Thursday, January 15, 2015

Teach Me to Love

Teach me to love

I just reread Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.  One of the reasons her story inspires me is the way she loves those around her.  She describes various encounters with men, women and children in Uganda.  Their physical needs needed to be, water, shelter, medical care and education.  Through meeting these physical needs, she was able to demonstrate love to them.  She sees the village she serves through the eyes of our Creator.  She sees beyond their poverty, illness, and brokenness and sees beautiful children of God.

Teach me to love like this

Frantically, I flipped through the Bible searching for examples of how Jesus loved those he encountered.   I wanted to understand what it means to love the way Jesus loved.  As I sit here, the only words I hear in my heart and mind are found in John chapter 3.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."  (verses 16-17)

Christ's love is sacrificial.  He died so that we might live.  He loves us SO much that he offered to bear our sins upon the cross.  He CHOSE us before we chose him.  He did not love us because we had something to offer him, but simply because he deemed us worthy.

Teach me to love unconditionally.
Teach me to love sacrificially.
Teach me to love selflessly.
Teach me to love others regardless of who they are and without judgment.

Often, I love others when it is convenient or beneficial for me.  What would happen if I loved others without the desire of recognition or self serving benefits?  What would happen if I placed God's will above my own desires or plans?  What am I willing to sacrifice in order to love like Christ?  Am I willing to step outside of my very comfortable box?

Prior to his crucifixion, Christ spent some time praying to his Father.

"Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."  Luke 22:42    

Jesus never stopped praying for God's will to be done above all else.  God's will for Jesus' life was for him to be the ultimate sacrifice.  Jesus put aside his own desire or fear for the will of God to take place.  Jesus never stopped focusing on his Father.  Because Christ's focus was on his Father and his will, he was able to love us so completely and fully.

When my focus shifts away from Jesus, my worldly desires run rampant and I lose my footing on the beautiful path God has laid before me.  Oh how I pray that my fear, anxiety, and dreams do not pull my focus from my Jesus.  I believe that placing Jesus in the center of my everything is the only way I will be able to love like Jesus.

Teach me to love
Teach me to love my husband
Teach me to love my children
Teach me to love my family
Teach me to love my friends and neighbors
Teach me to love my church
Teach me to love my community
Teach me to love my world

Teach me to love like Jesus