“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
One of the greatest commandments that the Lord gives to a human being is to love. When Jesus was asked; which is the greatest commandment? He replied; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
Too many times, people get caught up in fruitless arguments and they forget to love one another in Christ. The Bible gives a beautiful and perfect example of love in John 3:16. It says; “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” When God sent His only Son to die for mankind and to rise again that they might have eternal life, it was the greatest symbol of love that the world has ever seen. Jesus gave Himself as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all human beings for the purpose of reconciling them back to God and imparting His love into their hearts. It is through this ultimate sacrifice of love that mankind can have a restored communion and fellowship with God.
Another depiction of love is found in Matthew 1:18-21 (NIV); “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.’”
In that time and culture a woman that committed adultery was put to death, often through stoning. Mary had not committed adultery; however Joseph did not know this. He was informed of her pregnancy, and thought that Mary had been with another man. Out of his love for her, he did not have her stoned and put to death. It was not until a short time later that Joseph was visited by an angel that shared with him that Mary had indeed conceived within her womb by way of the Holy Spirit. Joseph loved Mary enough to believe the best in her, and not to publicly humiliate her. He did not understand all that had transpired with her or all that was taking place; but he chose to show his wife compassion, kindness, and unconditional love.
Too often in life people are quick to point the finger at others in accusation. When in actuality, the person being accused may be doing what God has called them to do; or they may be choosing to walk out their lives in the manner that they see fit. Either way the Bible says; “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV). Had Joseph chosen to judge his wife and publicly bring her to shame; she would have been mocked, ridiculed, and put to death.
I encourage you to love those around you. Show love through the integrity, character, and honor of your heart. Love even the “unlovely;” the ones who would be easier to cast aside. As you give love, the Lord will give back to you so much more. More than you can contain, and more than you could ever think possible. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over…”Luke 6:38(NKJ).
You can start by praying this prayer aloud to Him;
Dear Lord Jesus,
I ask that You would forgive me of my sins and wash me clean with Your blood. Forgive me for my judgments and the lack of love that I have shown others. I ask that You would help me to be a light in a dark world, and that Your love would shine through me, oh Lord. I ask that You would fill me with Your love, and help me to be the person who You have called me to be. Help me to walk in integrity and purity, so that I can be an example to others and a blessing to those around me.
In Jesus Mighty Name I Pray,