September 22, 2022

The Irresistibility of Transformative Love

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Remind the believers… They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling.  Instead they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:1-2

When he first encountered the gospel, Omar realized he didn’t know his own Muslim faith. He immersed himself in becoming a “true Muslim,” and then, something happened that he didn’t expect.

Omar wanted to be the best Muslim he could be. He studied the Koran and moved in with a group of other radical young Muslim men.  He took in their anger, observing as they mentally sent women who were not covered from head to toe, or a man wearing an earring, to hell. The hatred stood in stark contrast to the love he saw in the man who had first introduced him to Jesus.

To his great surprise, Omar could not resist this love and the affirming way Jesus treated people. “One of the most visible expressions of godlessness,” points out Jeff Dodge, “is not the way we treat God, but the terrible way we treat our fellow human beings.”[1] The transformative call for those who follow Jesus is to love—love God and love others.

In a culture where people were known to be “liars, cruel animals and lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12), the Apostle Paul taught that, in stark contrast to the culture around them, believers were to stand out by not slandering anyone, avoiding quarrels, being gentle and showing true humility to everyone (Titus 3:1-2).

This is the gospel that “not only transforms us… [but] moves us to reach out to others even when they don’t look, talk, think or act like we do.”[2]

Has the gospel transformed you, or just saved you?

[1] Dodge, J. (2020). The Beauty of Submission. In Titus: Life-Changing Truth in a World of Lies (p. 66). essay, New Growth Press.

[2] Ibid, p. 65.