I heard a comment the other day, the comment was: “Well enough of this ‘love’ thing, what can we actually do about this problem…?”
This person had given up on love and wanted action. I can confidently say that person does not have a grasp on love. You see love is the response, love is the action.
God is the exact representation of love and Christmas is proof of that love. When God, after 400 years of silence, sent a little baby to an unwed pregnant teenager, He was loving the whole world. It was not just any baby, but His Son.
Now that might not be my answer to a worldwide problem, the people had not heard from God, had given up on God, did He even exist? They wanted to hear from Him for so long, most of them had given up. I certainly would have tried to come up with a better plan than a pregnant teenager.
Well, it might be a great time to have a little love refresher.
“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
16 attributes listed by God of what love is, we cannot take any of those attributes out, or live by only a couple of them, love is the complete and total accumulation of all of the 16 pieces.
God wrote the definition of love and then He lived it out through the life of Jesus Christ. God is complete and total love, He is all of those 16 attributes and all at the same time – He never changes.
We tend to think of love as some soft, squishy, feel good emotion, but the love described in 1 Corinthians is anything but. Emotions are adjectives, nouns, something we feel. The love described above is a verb – an action word. It requires actions not feelings. Love does not always feel good!
Love is not a weak-willed doormat kind of living. It is bold, courageous all at the same time. It takes so much courage to love, so much giving up of yourself. Mary the pregnant teenager, mother of Jesus, had this courage.
All those wonderful people who risked their lives to save the Jewish people in WW 2, those actions were not law abiding, but they were loving.
Those people who forgive you, not because you deserve it or even that they feel like it, but because it is the “right” thing to do, it is hard but it is loving.
The people who went against society and spoke out and changed laws to abolish slavery, that was hard, they paid for it, but it is loving.
Love takes action in tough circumstances. Sometimes love says “no” .. Has God ever said “no” to you? If you are like me He has said it lots!
There are times where we have to lovingly say no to our children, spouses, family and others over drugs, porn, adultery, gambling, alcohol. No finger pointing, no judging, no belittling, done in the love way we do what is best for both of us. Tough love can truly be love in action, we do not give up on people, just like God never gives up on us. Abuse is never loving - to yourself or the other person. God gives us parameters on how to live, but never forces us, He lets us choose and even if we walk away – He loves us the same.
Love is not found in buildings, it is not found in many places, and even harder to find in people – but it is found in its creator, God. He defined it, He created it, He exemplifies it – He is Love. Giving us free will is the most loving thing He could do.
God is perfect love that means He loves you and He loves your enemy, He created both and both are His children.
The Christmas season is here, whether we look forward to it or dread it, December has come once again. The message of Christmas has not changed down the years, the baby is the answer God gave the world. It was not a random thought on God’s part. It truly was and is the hope of the world – that has not changed.
Perhaps, if we stand still long enough in the hustle and bustle of this crazy Christmas season and ask God to reveal Himself to us, we might hear the cry of a newborn baby far off in the distance. It was His love plan over 2,000 years ago and it is still His love plan today; life, purpose, love and joy can be found in a barn, in a little baby and His name is Jesus. He the reason for the season.