Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
For centuries, the ancient philosophy of, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” appears to be even today’s socially accepted and most practiced ideology. Affiliation to an exclusive organization is how one may possibly get their “foot in the door.” That’s one major reason why we join elite social clubs, enlist in military branches and even carefully conclude what colleges to attend. That Greek name on your t-shirt may one day land you in a better financial situation than you had ever imagined. The name on your degree from that prestigious Ivy League institution, may in fact separate you from all other dog-eat-dog competitors. That very label on your jersey, the symbol of your franchise can quite frankly push you past your current social class; we hope.
But our Fathers’ love expands the universe and is inconceivable among men. His thoughts are not like ours, neither are his ways even similar to most of our actions (Isaiah 55:8). He says,
We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
To love is the base of almost every major religion and belief system. Though theology may differ on what’s to become of human existence, it’s pretty clear that becoming selfless helps inspire a healthy and socially productive world. What God did, and is doing; is blocking the common notion of us only being close to someone to show love. We love our friends, our “church buddies” and most importantly, our family. Because of our inherited selfish nature, sometimes a few factors play into our height of compassion.
It’s easy for most of us to put a limit on our affection. Past and present actions of certain individuals have left a “bad taste in our mouth.” Maybe you were abandoned, stolen from, cheated on, deceived and lied to. We quite often build up walls and decrease our friendship “circle”. That’s why we need to rely of God’s Spirit to strengthen us in those troubled times. How else can we find the courage to love our enemies?
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
I like how the Message Bible put this; “do you expect a pat on the back?” Our most well-known proclamation of our faith rest on John 3:16. For God LOVED, and GAVE!
Jesus makes it clear that there is a reward in loving people in whatever circumstance they may find themselves. We are instructed to give what is necessary for the expansion of God’s Kingdom. Whether it be clothing, food, compassion or our most valuable commodity-OUR TIME!
Shawn “Three D.” Thomas is a musician, songwriter, teacher and minister of the Gospel. Along with those gifts and God-given talent, he is a husband and loving father.