Monday, October 30, 2006

John 13:35

I love you. I really do. And it’s not because Jesus told me that I need to love you, either. I just do.

And I know you love me. How do I know? You show me.

Did you notice that? I didn’t say, “You tell me.” I said, “You show me.” You show me in things that you do, that aren’t required, but are just part of your nature.

Last night, at EPIC (our high school ministry, for those who don’t worship where I do), love was poured out on me. But one way was really special. I had someone care enough to ask me if I was okay, but it seemed like I was pulling back from them.

You say, “Huh?” Me, I almost cried. I did. This person touched me in a way that I can’t describe. See, I had kind of been pulling away, giving this person and their significant other space. I had done it because it seemed like they had been avoiding me, so I didn’t want to crowd them, in case I had done something to offend.

So anyway, we talked about it. And they were really worried that I was going to pull out or back out of the ministry. Truth be told, the HSM youth keep me going. If I were to be really up front, they are close to unconditional love as I have seen this side of my Father in Heaven.

Some of you who have teens may disagree with me. Heck, I tend to disagree with me at times. But you know what? It’s okay, because this is me. You see, deep inside, we all want to know that we are loved and accepted no matter what we do.

My teens know that I love them. I chastise them, I berate them, I challenge them, and I reward them. I offer to be there for them, and I try and back it up. I make time for them, when no time is available, or when it will be to my detriment. I make time. And you know what they give me in return?

I get the chance to be a part of their life.

Who do you love? Who knows that you love them? Who knows that you are there?

John 13:35- “By this ALL will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

We NEED to love each other. When the world looks at the Christian church, I think they see a lot of things. But I wonder if they see love. If we can’t love one another, how can we love a dying world?

My adult small group is awesome. They love us as well. We haven’t been in a while. (I know there are alarms going off in people’s heads right now. This is between me and my small group. And I have talked with my leaders.)

Even though we haven’t been in a while, I know they are there for me. I know they still love me. Not because they call to check on us, or quiz us or anything. I know because of their heart. They love me, and they are patient. You know what they are doing? They are walking with me and beside me. They are traveling that dusty road with me, so I won’t be alone. And I love them for it.

Do you know love? Do you know how to be loved? I believe that if you can’t first be loved, you can’t love on ANYONE else. If you can’t be loved on and nurtured, then I believe you can’t be that love to someone else.

If God can’t love on you, how can you love on someone else? If you can’t love God, who is the basis and meaning of love, how can you love on the person you work with, or go to school with?

Our society has reduced love to an emotion; to a word. It’s placed love in a box. We have taken love to be something that you can just turn on and off, like a light switch. Love isn’t like that at all.

Love is something you have to work at with all your might. And if you don’t want to work at it for others, it will show in your walk. And one day, you might find yourself wondering why you are all alone in the dark. You won’t see the candles of those who were trying to walk with you, because you blew them out whenever they came close.

You can even block the love of Jesus in your life. You can refuse to accept it. It’s there, a free gift. All you have to do is reach out and grab it. Once you do, things should never, ever be the same.

I love you. Never, ever forget that. I’m here for you, whenever you need me. Be love to someone today. You’ll be glad you did.

Be blessed in the Lord today.

Bo J.

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