How do we love others?
“Do not let grace and truth leave you — bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and esteem in the sight of God and of people.” (Proverbs 3:3,4)
The more television we watch, the more we are given a clearer perspective of how the world views ‘love’. This word has come to mean ‘lust’, ‘like’, ‘appreciate’ and so much more. Yet, seldom does the word ‘love’ mean what God meant for it.
In the verses, above, love, for God means grace and truth; these are two qualities He has given us, as is His character, have mostly been abandoned, even in circles of believers.
Most of us, including many, many believers, love those who love us. Do we love those who don’t love us or who disagree with us? Do we love those who reject us? I know this is the way most of the world operates. Is this how we, believers in the One true God, function?
The word ‘love’ is mentioned in the Bible more than 340 times, giving us an understanding of its importance. But what is love and how does it function?
Love is more than an emotion. Yes, when we first feel it, it gives us a warm feeling inside. What does it feel like, when it has been with us for years? Those who study Scripture know love was given to us by God. He loved us first, thus we are able to love Him and others. Is the love we feel for God the same love we feel for our sweethearts, our wives, our children, our friends, for humanity?
The most-often viewed Bible verse on love, is found in 1 Corinthians 13. In this chapter, written by Rav Sha’ul, the Apostle Paul, love is characterised as heart-felt patience and kindness. This is what is meant by our stopping to help someone in trouble, who needs assistance, even when we are on our way to worship.
True love, the love Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, has for us, is above emotion. It is logical and plainly visible in our way of dealing with those around us. Without love we are, as Rav Sha’ul clearly stated, in 1 Corinthians 13, blaring brass and clanging cymbals – hollow sounds of little importance.
A few years ago, when my beloved wife, Chantal, and I were walking in downtown Toronto, we came across a man begging for money for food. We offered to take him to a grocery store to buy food for himself, food he would not need to heat or cook. He was overcome with emotion and asked us why we do this for him? We explained this is what God wanted of us and we try to do as He wishes. We left him with enough food for a while and enough tools to open cans and packages and with the message God asked us to leave with him. We never saw this man again and we pray he has met someone else who has taken him further on God’s path. This little example is love. This is patience and kindness shown to those who so desperately need it. We have been in similar situations since, in other cities, and we will continue to give of ourselves in this way, whenever we can. This is what loving others means.
CONSIDER: When you come across someone who needs help, do you extend yourself as much as you can? Are you open to showing the love God showed you to others?
ACTION: The only reward we will receive, when we do reach out to others is the blessing the Blessed Holy Spirit of the Living God gives us. Is this not worth the effort, the time and the resources needed?
PRAY: Abba B’Shamayim, Heavenly Father, thank you for the resources and the opportunities you give us to help others around us. Thank you for putting them on our paths. We pray we will always extend to others the love you have given and still give to us. B’Shem Adonai Yeshua, Mashichainu, in the Name of our Messiah, the Lord Jesus, Amen.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you fully and richly.