Monday, May 22, 2017
You Can't Put Love on Cruise Control
First of all the East Indian pastor was congratulated and applauded because this last week, he became a U.S. citizen. He had been the pastor of this church for two years and he expressed his gratitude and love to the congregation because they loved him even before he became a citizen. We sang "America. America. God shed His grace on thee, and crowned thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea." Oh, that we natural born Americans truly had the gratitude of living and appreciating this great land as those who were deprived and marginalized and now know freedom and liberty.
The pastor went on to give a beautiful message about loving to the nth degree -- on purpose. He told this story:
"A very astute businessman, as well as a loving and devoted husband, wanted to be absolutely sure he wasn't one of those guys that forgot his wife's birthday or anniversary. So, he made a deal with the florist to ALWAYS send his wife flowers on her birthday AND their anniversary, without fail. The card with the flowers always said, "With all my love, your loving husband". Year after year, she felt so loved and remembered by her husband. Then, on one of the occasions, the husband came home, saw the flowers and said, "Nice flowers. Who are they from?" Ouch! He got caught. The pastor said, "You can't put love on cruise control or auto pilot! Love is on purpose. Love is being present. John 13:35 says "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Here's a love test to know we're loving disciples....or not! Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and it not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own way, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
If we combine 1 Corinthians 13 and John 13, what would our lives look like? How would people come to recognize Christians? Well, they would know us by our patience. They would know that we are Christians by our contentment, modesty, and humility. They would recognize us, for we would not be rude. We would seek the best for others, be difficult to make angry, and refuse to keep count of how many times we've been hurt. They would know us because evil makes us sad, and truth makes us happy. They would know us because we protect the defenseless and we do not live in suspicion of others. They would know us by our hope. They would know us by our perseverance. That is what love looks like. Those should be the marks of Christ’s disciples.
It's our responsibility to change what the world thinks of Christians. It’s our responsibility to demonstrate that radical love St. Paul described to the Corinthians. Because then, one by one, people might start to know Jesus a little better. Because then, one by one, we could really reach the world with this radical, biblical, Christ-like love.
Labels: 1 Corinthians 13, auto pilot, cruise control, disciples by our love, John 13, love is patient, love talk, love walk, loving disciples, the love test, they will know we are christians by our love
It was just "puppy love" that brought my Honey and I together at the ages of 13 and 12. We eventually married at the "mature" ages of 18 and 17. And that's when our faith journey began. Over the years, we encountered many opportunities to stretch our faith, especially when our babies were very sick, when financial situations were out of control, and when our marriage relationship had some rocky periods.But we made it through those times by our strong faith and trust in God. But never was our faith more challenged, than when my 63 years "young" husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Fortunately, the 44 years of marriage and faith-building experiences, caused us to "weather the storm", and still remain in peace and strong in our faith. This "peace that passed understanding" compelled me to blog and share the principles that caused our faith to be unwavering and continues to give me the joys of living large! I'm still here, so I'm not done!. I pray you will grow in your faith as you, not only read the blogs, but apply the principles to your own life -- for the good times, and especially for those times that seem so overwhelming.