Every day I have a loaf of bread and I get to choose how I share that loaf to the individuals around me. I choose the amount they are given based on how they make me feel. I can give them a whole slice, a pinch, or just a crumb. When someone decides to be really nice to me, I might give them the whole slice of bread. If a person makes me mad or upset I can choose to just give them a pinch of bread. For those who really make me angry, I can decide to give them a crumb.
I even have the power to give some bread to someone and snatch it right back if they hurt me, or I can decide to not give the person next to me bread at all. When people who really hurt me come around I can quickly hide my bread so that they don’t ask me for any at all or better yet completely avoid them all together thinking, “Oh, NO, not them again! I will not get hurt again!” No, one can tell me how to spend my bread—it’s all mine! However, there is one problem…the bread that I have daily really isn’t mine to give…it was given to me as a free gift but instead of freely giving it away, I am as stingy as they come! Now, why is that?
I’m sure by now you are thinking, “Tiffany, what are you talking about? We don’t walk around with a loaf of bread with us at all times handing out fraction of it on a daily basis…that would be weird…and gross…and not to mention creepy.” Well, friends, what if I told you that this loaf of bread represents love? Does it make more sense now?
Unfortunately, in our world we are so selfish with our love. We pick and choose who we give it to depending on how we feel that day, how someone makes or has made us feel, religion, race, social group, age…the list is endless. As Christians, even though we know that Romans 2:11 states that God does not show favoritism, we do! We know we are supposed to model our lives after Him but we refuse to. Our love is something we think we can keep to ourselves, control, or protect ourselves from handing it off and getting side swept in the process.
Christians…can I be real with you today? Our country, our world’s problem is not who is president, if whites or blacks matter more, or if we are reading the right version of the bible! The problem is a heart issue! We as Christians are stingy with our love even when the love that we have isn’t ours to give or hold onto in the first place!
1 John 4: 7-12 reveals to us,
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.”
GOD IS LOVE…We have never seen God but when we LOVE, like HE loves us, He shines through us and His love is perfected in us! People learn that He exists by the way that we LOVE!
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a teaches us about some attributes of God since HE is LOVE!!
“Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends….”
If God is LOVE, which He is because the bible tells us that He is, then this scripture might read,
God is patient.
God is kind.
God does not envy.
God is not boastful.
God is not conceited.
God does not act selfish.
God is not provoked.
God does not keep records of wrongs.
God finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth.
God bears all things.
God believes all things.
God hopes all things.
God endures all things.
God never ends!
If God loves this way and we are called to love as He loves to the world around us, then we too are called to LOVE in the ways listed above! Do you notice what is at the bottom of the list? It says that God never ends! In the actual 1 Corinthians version it says that “LOVE NEVER ENDS!” So, if God is love and He never ends, and HE is our source of LOVE…then the love that we have, as long as we stay connected with Him…will NEVER END! Friends, we love as if the love that we have will run out one day…that we have only so much to give! We ignore God and His commandment given to us in Mark 12: 30-31 which urges us to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” We have it all wrong! God nor Jesus has EVER give us His love in pieces, pinches, or crumbs. He has never withheld love from us at all! So, why do we? The song below puts God’s love in such an amazing way and I just had to share! Check out the lyrics below!
Unreserved, unrestrained Your love is wild Your love is wild for me It isn't shy, it's unashamed Your love is proud To be seen with me You don't give Your heart in pieces You don't hide Yourself to tease us Uncontrolled, uncontained Your love is a fire Burning bright for me It's not just a spark It's not just a flame Your love is a light That all the world will see All the world will see You don't give Your heart in pieces You don't hide Yourself to tease us Your love's not fractured It's not a troubled mind It isn't anxious It's not the restless kind Your love's not passive It's never disengaged It's always present It hangs on every word we say Love keeps its promises It keep its word It honors what's sacred 'Cause its vows are good Your love's not broken It's not insecure Your love's not selfish Your love is pure You don't give Your heart in pieces You don't hide Yourself to tease us
Do not hesitate to love the way that God loves. He is our source that never runs dry. Even when we do give love to others and we get hurt in the process…He is with us to put our pieces back together, dry our tears, and pick us back up again! We can always count on Him. Let us be one that others can count on to be introduced to this amazing LOVE! For the people around us will know that God exists by the way that we love! I am not saying that loving in this way is an easy tasks but I do know that it is a must! My challenge to you this week friends is to try to love this way…in an unconstrained way!
With uninhibited love,