With the recent post of “The People We Love,” it got me thinking about all the people that I love. Most are obvious such as my husband, kids, parents, family, etc. and others are those that I have come to love through being in the ministry with my husband on deputation. I was going to write on some lovely thoughts I have towards those that I love and challenge others to think on those people that God has put into their lives to love (which you should take the time to do, by the way). But instead, I’m going to write about a few thoughts I have from God’s Word concerning loving others.
My husband preaches on the topic of “Knowing the Time” quite often on deputation and every time he preaches this particular message, the Lord uses it to speak to and challenge my heart. I’m not going to type out his message, but look at the passage of scripture he uses. Like I said in my last post, I often find myself thinking or saying, “When I get to South Africa, then I will ______,” but I believe the Lord desires me to do much for Him NOW in the way of loving others. Let’s look at some scripture:
Romans 13:8-14 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet: and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer that when we believed. The night is far spend, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light.
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
James 4:13-15 “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow, For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
The Lord commands us to love one another (Romans 13:8), to love our neighbor (v.9), and that now is the time to act (v.11)! James points out that our life is but a vapor and we know not what tomorrow brings (v.14)! In Romans, it also says that our salvation is nearer than when we believed (v.11), meaning that we are closer to Jesus’ return with every second! So, what should we do with these statements?
- WAKE UP! (v.11) I like how my husband says it…”We must wake out of our spiritual slumber.” We may be totally consumed by, “What can God do for me?” and not with, “What I can do for the Lord?” Or maybe all of your time and treasure is being spent on you without any thought on how those things can be spent on the things of the Lord. Jesus says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Wake up to the need for the Lord in the lives of those around you and realize that you can be the earthen vessel used to give them the only hope and peace that will quench their thirst-Jesus! And perhaps you may be someone who has never put your faith and trust in Jesus as Savior; now is the time to realize your need for Him and to accept His free gift of salvation.
- CAST OFF! (v.12) Put off your “night clothes,” put away your selfish desires, cast off the things of this world which only bring forth death and destruction. Make intentional decisions to deny your flesh (Romans 13:14). Living in the flesh only wastes time and takes away from your ability to do more for Christ. Focusing on self prevents you from fulfilling the law of loving one another as is commanded, but instead leads to those things that we shalt not do mentioned in Romans 13:9.
- PUT ON! (v.12,14) Now that you have “cast off” the works of darkness, you must dress appropriately by putting on the “armour of light” as mentioned in v.12. Dress yourself daily with the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-18. When dressed this way, you are able to love others. You are able to be used of God to do His work while here on earth. You are able to be Spirit-filled and Sprit-led. Doing so has potential to bring great increase to the kingdom and family of the Lord. Doing so allows you to fulfill the purpose the Lord has for you and add to the list of people you love. But most importantly, doing so allows you to bring great glory and honor to the Lord which should be our ultimate goal.
“When should I do this?” you may ask. “When should I Wake Up, Cast Off, and Put On?” and the answer is NOW! (v.11) As we have seen, our time is short and uncertain. Now is the time to take action!
So will you yield to the Lord? Will you wake-up to the need for Him in your life as well as our neighbors in this world who are also in need of Him? Will you cast off your selfishness and put on the “armor of light” so that you can love others as Christ loves you? Remember what is said in verse 12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand…” Take action to what the Lord would have you to do today!
Share with us! What decisions have you made for the Lord? How can we pray for you?