“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;” (Lamentations 3:22, ESV)
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:7–8, ESV)
Loving One Another
As Christians, we are called to love others. This is not easy. People aren’t always lovable, and yet we are commanded to do it. Jesus summed up all of the commandments by telling us to love God and love our neighbors (Mark 13:31). We are told to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
While watching the news today, I thought about love. I thought about loving my neighbor. I thought about what that would mean if my home was being bombed. I wondered what love would look like if my neighbor was killing my child or grandchildren. How could I love someone who was committing horrific acts of violence against my sisters, brothers, parents, and extended family?
To be honest, I have no answer. I have trouble just loving the people who reject me. I tend to think of revenge when someone wrongs me. I start off angry and then I become overwhelmed by the situation. I cry, get depressed and have trouble looking beyond the circumstances.
Called to Love
The pain that is involved in love being rejected is at times impossible to bear. I can’t imagine how horrific it would be to live through the horrors that are plaguing some of my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I can’t comprehend the rejection, the anger and depression that would follow these terrors.
But I know that we are called to love. If we are going to show the love of Jesus to this fallen world, then we must love as He loved. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1–2, ESV).
His love was unfailing and never ending. He loved even when He was rejected. He loved when He was criticized. He loved when people were selfish. Jesus loved when He was harmed. He loved when he was tortured and killed. And He still loves while his precious children are being harmed. His love will never fail.
I can’t comprehend this love, let alone try and imitate it. Not in my own power and strength. So I have decided to pray this prayer for me and for all the others for whom I pray.
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:17–21, ESV)
That we may love like Jesus.