The LOVE Challenge

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for  one another." John 13:35

   As Christians we should be the most loving, most caring, and most compassionate of all people because Jesus lives in us. It was D.L. Moody that said; "Faith makes all things possible, but love makes all things easy." Without love in the home there is strife and  contentions. But with love comes security and peace. Our love for God is displayed by our everyday love for others. You can really tell how much a person loves the Lord by how much they love others. 

   True Christian love cannot be manifested by the flesh, it can only come from God who embodies the very definition of love. "God is love" 1 John 4:8. Therefore, the more we love God the more we naturally love others.  John Wesley said; "An ounce of  love is worth a pound of knowledge." It's not how much we know, but how much we love that people take notice of. It's been said that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. This is a very elementary principle an yet we fail to put it into practice. Why? because we are selfish and self centered and loving others takes death to our self. Just as Jesus died on the cross to show His great love for us, we too must die in order to love like Jesus loved. All too often we try in our own efforts to love and consequently we end us frustrated, discouraged and disappointed.  Instead of trying in your flesh, concentrate on feeding your Spirit and the love will just pour forth as a natural byproduct of your love for Christ. 

   When there are problems in the family or in the marriage it is usually because someone is not loving as they should and self has taken the place of love. True love is unconditional and not based upon whether we are being loved back. Think about when it was that Jesus started loving you. Was it when you started loving Him? was long before that...before you were even born He knew you and loved He was fashioning you in your mothers womb...Jesus loved you. If you have children...think about when you first began loving them. Was it when they were born or when they were in the womb?

   It's so good to be reminded how much  and how unconditionally Jesus loves us! With Valentines Day right around the corner...take some time to think about the ONE who loves you more than any one else. The ONE who will never leave you...the ONE who is always ready to listen and eager to direct your life. The ONE who is the very definition of LOVE. Take some time to bask in His great love for you and then step out and show His love to someone else!

   I read a story recently about a church that was having gang related problems in their neighborhood and decided to do something about it. Every day for a month they went out door to door and asked each person they encountered how they could be praying for them. The results were astonishing as they prayed for the requests the gang problem ceased. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care...and one of the most effective ways for us to show that we care is to offer to pray for the world around us! I was so moved by this story that I too am going to try this in my neighborhood! You too can take the LOVE challenge and make it your aim to ask for a prayer request from someone outside your home everyday for a month and see how the Lord works!