I was praying and meditating today on the way back from one of my many service calls, and the brainstorm session with the Holy Spirit (actually a question/answer time of teaching) began to occur. The clarity that the Holy Spirit brought to Scripture that we all quote almost daily was refreshing. Actually it made me feel like an idiot for knowing the words, but not the Word (you can use that for free, put your name on it, it’s ok, it didn’t come from me anyway!).
In our efforts to do what He called us to do, it’s important that our underlying motive is love. If you want to reveal who God is to a lost world, you have to show love. Scripture says “GOD IS LOVE”. If you are telling someone about your Savior, and they can’t see love in your eyes, you may as well hang it up! Don’t pray for the sick, unless your love for them is the foremost motive in your heart.
My pastor was speaking on healing and deliverance recently, and began by saying that when you are praying for someone’s healing or for their deliverance from demonic posession/opression, you have to be moved with compassion just like Christ. What does the Bible say about Jesus when He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, opened the blind eyes, brought deliverance to the captives? It says He was moved by compassion. Compassion is having so much love for that person, that you have the posture of “Lord if You have to put this on me, so this person can be free, then let it be. My heart is broken, and I cannot handle seeing them live this way any longer”. Compassion is caring for their well-being more than you care to having a story to tell.
Street preachers sometimes are the worst examples of this. I saw one that weighed about 350lbs in the 95 degree heat at a local intersection screaming his lungs out to people with their a/c’s blowing and their windows up. He was holding a sign that said “Hell is Real”. I’m sure he was preaching the Bible, but was he practicing the Word? Now, I’m not one into the latest trend of preachers who sit and talk from a couch. I enjoy hearing a man of God share the Word the Lord has burned into his spirit with passion. This was not it! This was a guy telling lost people on the street what they were doing was wrong and they were going to hell. Where are the people of God who are weeping for the lost instead of revelling that they have something everyone else doesnt? If you truly have conviction that the lost are going to a literal, burning place called Hell, then show those people the most powerful attribute of God – LOVE.
What is Love? God is the definition of true love. Paul describes love in the 1 Cor 13:
1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
In Galations 5, when Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit, the first one he lists is LOVE.
Jesus upped the ante with the commandments when He said that an even greater commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. It’s a greater commandment than to not kill or to worship false idols!
Of all the gifts Christians chase, the least that they chase is the greatest. We hear enough teaching and read enough books on faith that every mountain on the planet would be in the ocean. Everyone wants to see someone healed, a demon cast out, a tumor fall off, and the dead raised. However, it’s hard to get these same people to go to the nursing home and bring a hug and a smile – sharing God’s love. You can’t get these people to serve food in a line at the soup kitchen unless it’s so they can be seen in the paper.
My fellow Christians – let’s get it straight: God is LOVE. Love is the greatest gift to walk in. Let everything you say, sing, and do be rooted in love. Then see how God changes the lives of those around you.