How Far Will You Go For Love?
Can we show the love of Christ in every situation in our lives? Can we be firm with a brother/sister with love? With compassion, can we lead the lost to Jesus? Love has many faces. The Greek language used four different words for love, storge refers to the natural affection parents have for their children; eros is romantic love; filia is friendship; and agape is unconditional love, the love God has for us. Love can be confusing and send many signals, thatís why in the Greek language itís broken down.
Love is composed of many ingredients as Paul showed in his first letter to the Corinthians
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
Jesus was draped in the robe of love, whether being firm in His teachings to His disciples, or rebuking the Pharisees for exalting themselves above it. Here are a few examples from the gospels.
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "
12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"
13He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.[a] If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
15Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."
16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "( Matthew 15:10-20)
In verse fourteen Jesus boldly tells the disciples to leave the Pharisees or they will fall into the same pit. Jesus didnít candy coat it! He didnít dance around for days waiting for the right time to speak! He firmly with love told them of the impending danger. Then in verse sixteen when Peter had no earthly idea of what Jesus just explained, he asked for another explanation. Then unexpectedly, ďAre you still so dull?Ē Can you imagine your in a worship service with thousands of people, the pastor was thirty minutes into his hour sermon and he noticed the congregation seemed lost and suddenly one man stood up and interrupted and ask him to explain it again. What do you think the pastor would say, would he explain it in another way? Would he say, ďAre you still so dullĒ to his congregation? Probably not, he would more than likely dance around the situation and let them know that cdís of the sermon would be available after the service.
Jesus knew His love had to be firm with those on the meat and be gentle with the babes on milk. But when faced with the afflicted or the lost, love came forth through compassion to draw them closer. In (Mark 5:1-20) His love for the demon possessed man led Jesus to break the fetters of bondage and cast out the legion from with in, and sent them into two-thousand pigs that plunged to their death in the lake. After receiving his freedom through Christ, the man wanted to follow Him. But Jesus refused his request, and sent him to his family to be a witness and to share his new found love. Jesus cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:1-3).She followed him to the cross and was with Him in death (Mark 15:37-41). Mary was at the tomb and witnessed His resurrection (Matthew 27:58-61, 28:1-10). Mary found love and followed it through death and resurrection.
We are all faced with situations daily on how we should represent love. When our children act up we discipline them with punishment, because we love them and want them to grow into Godly adults. What gain is it, to only love our own flesh and blood? Love reaches out and tells its neighbors of the dangers of following blind leaders. Love sometimes has to raise its voice to get are attention. ďAre you still so dull?Ē Today we need wisdom more than ever to know when to speak and when to listen. Love can be seen without a word even being spoken, then theirs times we have to use strong words, "Are You Still So Dull?". The word is filled with example of how Jesus conquered all situations with love. The more His word lives in you, the more His love shines from you. How far will you go for love?
Lord, we thank you for being love in all its abundance and we ask that you increase our wisdom so that we donít misrepresent your love. Make us sensitive to Your Spiritís guidance so that we will know when to speak and when to remain silent in every situation. Amen
© Randall Wadley 2007
All scriptures are from The New International Version unless noted.
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