How Do You Look at LOVE?
March 23, 2011 § 5 Comments
You may be familiar with 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter of the Bible, but are you familiar with the look of love? I wasn’t until recently. I had given it only a brief glance in the past, so brief in fact that I had overlooked it.
Isn’t that how Love (1 John 4:16) sometimes is? He is staring at us, but we aren’t really gazing at Him at all.
The Rich Young Ruler as recorded in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18, was staring at Love in the flesh, but didn’t recognize Him as such. This young man wanted to know how to gain eternal life. When Christ stated that the ruler knew the commandments (Exodus 20, Ten Commandments), the young ruler answered that he had kept those since childhood. Then Christ’s response was physical, emotional, and instructional, as Mark records in 10:21, “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack, “he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Why did Christ tell this man to go and sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and then come and follow Him? Why not tell him to repent and believe, or have faith?
Did you see it? The penetrating look of Love that saw past what others gazed upon as religious obedience? Read it again. Christ saw what others could not readily see. The next verse tells us that the man was sad because he had great wealth, and he walked away.
He walked away.
He stared Love in the face and he walked away.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24
Christ looked at this young man and loved him. God looks at the inner man though we look at his outward appearance. By outward appearances this man was a righteous ruler keeping the Law of Moses to the nth degree, but inwardly he was a lover of money.
God desires our love.
God showed His love.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
We show our love for God by obeying Him.
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. “ John 14:21
You see, it is easy to say we love God (at least in our religious freedom as Americans), but it is another matter to live Love out.
Mark 11:33, “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
You might say, “I love God more than my possessions,” but is there any one thing that you would say, “take it all God, but not this.” If so, then there is a love above God in your heart that needs to be dealt with.
Christ has not asked each one of us to sell all of our possessions and give them to the poor; that doesn’t mean he won’t.
He has asked us to obey his commands.
Raise the Risk Challenge:
- What has Love prompted you to do recently? How did you respond? Do you have unfinished business to attend to?
- Consider how Christ views your stewardship of the resources He has given us and ask God how He might want you to change?
- Consider as we draw nearer to the Easter celebration how you might honor God and Christ’s sacrifice by physically and/or emotionally responding to Christ’s command to the rich young ruler.