Love is not in very good shape in our world, is it? Hateful, despicable words are common. This world has a filter of self-indulgence, self-defense and self-promotion. Sadly, it is a filter used by religious folks as much as political leaders. In contrast, the filter of love is the character of God. The silver lining of the gloomy condition of love in our world is that even a tiny light of true love will gleam with the Glory of God.
Unconditional love does not mean there are no conditions…it means that the love surpasses all conditions. That is very good news for all of us! Love is the character of God; true love received will transform us into His likeness. It will not excuse our filter of self promotion. It will change us and then we can be used to change the world. We live in a thirsty world–a world dying for the love described in Scripture.
A story captivated my heart this morning. A seven-year old child in the Philippines, abandoned by parents whose ability to love couldn’t stand the rigors of marriage and family, heard of the love of God in the Bible. At seven, this child was selling fish to have enough money to eat; she baby-sat for family to have enough money to go to school. At seven, she longed for love. To this lonely, isolated little girl, the Words of Jesus called…and thankfully, servants of Jesus showed this precious child what that love looked like. My heart was pierced. I know there are people longing for love all around me.
Do I live the love of God enough to bring its refreshing, life-giving supply to those who are dying of thirst around me?
We cannot give what we do not have; yet often that is what we try to do as Christians. We love the idea of the love of God. We even tell others that God loves them. We love with our self-filtered idea of love…indulging, defending and promoting our own ideas.
But love is the character of God…not the efforts of fallen humanity. Love that transforms; love that quenches thirst comes from above! It is the love of God that enters our lives and changes us that allows us to love in a transforming way. Human love manipulates and demands; it simply adds to the deadly sins killing our world.
The Word of God is intended to enter our ears and exit our feet. As it seeks to fill every corner of our being, every facet of our lives, our eyes become open to the places where love is not a reality for us.
The love of God longs to transform those hard spots. We cannot love well until it does. We have to be thirsty for the love of God to be real for us before we can take that love to another. Love is messy; it exposes things that don’t look like God in US. Until we let it do
its work in us, it cannot flow out of us. Love is the only answer to the deadly sins of our world…the sins that are just evidence of hearts longing for love: the drug addictions, the sexual immoralities, the lusts for power & control.
Are we thirsty enough for love that we will allow it into us? Do we trust God enough to let Him love us AND change us?
In the story of seven-year old Jasel, the writer described the thirst this way:
“…insatiable desire for the love spoken of in the Bible.”
Jesus is the living water. We are to be vessels of that water. He lived and loved the will of the Father which was to draw people into relationship with our heavenly Father. May our heart desire be to do the same. The world is dying for love.
Will you do the hard work of love? Will you let the Father love you so much He reveals the hard spots in your life that need to be surrendered? If you will, you become a vessel for the living water.