It occasionally hits me just how much God loves. It also occasionally hits me just how much He wants us to share that love. Today has been one of those days.
You see, I’m in the middle of reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand. In this particular chapter, Wurmbrand was discussing the love of God–even toward the Communists, who had dealt him so much harm and trouble. Still his heart burned in passionate love toward these men who had beaten him, tortured him, imprisoned him, and betrayed him.
My idea in writing this is not to make my readers glorify Richard Wurmbrand, but, rather, to share in the joy he had.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
This is a command from Matthew 28 for all of us today. This is not a nifty suggestion for select members of churches. This is a command for us–and ultimately, for you.
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Reading here in Mark 16 will bring us to the conclusion that our call is to everyone. The Lord places certain people in our lives to impact in a way only we can, and for them to impact us. It is only when we cross over to the front side of the tapestry that we will understand God’s divine placement of our lives. But we must also understand that our current system to go about sharing the Good News isn’t cutting it.
I have seen countless missionaries in my travels that preach and do all the right missionary things–to a certain extent. In a lot of these missionaries/pastors/ministers, there’s one key ingredient that’s missing: love.
Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
In Matthew 5:44, we read our call to love. God has an overwhelming love for every person. This amazing and exceedingly perfect love is something all of us need to experience, but I’m currently unsure if we can fully experience it. It amazes me that God has such an amazing love for me, despite my sins (which are repulsive in His sight). It propels me to love Him deeper, and it also makes me want to share His love to others who don’t yet know how great the Father’s love is for them.
His love surpasses anything we could ever show, and to experience it is truly unique and thoroughly flooring. It humbles me to the very deepest depths in my innermost being. And it inspires me so much.
You see, He loves everyone as much as He loves you and me–and that’s a whole bunch. And it’s our responsibility to soak in His love and share it with others. We do the latter by loving others (even when we don’t like them) and by sharing the Truth with them. (See John 14:6)
It doesn’t matter who you are. The call is for all believers. If you are a believer, that invariably includes you. I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care what color your skin is, or how good or bad you think you look. I don’t care what size your body is or how well-spoken or photogenic you are. I don’t care if you’re male or female; can carry a tune or can’t in a bucket; or if you’re trained or haven’t been through high school. I don’t care about any of the superficial, and neither does God when it comes to your qualifications to love and minister the Gospel. (Yes, He does care about the littlest of things–but that’s a whole different topic).
There also are no limitations on the people we are to love. We are to love our friends and our enemies. We are to pray for the ones who cause us harm and speak bad things about us. If they physically beat the tar out of you, gossip about you, or say hurtful things … that doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t matter if they’re a political or religious leader. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a cult. Again: nothing superficial, whether it is who someone is, what they say, or what they do, can change your responsibility to love them as Christ does you.
Sometimes we throw out the baby with the bathwater. For example, we judge people such as Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and countless others. While their religions are nothing to be admired and I am surely not defending their religions or their actions, I love them. I hope to convey Christ’s love in the best way I can to them, despite the fact that I know their religions are doing nothing for them.
Another common mistake is that of putting priority on certain people over others. God loves all the precious souls He created equally, but sometimes we think with our human brains and put more emphasis on seeing rulers and powerful people saved. This is politics speaking. One soul is enough to make the angels dance, even if that soul is a member of an obscure African tribe or a villager in the rural land of Europe. God is strategic, and we think we’d like His job for some reason. I believe we should leave the strategy to Him, and love whoever He puts in our paths and pursue whoever He tells us to.
This post is not meant to be read for entertainment. It comes with a challenge and a hefty accountability to God. Here’s your challenge: go spend some time in prayer, asking the Lord to reveal His love to you and to give you compassion and love for even the most hard-hearted sinner. Ask Him what He would have you do to further His Kingdom–but always remember to rest and receive His love. This is what will motivate you to show that love to others, not a stirring call to action. God bless 🙂