LOVE is a word that is used loosely nowadays. It has different meanings for different people, and the "love" many people display is based on the reciprocation that subconsciously says "I'll love you if you are good", "I'll love if you you treat me the way I want to be treated", or "I'll love you but if you ever hurt me, it's over!" Unfortunately, this kind of conditional love is a part of the identity of many believers in the body of Christ. We base how we treat people according to how people treat us, which is far from the intentions of our LORD & SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. Oh, sure, we go to all the church services, and we "support" every "ministry" we possibly can. But don't let a church member need a place to stay because they can no longer afford to pay their mortgage. We say we are "blessed to be a blessing", but when we know that one of our "family" members of our local church is going through hard times, we withhold from attending to their needs financially while claiming we have to look out for ourselves because we, too, are "going through". While our closets are running over with clothes that we haven't worn in years, we'll keep pushing them to the back of the closet, instead of giving them to someone who may need them; or we'll give them away but only to those who are in our "click". THE WORLD IS WATCHING US, YOU KNOW. They SEE how we smile and hug our fellow church members and profess how much we love them, but turn up our noses at them when they do something that offends us. THEY SEE US when we hold grudges against people for things they've done to us that they may not even be aware that they've done! They hear us profess our undying love for one another, but fail to see us support each other's accomplishments. In John 13:35, Jesus says, "BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER". There are a lot of seminars and classes on prophetic gifts, financial freedom, spiritual warfare, practicing faith confessions, and the like. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LOVE OF CHRIST? When was the last time YOU FORGAVE YOUR BROTHER/SISTER & FREED THEM FROM THE OFFENSE IN YOUR HEART "FOR REAL"? Are we loving people based on conditions, or are we loving people AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH, as HE LOVES US? There are no hoops to jump through when Christ forgives us. We do not have to perform for His affections. When we sin and repent, He throws the remembrance of our stuff into the sea of forgetfulness. DO YOU REMIND FOLKS of HOW MUCH YOU'VE DONE FOR THEM, & HOW MUCH THEY OWE YOU for the things YOU'VE DONE for them? Or are you kind just because IT'S THE GOD-THING TO DO? "WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?"is the title of a Tina Turner song that says "who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?" But GOD IS SAYING, "GIVE PEOPLE YOUR LOVE; BUT GIVE ME YOUR HEART". As we trust Him with our heart, we can be comfortable in giving our love to people, even those who have hurt us in the past and who will probably hurt us again. AGAPE LOVE - THE KIND THAT CARRIED JESUS TO THE CROSS FOR US - IS THE "GOD-KIND" OF LOVE THAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW! Let us follow after Christ, and follow His Word in 1 John 3:18 -
"LET US NOT LOVE IN WORD, NEITHER IN TONGUE; BUT IN DEED, AND IN TRUTH".