I can see how hardships can make people bitter toward life and toward other people. A tough life usually hardens the heart. I admire those who despite trials and suffering can still love and be kind to anyone. Keeping a good and positive attitude toward life is commendable. I have met people in the church who are great role models of love. They love others all the time. They probably have “off days” but I have never seen them on those more negative days. Then there are people who don’t believe in God but whose love is massive. They love unconditionally and they can teach anyone that love is the best way to live. Their love is exemplary and they fight for love. I thank the Lord for love and I am so grateful for the hearts of those who always stand for love no matter what is going on in their lives. As followers of Christ, we have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and love is the first fruit. At least love should be the first fruit but oftentimes it is not. Faith, peace and joy are regarded as crucial fruit and love comes after. However, without love the rest of the fruit doesn’t make sense. It is like having fruit that has no seed in it, not core, no substance and no taste. It is like an empty vessel whose exterior looks solid but it is missing the most important content. God is love and He desires for us to have love more than anything else. We pursue treasures and wealth of the earth when God wants us to pursue love first. We pray for financial blessings and worldly success because after all we live in this world, but the Lord tells us to seek love and to walk in love. Seek first the kingdom of God means seek love. Seek God and God is love. If only our most repeated prayers were about having more love, we would see a change in this world. We would see an army of soldiers whose love is the most powerful weapon they own and whose mission is to eradicate hate and division. Division is what the enemy wants. He wants us to be separated from God and separated from other people because the first commandment is to love God and love others like ourselves. The enemy also works hard at making us not love ourselves. He knows that low-self esteem leads to disliking others and it is a hurdle on the track of walking in love. Today I want to encourage you to seek love first. I want to encourage you to make love your goal in life and to focus on the King of love so you can see His kingdom manifested here on earth.
The unrest in this country and in cities across the globe is devastating. It looks like we are heading toward a war. A political and religious war. Injustice and discrimination have taken a toll on people and violence is rampant. People’s hearts have been violated and anger is growing all over the place. Love has taken a backseat and people’s number one agenda items are anything but love. I am not taking sides and I don’t want to make this political but what I know is that the Lord calls us to walk in love and to react to life with love. There is a need to start anything we do with love and this implies nurturing love and making it our priority. We might have to rewrite the order of our spiritual harvest. If we are collecting the fruit of peace and the fruit of joy but we are neglecting the fruit of love, it’s time we start looking for the bigger fruit. The Spirit of God put love in our hearts. His love needs to be activated and for some of us this requires work. Disliking others is very easy and simple but it doesn’t have to be our default setting. As a matter of fact, we ought to reset our hearts and let God invade the space in our spirits. If love is not what we allow to grow in our hearts guess what’s going to take its place. Love just like faith needs to be exercised. It should be seen as a muscle and it should be developed over time. We can always love more just like we could always have more faith. If love is more important than faith, and it is, love is a bigger seed. Faith and love work together. Let’s take our mustard seed of faith and the seed of love and give the Spirit of God a chance to grow a tree of love in us. That fruit of love can grow and grow and reach great proportions. It is that tree of love that can uproot negativity and hate.
We can choose how we react to life and reacting with love is key. It is reacting to life the way Jesus does. He is love 24/7 and He knows nothing but love. His love is unconditional and it can conquer anything. His love can go into the valleys of hate and leave the land filled with peace and hope. His love is the best response to the worst expressions of hate. Today we ought to walk in love even more because hatred has gained momentum and it is moving across the world at a fast pace. Let’s stop hate in its tracks and put our foot down by showing love. Let’s refuse to succumb to discrimination, hate and segregation. Let’s replace the jars of hate with vessels of love. Let’s be fruitful and give love from the heart as the Holy Spirit directs us. Let’s fall in love with love again and give it our best shot. Let’s make love contagious again. Let’s make love the language that people long to learn again. Let’s love for no reason. Let’s love with no motives other than to love others like Jesus said we should. Let’s resist the temptation to get angry and mad. Let’s give in to God. Let’s give life the God response and not the hate response. You and I can make an impact and we can make love famous (again). My prayer is that we reach the hearts of those who have gone cold and that we can warm them up with showers of love. Let’s treat life with love and we will create a chain reaction where people will pass love around and squash hatred. Let’s walk in love!
Suggested reading: 1 Corinthians 16:14; 1 John 4:8; 1 Peter 4:8