Tuesday, September 10, 2013
A ROADBLOCK TO MISSIONAL LIVING: A Lack Of Sincere Love For The Lost!
The best well-known Bible verse is John 3:16. It teaches us that God's love for the world (sinners) is what compelled Him to send His Son to die on a cross, so that people of this world wouldn't have to experience the wrath of God but instead everlasting life. It was God's love that was the motivation for Christ’ mission of seeking and saving that which was lost. Love was the motivation for why Christ was willing to sacrifice His own life, so that we might live. It was love that made it possible for God the Father to, not only send, by to sacrifice His only Son.
Now, that’s simply amazing when you think about it. Let me try to put in a context that will help us wrap our minds around this amazing kind of love. Imagine for a moment that you have a beautiful child that means the world to you. You love him, care for him and this child brings you such tremendous joy that you would do anything for him. But now imagine a neighborhood filled with drunken bums that have made a shamble of their lives through drug, alcohol and addiction. God’s love that sent Jesus to die on the cross for us who are sinners would be like you sending that beautiful child to die on behalf of those drunken bums. That’s hard to imagine isn’t it! Who could actually do that? Well, God did and there’s only one reason why He did, and that because of His amazing love for us. We don’t deserve His love and there’s nothing about us that would compel Him to love us but it’s because it’s in God’s nature to love! That’s why Jesus went to the cross for us.
GOD LOVES US!
The roadblock that keeps us from joining Christ on this mission is because we don’t love others like that. Oh, we might love our family like that to some degree or we might love one of our friends like that but what about your neighbor next door that you’ve hardly met? Do we love our co-workers enough to sacrifice for them so they might experience God’s forgiveness of sin?
Some might be willing to share with others they don’t know if it doesn’t cost them too much or if it’s not to inconvenient. But are willing to offer up sacrificial and unconditional love for them so they might hear the Good News of Christ? Do we really have that kind of love or do we fall short in this area of missional living?
But it is the unconditional and sacrificial love that Christ share with us that He now commands us to share with others! Listen to the words of Jesus concerning His expectation for how we are to love the people.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
Did you notice that Jesus said that He was giving us a NEW COMMAND? That means that what He is telling us is not an option for us on whether we will obey or not. When Jesus says, that this is a command, HE EXPECTS THE COMMAND TO BE OBEYED. And what exactly is that command?
To love others like he has love us!
We are not to love others any oh way! Jesus has provided for us, by his own life, a perfect example of how He wants us to love others. We are to love others like He loved us!
And Jesus’ way of loving is both:
UNCONDITIONAL & SACRIFICIAL!
Our love for the people of this world should never have an “IF” in it. We should never say to a person, “I’ll love you (IF) you do this for me or (IF) you do that for me.” We are to love the people of this world regardless if they ever love us back and regardless if they ever do anything for us.
Not only should our love for the world be unconditional but it also needs to be sacrificial. It will COST you to love people like Christ loves! And many times that cost is extensive! It can cost you your time, money, and emotions! I believe that is one of the biggest reasons why Jesus said that part of the conditions to FOLLOWING Him included DENYING YOURSELF. You really can’t love like Christ, sacrificially, if you are always trying to please your own self. Sacrificial love many times will require the giver to suffer on behalf of the recipient. The list can go on and on how loving others the way Christ loves can cost us.
So, how does a Follower of Christ get to the point where they can love the lost like Christ loved us? I think it starts with truly believing that the people of the world if they were to die without Christ will be experience God’s wrath and punishment on Judgment Day! This isn’t just a figure of speech that the Bible uses but this is truly an upcoming world event that is going to happen! Christ is going to return and He is going to bring with Him the wrath and Judgment of God the Father with Him. For those who don’t know Him, who have not repented from their sinful lifestyle and has not sincerely confessed Jesus as Lord will experience that wrath by spending an eternity in hell! DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT? Do we understand that we too were once headed for that same place? And do we believe that we might be the only opportunity that some people have to hear and receive the wonderful gift of God’s love and experience His forgiveness?
For a Follower of Christ there is no greater purpose in this life than, out of gratitude to God and love for our fellow man, than to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Christ in order to save as many as possible and experience God’s forgiveness.
Here's a website to help empower you, encourage you and equip you for living an intentional missional life: THE ORDINARY CHRISTIAN!
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