Love is a practical thing.
I have been trying for decades to love people more. I want to have compassion like Jesus. Chances are, if you are reading this, you do too. I've always thought of this "heart of Jesus" like the scene in Luke. He was looking over Jerusalem, tears streaming down His cheeks, longing to gather her citizens to Himself. I want my heart to feel that deeply for people, yearning to gather them to Jesus.
In simple terms, I want to love people more.
But then a while back I was sitting in church, listening to a sermon, minding my own business, and crashing into my mind came this question:
Is it more important to love people more, or love people better?
You see, as soft as Jesus' heart was for the people of God's city, they had no idea. They didn't see his tears. They didn't experience his emotion. They didn't get needs met. They weren't going to be saved from their sin by a man sitting on a hillside crying.
And that's exactly why Jesus didn't stay there. He walked into the city, knowing full well that it would cost His life.
And pay for theirs.
His heart compelled Him to do something.
And now, on this side of the blood soaked cross and echoing empty tomb, there can be no doubt. The people knew Jesus loved them.
We know Jesus loves us.
He demonstrated it.
So must I.
And this is how I love people better--not just more, but better: I demonstrate it.
So I've been on the lookout. How can I love those my "heart feels full of emotion for" with actions that show it?
I don't mean kindness, though that is essential--fruit of the Spirit. I mean love....
- that cares more about their well being than my own;
- that cares more about their condition than ministry programming;
- that follows up a prayer with a text;
- that asks how they are doing, just because they came to mind... after all, it was probably the Spirit that brought them there;
- that does for someone else what I don't feel like doing.
But if you and I want Easter-like relationships--that echo with the power of resurrection--we need to find ways to love better.
Love more. Love better.
I'd love to see some comments! How do you demonstrate your love effectively?