Friday, August 6, 2010
A word that we use so casually....we say that we love pizza, we love our dog, we love football and we love our spouses...and each time we use the word, it means something different. It is the most covered subject in all of music. Just imagine a world where there were no songs about love. Yet, even there the word is used casually, without any real thought to the meaning, and often it is is sung without the singer even experiencing what they are singing about. Many musicians and artists have gone through multiple spouses and / or partners that they live with, all the while singing great songs that move us emotionally about love, but that they themselves have never experienced.
Even the Beatles sang, "All you need is love, love is all you need." And then they broke up and sued each other multiple times in the years that followed the recording of that anthem to love from the sixties.
Yes, indeed we use the word "love" so very, very caually in our culture.
But there was nothing casual about the love of Christ.
John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
His was the greatest love that has ever existed.
No one can really question the love exhibited by the Son of God. He who gave His life so that you and I might live forever. He who gave His body at the whipping post. He who shed His blood for an uncaring world and a generation of perverts. he who left His home in heaven and came to a world of sinners who rejected Him and nailed Him on a cross. He who in love cried out to the Father, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." He who bowed His head in shame and suffering and then died for a world who hated Him and wanted nothing to do with Him.
That is love.
That is a love unlike any other.
There is no one who will read this (including myself) who would do tht for a world of people who do not care.
He did for you. He died for me. He died for us.
Because He loves you. Because he loves me. Because He loves us.
Because He IS LOVE!
But what gets me is that after this love has been discovered by so many people, after they have embraced Jesus as their Savior, after they have have recieved the gift of eternal life, then so often they...no, WE, WE (myself included), have the audacity, the arrogance, to indulge willfully in sin, to entertain ourselves with wickedness, to excuse or trivialize sin and neglect meeting together for worship and prayer. How sad is that!
I'm reminded of the verse in the book of Revelation, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me."
This verse is usually used in the context of someone who does not know Jesus and explaining to them that Jesus is wanting to come into their life, and to be their Lord and Savior...and while I have no problem when people use this verse in that way, that is not the context or purpose of this verse.
This verse, which is Revelation 3:20, is Jesus talking to a church! Do we realize the implication here? Maybe this can be applied to our church...or to break it down on a personal level...to us! Quite possibly Jesus has been left on the outside of our church services! It is possible that He has been left on the outside of our lives! This is what happens whenever the people of God leave behind their first love. Whenever they begin to love their position, prosperity, and programs more than they love Jesus. It happens whenever they love their time, their stuff, their things, their hobbies, their movies, their tv shows, their music more than they love Jesus. When that happens Jesus is on the outside saying, "Hey! Let me in! I want to eat with you. I want to share a meal...to be intimate with you." And we cannot hear Him knocking over the sound of our tv, movies, music, stuff, and most of all over the sound of our own selfish desires. We have invited Jesus into our hearts, but we want Him out of our lives.
We read in Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Now this is love people! Oh, I know it's not pretty, but real love is not pretty, it's messy. Real love winds up getting it's hands messy. It's dirty...sweaty...bruised...and yes, pierced. That is real love.
You see, Jesus didn't love me once I got it all together....He loved me when I was a mess! He didn't love me so that I could get it all together either! I've been following Jesus now for about 26 years, and I still don't have it all together...in fact, the more I follow Jesus, the more I realize just how much I don't have it all together. Jesus loved me, loves me, and will continue to love me so that I can have His "togetherness".
Let us love.
Let us show love.
Let us BE love.
Let us BE Jesus.
I know that I have a long way to go...but my goal, with each step I take, and with each breath I breathe...is to be more like Jesus...to love more like Jesus.
Hey, I've got a wild idea...why don't you join me?