Sunday, July 01, 2012

It's all about love

When I became a Christian, one of the hardest aspects for me to understand was the whole being saved through faith alone part.  It seemed very odd to me for Jesus to tell us this, then, in the very next breath, to be tell us things we needed to be doing.  If I'm saved by faith; why do I need to give my time, my money, and my energy to help others?  Why was I being asked to sacrifice of myself if it wasn't going to get me into heaven?

Now, that's not to say that I don't want to do these things.  I have always loved helping others.  That love for giving is what led me to the military.  It is what led me to build prosthetics.  It's why I'm always stopping at wrecks, picking people up off the side of the road, or giving change to anyone who asks.  I would be doing these things even without being asked.  What I didn't understand was WHY I was being asked to do these things.

I may not have all of the answers to all of the questions I have about the bible, but this question is something I believe I finally understand.

A few months ago I was having problems sleeping.  I just couldn't get my head to shut up long enough to fall asleep.  I had been questioning a lot of different things and it was weighing on my heart.  It's nights like these when I pull out my bible and just read random chapters.  I don't remember what chapters I read that night; I don't even remember what those chapters said.  All I really remember was the idea that came to me while I was reading.  It was a very simple idea- just four short words- but that idea answered about half of the bible for me.  If there's one thing you need to know about the bible it's these four words:

It's all about love.

Thats it.  Those four words form the answer to just about every question I had been asking.

Why, even though we are already saved, do we do so much to help others?  Because we love them.

Why do we love them?  Because just like us, they are God's children.  And just as any parent loves their children, God loves us.  He doesn't love us as a whole.  He doesn't lump us into groups and love groups of people.  Each of us is individually loved as a son or daughter by our creator.  And if He loves us, should we not also love each other?  If someone is worthy of the love of our Creator, are they not also worthy of our love?

I'm not talking about loving "our neighbors."  I'm not talking about loving "the needy," or "the homeless."  I'm not even talking about loving "pretty girls."  I'm talking about loving Jim, Sue, and Cathy individually; just as He does.  And if I love Jim, should I not give of myself to help Jim?

Why, if Jesus forgives our sins, do we try to live better lives?  Why do we strive to live sinless lives if we will never feel the consequence of those sins?  Because we should all be so thankful for the gift He gave us on the cross that there is nothing He could ask of us that we are not willing to do for Him.  Jesus came, suffered, and gave his very life to buy our lives from condemnation, suffering, and death.  Is that sort of sacrifice not worthy of our love?  Is that sacrifice not worthy of our devotion?  Our obedience?

Because Jesus loved me; I can love others.  It was His perfect love which showed us how to love others.  And just as we are willing to sacrifice for friends and family who we love; we should also sacrifice for all others who need it.

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