“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
A beautiful paradox in our Redemption is that God is not only our Lord and Savior, but also our Friend. I am so moved by Jesus’ love for all men. This morning the Lord was speaking to me about loving people, especially loving my brothers and sisters in Christ. If Jesus sets the example in loving and being a friend to all men, believers and not, we should certainly walk in the same love as He has. I was thinking about how if Jesus commands us to love the tax collectors and sinners, how much more should we love our family in Christ. The love for our brothers and sisters in Christ can be stronger because we are loving God in them. I’m not saying that we should have a private club of our Christian friends and family and favor them, but I do believe that the love we have for them can be stronger and deeper because of our joint unity in Christ.
In John 15 Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us. He then paints a clear picture that love is laying down your life for another. Jesus then drops a bombshell that He, our Creator, Savior and Lord is now our Friend. Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior, Master and now our Friend is asking us to lay down our life for our brothers and sisters. Often we read that verse and imagine Jesus is meaning a dramatic life and death-jumping in front of a train or taking a bullet for another sort of act. I believe that when Jesus told us to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters, He was giving us a daily mandate, not a dramatic death. I believe that the real test of love is not taking a bullet for another, but it is the daily death of laying down our life for eachother. We’re called to a daily death of self for the sake of the world. The path of obedience for me is to love God passionately and faithfully wherever He brings me, and to love the person right in front of me, no matter who they are, what they have done to me or what they believe.
I had to stop and ask myself some questions this morning and I pray that you will join me in searching the depths of our hearts, emptying our heart and taking upon His humble love to lay down at others feet. How do I love His church? Am I spreading forgiveness or bitterness to those around me? Am I growing flowers of joy or seeds of discontentment? Am I loving and encouraging in the Holy Spirit, or am I imitating a false earthly love? Do I sit on my pedestal or get down on their level? Love covers a multitude of sins. Do I overlook faults and weaknesses of others, or do I cling to any wrong they do?
Application: He’s calling me to daily lay down my life for my brothers and sisters. This is only possible by emptying myself and walking in the humility of His Spirit. Today I will slowly go through these questions and personally discuss them with my roomates. We will pray for humility and love for all.