I like Facebook. I have friends and family that I don’t get to see very often and we keep in touch through FB. I am careful who I accept as friends and what content is shown on my feed. Why? I don’t want to fill my time with a lot of negativity and hatefulness.
I also have a Twitter account. Some of the people I follow on there will post ordinary comments and share something whether it is a current event in the world or just their opinion on something and they get ripped to shreds. People find something negative and mean to say about almost everything now.
I remember the old saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all!” Wow, that advice is needed even more in this time.
While reading my Father’s Word one day I was reading the Amplified version and the scriptures on the fruits of the Spirit really struck me.
Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I had never heard love explained in a better way than what this version says. Love – the unselfish concern of others! How many of us can truly say that is how we love? How many of us are willing to give up our personal time to go help someone move? Or willing to give of our money or possessions to someone who needs it?
So many times we base what we are willing to do for others on how it affects our life or how we feel about that person or what we will get in return. Nowhere in God’s Word does he say to base our actions on our feelings or our own personal desires.
Unselfish concern for others is what God showed when he sent Jesus, John 3:16 (AMP)
“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Unselfish concern for others is what Jesus showed to his followers on earth and in his sacrifice John 13:34 (AMP) “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another.”
John 13:35 ESV “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
How are people of the world going to desire a relationship with our Savior if we as his disciples are out spreading gossip, hatefulness and strife?
If we want them to see Jesus in us we are supposed to be out sharing love. Not just saying the words but putting action with the words as our Father and Jesus chose to do.
Part of unselfish concern (love) for others is praying for them, forgiving them and helping them to stand when they stumble and fall.
Stephen showed this love for others when while being stoned to death he prayed, “Then falling on his knees [in worship], he cried out loudly, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them [do not charge them]!” Acts 7:60
We all need to ask God daily to check our hearts and cleanse us of anything that is not of Him and to help us to love others as He loves. Nothing is going to reach people of the world like the genuine love of Christ. If we want revival we need to revive love in our lives.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (AMP) “And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.”
Why is love the greatest? Because it is the foundation of the world. All that God has done, is doing or will do is based on love and it will continue for eternity.
So how can you start right now showing unselfish concern for others? Show it on a daily, continual basis. Not just when you want to or feel like it. Be love in living form. Be Jesus to the world.
The writer is the pastor of Word of Life Ministries, Sidney.