2 Corinthians 8:24 – Therefore show to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love…
It’s so easy to talk about love and to say ‘I love you’, but where is the demonstration? God demonstrated His love for us while we were sinners. He loved us before we loved Him. He wanted us when we didn’t want anything to do with Him. His love for us is not based on feelings. He chose to love us and He loves us without conditions.
The scribes loved the uppermost rooms at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues (Matthew 23:6). They loved to go in long clothing and they loved salutations in the marketplaces (Mark 12:38), but the scriptures never mentioned that they loved God or His people. But woe unto you, Pharisees! You give God a tenth of the spices from your gardens, such as mint and rue, but you cheat people, and you don’t love God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things (Luke 11:42, CEV; NLT).
People will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another. If you think ministry is only about giving a word, then you’re not ready for ministry. Ministry is when you love your enemies. It is when you bless those that curse you. It is doing good to them that hate you and praying for those who despitefully use and persecute you. To operate effectively in your gifts and calling, you must operate in love. You can have the gift of prophecy, understand all mysteries and have faith that removes mountains, but if you don’t have love, you are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). Prophesying is good, but prophesies will fail. Love, however, will never fail (1 Corinthians 13:8).
So, what is love? According to scripture, love is when you do what God commands you to do (2 John 1:6). Love is when you do those things that please the Father. If you love Him, you will obey Him. There is no other commandment greater than the commandment to love. Not only did Jesus command us to love one another, but He prayed that the love the Father had for Him would be in all believers (John 17:26). He would never command us to do something that we couldn’t do. His commandments are not grievous. They are not difficult to obey, but we are the ones who have been difficult when it comes to obeying Him.
I (and maybe some of you) have mishandled God’s people at some point in time. We have rewarded evil to those who rewarded us good. Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it to Me”. Even though He was talking about clothing the naked, taking in a stranger, visiting the sick and those in prison, you can also look at this scripture in another way. When you were unfaithful to your spouse, you were unfaithful to Him. When you disobeyed your parents, you disobeyed Him.
Jesus prayed, “Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me”, but then He said, “Nevertheless not my will, but Your will be done”. He was telling the Father to do what was needed and not what He wanted. You see, our wants have not been meeting the needs of the people. At one time, we cared about the lives of others, but now we just care about our own lives and what we want, but that’s not the love of Christ. When Jesus saw people that were not healed or whole, He had compassion and pity on them. Jesus cared for them and He cares for you.
What do you care about?
Jesus, while in human form (so you and I don’t have an excuse), humbled himself and became obedient – unto death. Anytime you’re ready to give up on God or give up on the promises He gave you, you are not operating in love. Love bears all things – the good and the bad. Love doesn’t stop trusting God. Love believes what God said – unto death.
This generation will not know love by what we say, but by what we do. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18). The same love that drew you to Him is in you and is able to draw them. Love defeated Satan on the cross then and love is able to defeat him now because love always wins.
Prayer: Father, forgive us for loving pleasures more than we love You. Deliver us from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Just as you separated the Red Sea, separate us from the love of the world and restore in us the love of the Father. Just like Jesus, we will do those things that please You. You loved us. Now help us to love one another, in Jesus’ name.