Love wins. This slogan has been in the mainstream media a lot this summer. God began to lay on my heart a message of love that has been taking shape for the last few months and I knew that I had to write and share it with the world. As I started to see #lovewins everywhere, my heart broke. Not for the decision the supreme court made, but for the many people who have never experienced what true love is…the love of Christ. See, the world has cheapened what love is. Follow your heart, they say. God says your heart is deceitful above all things. It’s about what makes you happy, they say. God says let the joy of the Lord be our strength. The world offers a temporary, conditional love that will eventually pass away. The Lord offers an eternal, unconditional love that will last forever. The world’s version of love is about pleasing self; it’s about what you want and your desires. God’s word says the world and its desires will pass away. The Lord’s version of love is about pleasing Him; it’s about offering yourself and sacrificing your desires to bring about peace and love in the hearts of many. His word declares that the man that does the will of God lives forever, and this is His will, that we show the world His love so that many that are perishing will come to know this great love. So please understand that there are two versions of love out there and we must choose how we will love people: with a worldly love or with a godly love.
If we profess to know Christ, if we profess to have been rescued from the world by His death that lives in us, if we claim His salvation in our hearts and have been reconciled to Him, then love is a command. And not the worldly love that tells us to only love those that we deem worthy or that we think deserve our love, but everyone, and His Word says especially those of the faith. 1 John 4:16 tells us that if we live in love, then we live in God and He lives in us. Verse 19 tells us that we only know how to love because He first manifested His love in us. If we have no love in us, then His Word makes us out to be a liar (verse 20) and tells us that if we cannot love our brother or sister who we can see in the flesh, then how can we love God who we cannot see. You see, our proof or evidence that God exists and has come to rescue the souls of many is in the way we love and show His love to the world. Who will believe us if they can’t see His love in our hearts?
Love. Seems like such a simple command, then how come it is so difficult? Even though we have experienced the love of Christ when He died on the cross for our wretched souls, showed us mercy by rescuing us from the punishment of our sins, and continues to show us His grace everyday by lavishing His love and riches, that we do not deserve, in our lives, we continue to experience worldly, fleshly desires because we live in these human bodies. Love is a choice. We choose whether we will love our neighbor. We wrestle everyday with that choice. The struggle is real! Our fleshly desires are constantly battling our spiritual desires and will continue to battle them until we see Him face to face and know Him fully, with every part of our being. Some days, loving like He loves seems impossible and to the world, it is. That’s why they settle for a cheap version of His love. His love seems like it will cost too much.
His Word gives us a picture of what His love is and what His love looks like in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (verses 4-8). The world cannot love like this because it does not know God. You who have Christ in your heart, in your life, can. You can love like this because He first loved you like this. When you’ve been wronged, when you’ve been hurt, when you’ve lost everything, when you have nothing or no one, when you feel as though a relationship is beyond repair, you can love like this. Love is what binds everything together in perfect unity. Love is what holds everything together. Love does not cost us anything. It cost Him everything, His life, so that we might know that kind of love in our hearts and love others with that kind of love. It IS possible. But it takes a daily submission to His will. It takes a choice: choosing to love every single day. Some days will be harder, but He has overcome the world and in that, we can have hope.
So love wins. His love wins. Every single time. How can we show Him how much we love Him? By loving His people. And bringing a message of love and hope to a lost and dying world that thinks #lovewins means having desires for whoever you want. Offering the real thing in place of a cheap version. How we love others will declare His message and truth in our hearts. So the next time you are given a choice of whether to love like the world loves or how God loves, know that how we love others will be the evidence of how we love God. Choose His love. Every single day. The world needs to see and experience God’s love.