would be covered by His blood. Now it is time to do our part.
The message of salvation and of being freed from all forms of bondage, because of what Jesus did on the cross is our message to tell. But
first, we must see people as Jesus sees people. Jesus was not naive. He saw the hearts of men and all the depravity that would exist throughout the ages. It was the heart, our heart that Jesus was out to influence. It is the power of the Cross that gives us the ability and courage to see people as Jesus sees them. As we gaze upon their flaws we are to give the loving message of redemption and forgiveness as we not forget our own frailty. We are to share the message of the repairing of broken lives made possible by the cleansing blood that was shed on Calvary as a gift of love to mankind.
Murderers, thieves, sexual predators, White supremacist hate groups, crack addicts, the arrogant, rude, and obnoxious are these lives needing repair, or do they deserve what they get? Are they not also who Jesus died for? God gives each of us a choice. What will be your choice to love as Jesus Loves or to love conditionally and according to the dictates of your life's circumstances and experiences?
Can You See What Jesus Sees?
Kingdom Builders Newsletter
Volume 23, May 2008
Sometimes people can not see the value in the little things they do for others. Often they do not recognize that their actions translate into uncommon love. It is uncommon love that gives rest to a weary soul.
A woman just released from prison is attempting to take back the responsibility of raising her children. The children are having behavioral problems at school and it was just discovered that one is a gang member. Her having to coup with the pressures of family, finding employment and a stable place to live has become overwhelming. Along comes you. You pass her down the isle in the grocery store, not knowing her situation or the depth of her despair, your eyes meet hers and you smile. Later you find yourself behind her in the check out line of the store. The woman now staring down at the food place on the counter hears the announced total of her groceries. She has to decide what food to put back. Instead of you looking in disgust at her, you quietly tell her that you would like to pay the difference. She looks at you and barely says thank you for trying to hold back the tears. Uncommon love.
Kingdom Builders Newsletter
Volume 25, July 2008
The 58th Chapter of Isaiah gives instructions for a very interesting fast. (A Biblical fast is a cleansing of one's spirit, a time to recommit to living a godly life, and is often done in conjunction with prayer.) The introduction of this fast was during a time when God's people, Israel, went to the temple (the church) daily. They seemed devoted to their faith, however, they were not sincere. Their attendance was more out of tradition. The people were self-centered and full of pride. God gave instruction through the Prophet Isaiah for a new fast.
"...the kind of fasting I want calls you to free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." Isiah 58: 6,7 NIV
Today, many kingdom minded Christians have incorporated the Isaiah fast into their daily living. These people live out Philippians 2:3 NIV. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself." Uncommon Love
Scripture Reading: Matthew 22: 37-39; Matthew 25: 35,36; John 13:35
Love is a Choice
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Love will last forever...
I Corinthians 12: 4-8 NLT