Ask yourself this question: Am I a Christian? What is a Christian? A week ago we celebrated a holiday called, ‘New Years Day.’ For Christians, it’s a time to let old things pass away and all things become new. And the one thing all Christians need to become new in is ‘love.’ If you are a Christian, you have a ‘mind’ through which Christ thinks. You have a ‘voice’ through which Christ speaks. You have a ‘hand’ through which we help, and a ‘heart’ through which Christ loves.
The essence of our existence is centered in relationships and love. We cannot truly experience either of these without first having a right relationship with God. Love is as strong as death. It cannot be killed by time or disaster. It cannot be bought for any price, because it is freely given.
But our society confuses lust with love. Unlike lust, God’s kind of love is directed outward towards others, not inward towards ourselves. The type of love I am writing about in this commentary is ‘unnatural.’ It is possible only if God ‘supernaturally’ helps us set aside our own desires so we can give love while expecting nothing in return. Therefore the closer we come to Christ, the more love we will show to others.
Read 1 John: 4. Notice in verse 7 that we are not commanded to love. Why? Because John is writing to Christians who are to be “of God.” If you are “of God,” that inward spirit will let you love back spontaneously. All people have the capacity to love, but it is the world that changes love. It is Satan that changes love, it is the desires of the flesh that change love from what God originally intended. One of the most beautiful scenes in the Bible is in John 21. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him.
Most of the preaching and teaching on that scripture is about ‘feed my sheep,’ and we miss what Jesus is all about. Jesus didn’t ask, “Do you believe in me, or will you obey me, or are you sorry for denying me?” Jesus asked “Do you love me?”
I believe He gave Peter the opportunity to clear his mind, to renew his conscience, and to start fresh. Jesus is giving us the same opportunity to start fresh as we enter this New Year. Love is our key to the Kingdom of Heaven.
My weekly prayer is for the reader of this commentary to become spiritually inspired of God. Contact Expressions of Faith at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203 or e-mail <email@example.com>. God bless!