Monday, December 29, 2014

Why sometimes loving God is not enough

1st Peter-
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow upon your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

I was in church this morning when the words "Why loving God is not enough" came out of my pastors mouth. Wait, did I hear that right? Loving God is not enough? Let me clarify. For sake of getting into Heaven and being a believer- loving God is enough. We have been taught that whosoever believes in him will have eternal life. However, as believers, why do we stop there? He explained it this way: You cannot live for God and not love others. These things cannot be separated; they must go hand and hand. If you meet God and you tell him, "Lord, O Lord, I have loved you every day!" He would give you the proper praise but quickly ask you, "Have you loved my people? Your brothers?" We cannot truly love God if we don't love those around us.

I have read countless verses in the Bible telling us how we should love others, just as 1st Peter 22 does. But not many go into detail of how we should not love others. Just as chapter 2 says, we should not be malicious, hypocritical, envious, or slanderous. And these are things I struggle with every day. To love others purely, we must put these things aside. But how do we do that? That's where we must crave it. Like a newborn, we have to want this more than we want to live. Once we crave it like we crave life itself, we will be born again and able to love others more purely. However, cravings can go both ways. We can also crave things that are bad for us. We can have cravings that push us away from God. But ultimately, as humans, we are beings of desire. And we desire the things we need the most. Our craving for God should always outweigh out cravings for any worldly thing. 

Our hardest thing about loving others is that we believe they don't deserve it. They don't deserve our forgiveness. They're a bad person, they wronged you, they continue to hurt you. Most times when we have such strong hateful feelings towards a person, we haven't given them the time of day to explain themselves. Sometimes we've never even met the person. But suppose you have sat down with them, and they're as bad as you thought. Maybe even worse. They go against you every single day when you have done nothing but good to them. Now go back and realize that this person is yourself every day, and that Christ has decided to love you endlessly anyway. Christ's unending love for us is a perfect example of how we ought to love others.

Don't make others wonder if you have tasted the Lord's goodness. Show in your every day life- every day, every hour, every minute, every second- that you have tasted that the love of Christ. Don't let your actions be deceiving. See to it that no one misses the grace of God. Make it your job as a Christian to show others the love God will show you for eternity. You can't just be in love with Jesus, you have to be in love with his people too.