If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. — Luke 6.32I am continually asked, “Herb, how do we reach our post-modern, North American culture with this message of God’s love that you preach?” I often wince inside when I hear this. Most of the time people are expecting to hear about some new method or technique, but in truth, life is simpler than that. Jesus gives us the secret in the above verse to reach others for all time and in any culture: “Sinners love those who love them.” Could it really be that simple? It actually is.
How do we love those with whom we come in contact every day? Those we work with, play with, encounter in our recreation and daily activities? I have come up with only one answer to that. First, in all honesty, we can’t. All we can do is come to grips with our own identity as one who is passionately loved by God Himself. Only when this happens will love spring forth from us spontaneously to those we meet. This is the promise Jesus made to the woman at the well. If she could just taste the living water of God’s unconditional love for her, then that love itself would become a well-spring of living water (unconditional love) springing up and overflowing to all those around her. John said it, too.
We love because He first loved us. — I John 4:19.
All God ever asks us to do is love. But truly, all we can do is believe how much we are loved, and then simply let His love spread out to the world around us. How will people respond? Why don’t we just try it and see? I close this week once again with the words of the apostles Paul and Peter.
Therefore be imitators of God . . . , and walk in love — Ephesians 5:1, 2
The end of all things is near . . . . above all, let your love for one another be intense. — 1 Peter 4:7, 8
I wish you God’s best this week.