This morning began with a conference call with my “LEAP” team members as I begin my new responsibilities. It is nice to have the confidence of others, but it does give a sense of pressure to “live up to expectations.” If you want more information on my new position, check out our website at http://larimerleap.com/
I then traveled to Denver to pick up the grand kids to come stay with us a couple of days. I connected with them at my mother’s house, so they had some time with great-grandmother.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Your love must be real… ” Romans 12:9 NCV
“Do not owe people anything, except always owe love to each other, because the person who loves others has obeyed all the law…. All these commands and all others are really only one rule: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love never hurts a neighbor, so loving is obeying all the law.” Romans 13:8-10 NCV
We live in a culture that constantly reminds us of a lack of love for others. We see violence, self-centeredness, personal attacks, striving to get ahead regardless of the cost. I’m sure it grieves God’s heart, but this has been the condition of the human heart for all time. It is not that people are incapable of good, they just have a default mechanism that yields to self-preservation, and a “me first” approach regardless of cost.
I’m thankful that “real love” is not just having warm, fuzzy feelings about others, but how we honor and treat others with respect even if we disagree with them from time to time. Paul tells us that love is an obligation, it is not something we give as much as it is something we owe, a debt we pay. That is a challenging concept to consider.
We also see that Love is the fulfillment of the law, because it keeps us from harming others, in words or actions. The first and greatest commandments have a basis in love. “Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39)
Jesus said, “if you love me, you will obey my commands…” (John 14:15) Paul said, “Love never hurts a neighbor.” It is interesting how all of the commands, even if we focus on the Ten Commandments have a foundation in love. Unfortunately the future may not be bright as we see the day when Christ will return. Jesus said, that one of the signs of His return will be, “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.“ ( Matt. 24:12)
However those who follow Christ are called to a higher standard. Not because of any ability we possess, but because of the faith we confess. The hope of the gospel is change from the inside, out. Hearts fully devoted to Christ and living a life that is pleasing to Him. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could begin with “paying the debt of love” to those who also profess Christ. Our spiritual “brothers and sisters” in the family of Christ. I think that is what Jesus had in mind when He said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 ESV)