"If there is one word that would shape and identify who we are, what we do, how we do it, when we do it, where we do it, why we do it, and to whom and for whom we do it, it should be the word love." -Peter Prime
Think about your day and everything accomplished, specifically the motivation behind each task. What was done in or for love? And not the kind of love that we read about in books or see in romantic movies? What was done in the love that is of God, the sacrificial, gentle, patient kind of love? What was done to show our love to God or our love for our friends?
Sadly enough I think that many of us Christians, including myself sometimes, could look back on our day and pick out one or two things that we intentionally did in love. And we can lay in bed utterly exhausted and drained and not be experiencing the love of Christ. And my question is this.. If we can go to church week after week, go to a Christian school, be involved in community service, be studious, serve God as a missionary... what is the point if we don't know the love of God personally? It's worthless. What we don't do in love for or with God or for the people around us will not matter eternally.
In John 13:35 Jesus says that love is the ultimate evidence by which the world should be able to distinguish his disciples. And so often I have to wonder do I really love people enough to look different than the crowd around me?
At my university we are constantly getting preached at "that Jesus loves us" and while it is nice to be reminded of the love of God it is almost demeaning the value and the principles behind who God is and what His love can do and really means. What is love? To even begin to understand love we must study the Word of God but to gain love we must truly experience Him. Personally I believe this is why so many millenialists and younger people are leaving the church. You can say tell them Jesus loves them but unless your loving them and the people around you in the same radical way they see right through you. And if they haven't ever known Christ and seen the way He actually wants to work in their life, changing their personalities and hearts, giving them that deep joy and peace, they cannot understand and don't care to pretend.
Friends, this love thing has been totally perverted by culture, by our selfish desires, and by friends in the church. Right now we are only scribbling on a chalkboard and barely scratching the surface just to see a glimpse of the love of Christ. "For now we see only a reflection as in the mirror; but then we shall see face to face."
Sometimes I have to stop and put a pause on "everything good" I think I am doing in life just stop and come back to the cross and say "Hey God I got lost I forgot that love was the only thing that mattered." When community service doesn't matter, grades don't matter, friendships don't matter, I know that nothing matters except for continually experiencing your love for me enough that it can be overflowing to the people around us.
Love is such a basic principle but the most beautiful, complex, and mysterious concept. It doesn't makes sense but it's God's character- his unchanging perfect self- and it's the only way we as Christians display his pleasing aroma to the world around us.