Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
In the aftermath of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples were surprised by the sudden appearance of Jesus in their midst. He came back for them after they had fled in fear. Following their encounter with Jesus, they became brave souls in sharing their faith experiences. When do we turn from fear and love following Jesus? The scriptures remind us that perfect love casts out fear. Fear paralyzes us while love sets us free.
Do we love Jesus enough to be set free from what limits us? When you consider the sacrifices made for us by Christ, we are graced by His love. It only seems natural to love Him back. In our love will we serve Him all the more? Will we serve humanity as well?
What does serving the Lord look like when you love Jesus enough to care about what happens to others? C.S. Lewis reminds us we will share eternity with those who are in heaven. What may seem like a small character flaw here on earth may be unbearable when you endure it forever in heaven. Love is the quality that can work past all weaknesses and failures. It is a quality written about in 1 Corinthians 13:
“(4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (5) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(13) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
When we love others in the name of Jesus our world can be transformed. Many will say it’s idealistic to think this way. But it is the formula for living eternal lives. We either are on this journey for eternity or not. Choose to love your fellow human beings as God would. For all who are living here in Christ, it will make eternity a much better place.
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