Well, it has been a busy month. We have been busy with our first Fruit of the Spirit Study. We have successfully (?) studied all about love. A good friend of mine says, “If we can just get the love right everything else will fall into place.” She recently sent me a text to tell me it is based on Galatians 5:14, “The entire law is summoned up in a single command, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
It is time now to put our love into action. I was recently reminded through a study I am doing that during childhood you are busy learning everything. It’s all about gaining knowledge as a child. As a teen you think you know everything, but you have not gained the wisdom yet. So, as adults we are to put our knowledge to work and put into action what we have learned.
We need to put our love into action. It is so easy to say we love people, but when it comes to actually showing people we love them we often try to find the escape hatch. It’s easy to say words, but harder to put those words into action.
I think God has a funny sense of humor. He challenged me to study and apply the fruits of the Spirit to my life at the first of the year. We got through January by studying love. Now a new month is upon us and what is February all about? It is the love month; love is in the air. Unfortunately, February rolls around and we seem to remember those who are closest to us, friends, family and loved ones, but we often forget God has called us to love our enemies. He says in a certain scripture even sinners love their family, friends and loved ones. What credit is that to us? Luke 6:32, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”
The challenge for each of us this month has been and will be different. For me it’s really about loving all people of all ages, race and gender. It’s looking past their circumstances and seeing them as God sees them. For me it’s learning to love others unconditionally and whole heartedly; not holding back and not being fearful. What will that look like? I don’t know. How will I know? God will let me know.
As I look at our divided world I see people who are hurting, who want to be heard and who just want to know somebody cares. It’s time we put our differences aside and reach out to those who are hurting, and really listen to those who want to be heard and it’s time we let people know we care about their feelings. We can only do this through the love God has given us to share with one another.
I know for me it’s time to set my opinions aside and listen to all those who are different from me. I know it’s time to put the love God has for me into loving those I often find hard to love. It’s time to talk less and listen more. It’s time to reach out and touch those who might be smelly, or dirty or whatever. It’s time to fear less and love more. Abraham Lincoln once said, “I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend.” Loving my enemy like my friend is just one of the many challenges God has given me this month.
I hope God has worked in your life like he has mine. I hope you have discovered there is something more to this love thing than you thought before. My love is deeper for all people more than it has ever been before and you know the neat thing about it? God is not finished with me yet. We are just getting started.
I don’t care what your circumstance is, I don’t care if we have had our differences in the past, I don’t care if I haven’t met you, but I do want you to know I love you with the love the Lord has given me. I don’t say that lightly after this study.
I may never get to where Abraham was, but just maybe I am a step closer. I hope you are too!
I hope you are journeying with me. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us next month. Remember we can’t put love on the back burner, we are just adding it to the pot along with the next fruit. Stay tuned we are just warming up.
God bless each of you!