Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choosing To Love - 40 Days Of Love

To be loving, we have to make the right choices.

Romans 12:9  Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.

Matthew 18:32-33  Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’

Everybody likes the emotional highs of being in love but there are plenty of times when the feelings disappear and all you are left with is the resolve to continue on in love.

We can be like that servant that the master showed compassion to and forgave and then he turned around and neglected to give compassion to a fellow slave. He didn't feel like acting in love, he had been wronged, he didn't love his friend enough to love him when it hurts.

To live a life that is more loving, we need to make up our minds that we will choose to: fellowship, forgive, accept and sacrifice. 

Not to be confused with eating a doughnut and having a cup of coffee together on Sunday morning, true fellowship goes a lot deeper, it is found in those moments when you open up and share your doubts, struggles and joys. It is only going to happen through spending time together.  

Those people that you are making a conscious effort to love are going to need a dose of forgiveness from time to time. And what about you, aren't you going to need a dose of forgiveness yourself?

Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 

It is tempting to love selfishly, sometimes we don't realize that we are showing love to somebody only because they are showing love to us. Is your love based on "I love you because" or do you love them no matter what? Sooner or later, every relationship is going to point out the differences that you have but despite our differences we are supposed to continue to love and accept.

Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

Matthew 5:46  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?

This is where our love choice gets messy, few of us will truly sacrifice much when we consider what Jesus sacrificed for those that he loved, but we are to do what we can to live like the good Samaritan did.

1 John 3:16-18  We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Lord help us to make the choices that show that we really love the way that you taught us to.