“But in knowing and loving God, I am released to a measure of supernatural love that is unattainable apart from God.” Bill Johnson
Our little family circle has a wealth or challenges. Challenges that someone who is superhuman could manage and endure. I am well aware of my short comings as a mere human, so every day I look to the Lord for my strength. There are days I think I have it handled and run out ahead of Him, I am quickly reminded that He is the only one who is equipped to put the fires out. Fortunately, those days are getting to be fewer and further between because I think my stubborn butt is getting around to realizing that trying to take a short cut winds up turning into a long road.
Put your hand on your chest. You feel that? That’s a gift. We wouldn’t have a heartbeat if it weren’t for Him. Why on earth would I ever think I could love others effectively without His supernatural ability working within me?
Agape love is what we are called to, it is a persistent, unconditional kind of love. It is the highest form of love. It is the love of God for man and of man for God. (source Wikipedia) I love that part of the description above, persistent and unconditional. Unconditional of course literally means; without condition. Conditions being those walls and limitations I have been referring to in prior posts.
I will share with one of my favorite stories about Jesus showing agape love to a man. “When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Matthew 8:1-4
A leper was an outcast, or was cast out of a community for being “unclean.” It was a slow and painful death, where the victim was littered with sores all over their body. If for any reason a leper left their camp and were to walk anywhere near where everyone else frequented, they had to yell “unclean” as they approached other people. I can’t imagine how lonely it was to be this kind of outcast but also humiliating. This man, whoever he was, was someones son; possibly someones husband or father and friend. But he was sent away because of a medical condition. He was likely missing the sensation of physical touch, affection even. Jesus touched him to make him well. But instead of Jesus becoming unclean (which was believed to happen in that day) Jesus made the man clean. So, Jesus in a simple act of loving this man, fulfilled many things he desperately needed. The need of physical touch; love, acknowledgement, acceptance, restoration and willingness. These are just a handful of the things that jump out at me. This is supernatural love!
I have not touched a leper and seen them made clean but I have the opportunity to love and serve my family every single day, outside of my ability. Because the demand on me, is far outside of my ability. I am not a doctor or nurse but I am called to be one every day. I am not a chef but I am called to be one. I don’t have the capacity to keep track of the hundreds of things I need to on a daily basis but I know the Holy Spirit will prompt me. In every day and in everything I do, I know where my strength and ability comes from. I am the mother of a child who physically relies on me for her movement. I am a small woman whose back is in terrible shape but the Lord upholds me every single day. Agape love begins at home. It is possible because I am willing. If I say I can’t do it some days, it is because I won’t, I have allowed myself to become unwilling.
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Mother Teresa
Love those around you without condition or motive. Just love them where they are at. Love them even if they can’t repay you. Love them the way Christ loves us. You can’t lose. Even if they don’t love you back, you don’t lose. Because getting them to reciprocate love isn’t the objective. Love others as though you have never been hurt, love them openly and unafraid. Because perfect love casts out all fear and perfect love is only found at it’s source, Papa.
It was Good Friday today. Today we think on the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus having paid the highest price, hanging on a cross for all. He didn’t just die for those who believe, He died for all, no exceptions. The Roman soldiers who spit on Him and laughed at Him, He died for them too. The lepers; the addicts, the outcasts, the poor, the rich, everyone. Jesus knew His Father and knew the Father’s heart, Jesus knew where His strength and ability to love came from. Jesus was the exact representation of the Father. Apart from God, we do not have the ability to loves others in this way. We get in the way of loving in such a grand way.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the other person or you don’t hold the same values or belief systems. Love them. It doesn’t matter if the person even likes you, love them. Love covers over a multitude of sins.
I hope this has blessed someone today and possibly challenged you too. We are called to be a light in this world, not rule book keepers. Just love people, they will see Christ in you.