November 7, 2022

Start Experiencing Jesus’s Love

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” Romans 15:7

An amazing thing about the human body is that it tends to reject anything that is foreign to it.  Take a splinter, for instance, which has worked its way under your skin as a thorn did my thumb when I was pruning my roses.  Unable to dig it out with a needle, I said to myself, “I’ll just let nature take care of it,” and sure enough, it was sore for a few days and then the surface around the thorn toughened as the flesh began to isolate the foreign object.  In a few days, the thorn worked to the surface where I could get it with tweezers.

When surgeons perform transplants, the same thing is true whether it is a heart, a kidney or an eye that a generous donor has given that someone else might have life or sight.  The key to success is the body’s willingness to accept the organ that came from outside.  To combat the tendency of the human body to reject a foreign organ or substance, doctors infuse the recipient of a transplant with massive doses of antibiotics and chemicals which combat rejection.

When it comes to relationships, the same thing is true.  It’s our old nature to put ourselves first and to reject anything or anyone who threatens the status quo.  Marriage counselors are quick to point out that one of our biggest problems in marriage and family living is a malady that can simply be described as SELFISHNESS or ego.  It can be described as “Me first!  You fit into my plans if you want to be happy.”  It’s the principle of rejecting what is foreign, and it destroys relationships.

To offset this, relationships need a special chemical that is extremely costly, one called love, but this substance isn’t ordinary love (if any love is ordinary), it is the kind of love which writers of the New Testament described as agape love.  Hold on, you may be saying, I’m not much of a Greek scholar.  Just what is it?  And how can I get a prescription for it?   When Jesus was here, He wanted us to know that the kind of love which we need today is one with special qualities and to convey the message Jesus used a Greek word, agape, but He redefined it and gave it a new meaning.  In a very real sense, He elevated the meaning and gave it new direction.  The kind of love which offsets rejection, agape love, was the kind which caused God the Father to send His son to earth, a sacrificial kind which puts the interest of the other person above your own selfish interest.

Starting to get the picture?  It was a unique love, a third dimension, one with God being the originating party.  Unlike other concepts of love which were associated with sexual gratification, or even brotherly love between good friends, this kind of love embraced a divine quality.  As the result of what Christ did for us, every person, through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, can have this kind of love.

Now, in light of what I have just said, may I remind you of what Jesus told us which is recorded in John 15:12?  Here it is, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”  It was an unconditional love, the kind that you need for your husband or wife if you are married, the kind of love that every child needs if he or she is to grow up with a healthy self-image and concept.  It is this kind of love that enables husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Thank God, when He touches our lives, that love can overflow.

 

Resource reading:  I John 4:7-12