I woke up this morning with this thought:
The majority of Christians don’t really know how to love sinners.
I know that even using the word “sinners” sends an alarm to the soul, especially when I expressed the word “Christians” in the same sentence. You may read it as if I am placing one as elitist and one as lesser than. I am not.
Here’s the fact:
That is fact. Yes.
However, when one is personally overcome with the REALITY of God’s all-consuming forgiveness, everything changes! E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
Here’s where we live today:
“Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.” ~Matthew 24:12 (HSCB)
Some translations use the word abound and others use the word increase. Whether lawlessness and intentional disobedience to our Heavenly Father is abounding, increasing, or multiplying, we may want to take a close look at the result of such living. It’s quite sad, actually.
Cold Love has multiplied into and around most environments that we live in. The workplace. Our schools. And sadly, the church.
I have wondered recently if people would just be honest and admit when they have difficulty loving someone, what the next step might be. You would THINK that it would be to simply “will themselves” into offering the other person a clean slate, but that really is NOT the starting point. Forgiveness is just not something that can be mustered up with the very best human intention.
So, where IS the hope to warm up that cold love?
I believe that even though the answer seems hard to find, it desperately longs to be found out.
Perhaps the one who cannot love has not truly awakened to the intense reality of his and her own forgiveness.
Maybe pride shadows the need for it; perhaps insecurity screams a lack of deserving it.
Whatever the deception, the person shoulders the heavy load of bitterness or shame and then tries to remove the weight by hurling rocks at others. Or with a sense of hopelessness the person falls under the weight of his/her own disgrace.
I dare say that we even have churches full of people who don’t believe that God has completely forgiven them. People cannot forgive others because they cannot forgive themselves. People cannot love others because they have not received forgiveness. But it doesn’t have to remain so.
The washing of God’s all-consuming forgiveness, from the extended sacrifice of Christ’s shed blood on the Cross does something absolutely remarkable—something that cannot be put well into words on a page. God’s forgiveness consumes one like a flood and changes everything. Forgiveness heals the deepest wounds of the past, and offers the extended power of pure love over every moment that lies ahead.
One of the most glorious and touching passages of Scripture is found in Luke Chapter 7. This woman knew
her sin. She was not trying to pretend to be someone that she wasn’t. She anointed Jesus with expensive oils and then washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
“Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” ~Luke 7:47
What do you and I need in order to “love much?”
We do not need programming. We do not need education or seminary. We do not need someone else to love others for us.
We need to be forgiven.
(And Someone else did do that for us. It is finished. It is now. It is yours; you are His.)
When you start there, the rest takes care of itself. You will begin to love like never before.
And you will love much.
Perhaps over time we will see evidence of a love that has been warmed back to life.
Once your cup is full, an outpouring to others can begin.
Warm Love: One Cup At A Time