The Wonder of God’s Love

Jan 31, 2024 | The Chuck Wagon

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” Gal. 6:2; NASB

What is love? Most common definitions include at least one of three words: affection, attraction, or admiration. All these words allude to a feeling one has toward another. I would argue that any definition which calls upon feelings as a description might lead to someone being considered unlovable. If we rely on our feelings to determine whether we love someone, we cannot love as Christ has called us to love.

The Bible tells us something that leaves the door open for each one of us to be considered unlovable. God said, through the prophet Jeremiah, “the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). An argument one might have with this is that, as Christians, we are new creatures in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17), and you would be right. However, believers are not called to love only those changed through the gift of salvation. We are all sinners saved only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (see Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:8-9). Although in Gal. 6:2 Paul is referring to believers, it is not exclusive to only that group.

It is our love for the unsaved that ignites the desire to proclaim the Gospel to them. Because we love them, we do not want them to pass from this life without accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. Love can be uncomfortable. It is not pleasant to bear someone else’s burdens, especially when we have enough of our own to deal with. This is an evil world, full of trials, hurts, and unpleasantness. It is only by God’s grace that we can find victory over the things of this world. Loving others will sometimes burden us with challenges that we would not otherwise have. Those challenges should not deter us from loving those who seem unlovable.

On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Again, you might argue that Jesus was talking to His disciples about His disciples. In one sense, you would be right. However, considering what Jesus said earlier in His ministry, it becomes more complex. He said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself…” (Mk. 12:31b). He said there is no other commandment greater than loving God above all else and loving your neighbor as yourself. This neighborly love becomes a problem if your definition of love includes the words affection, attraction, or admiration.

God’s love is an action, not a feeling. We are to love others because that is God’s will. There are many ways to show love for someone, even without them knowing you are doing it. The most powerful thing you can do is pray for those in need. You may not be able to change any of their life’s circumstances, but you can pray. When there is something you can do to help, do it with a cheerful heart. If not, pray for them. As Christians, we should consider no one unlovable.

Paul was addressing the church when he wrote today’s passage. God is not asking us to take on everyone’s burdens. He wants us to prayerfully consider those around us, especially other believers. The Lord will guide you and direct your ways if you go to Him with a willing heart. Being burdened by someone else’s hardship is part of loving with God’s love. This burden should drive us to pray, act, or both, knowing God is ultimately the answer to it all.

God bless and have a great week

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