Recently I read an article about a mudslide in Washington state. The writer did an excellent job of telling the story. People were engulfed in mud and debris inside their homes as the slide destroyed around 49 homes. The neighbors and townspeople all pitched in to help. People went through shoulder deep mud and risked their lives when they would hear a scream for help. I don't know if the people were Christians but I really sensed love in action. They were willing to lay down their own lives to help those in need.
Somehow in this religious world we seem to have lost the real meaning of love. God said it plainly when he gave Hi Son Jesus.
John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever would believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
God sacrificed his son. Jesus sacrificed his life for others when he went to the cross willingly. That is the true message of love. Love is not self-pleasing. We so often hear people say that they love someone but it is so shallow. Many people will love as long as it does not cost them something. If it means to help a person with finances, or hours of labor then love seems to go out the window. If it means to give up a football game or any kind of fun thing that cost is too great. If it means to give up a trip that you always wanted to make so to help a neighbor with a past due bill or to take them to the store or doctor that is just too high a price to pay.
I have always heard the statement that actions speak louder than words. Even in a marriage you say that you love your mate yet when they need help with something it messes up your about me time. I really believe that true love should always be about the other person. Even if in a marriage if both would take on the mentality that they should always put the other person's wants and needs first there would be no selfishness and both would have their needs met. It seems the problems come when it becomes about self rather than your mate.
I know of a person that supposedly is a Christian woman. She says that she loves people yet her love only goes so far as words. If a person has a financial need then her love seems to stop. She is this way with her own children. Her kids are grown but going through great financial difficulties. She says that she loves them but offers no assistance. She does not even ask if she can do anything for them to help. The kids are full of resentment and bitterness because they see their mother give money away constantly to political groups. They feel unloved and that their mother just does not care about them. I can understand how she has become a catalyst for the enemy to bombard them with all the emotions and feelings that they have. They constantly battle those feelings even though they know they should not carry them. They do not seem to want to help their mother because of the feelings. I can understand why they would have them but yet we are supposed to forgive though not always an easy thing to do. Thank God for the grace to do so.
The Bible says that God is love. As a born-again Christian we should have love. One of the fruit of the spirit is love. So when a person seems to be void of love, I have to question if they ever really met the Lord at all. Love is also not self-pleasing as found in 1 Corinthians 13 verses 1-4.
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
According to the above scripture if we get so selfish and have the world's goods and do not share then the scripture also questions how the love of God can be in the person. Much of the church has made Christianity all about self. Jesus came to give and if He really is our Lord then our life should be about giving in one way or another to others. The greatest joy is in giving not getting. If we are going to say that we love a person then our actions need to prove it.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
The people in Washington state were willing to lay down their lives for their friends. I wonder how many of us would lay down our life for another person? Does our love stop at the point that it will cost us something, maybe even our life? Do we love our own life so much that we would not surrender it to save another? If we know Jesus the worst thing that would happen is that we would go to Heaven and be with our Savior. That doesn't sound so bad to me!