This morning I put my bagel in the toaster and walked away to get the juice from the refrigerator. As I moved across the kitchen, I thought something was wrong, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I turned to look at the toaster and the bagel was still sticking out of the toaster’s top. Interesting, I thought. I walked back and realized that I failed to plug the toaster into the wall socket.
The toaster’s source of power was right there, waiting to be used, almost willing that the plug would come over and move into the socket. But it wasn’t until I plugged the toaster into the power source that it became a useful kitchen tool, toasting my bagel for my breakfast.
I returned to the refrigerator to get the juice and I thought how much like the toaster I was. When I’m sitting in my chair, and I haven’t spoken to my Lord at all, I haven’t read His Word at all, I haven’t prayed to Him at all … I am not plugged into my power Source. I can do a lot of things in that condition, but none of them will be what the Lord has asked of me.
The power to do what He asks is from Him, not from me. He asks me to love others. I can do that without His power, but it will be a selfish love, a love that says “I’m doing this for you but I would like for you to do something for me, too”. Or, “I hope you realize all that I am doing for you! Give me some credit for being so nice!”
The love from Jesus, however, is a self-sacrificing love. It is love for the enemy, for the one who has harmed us, for the one who detests us … we are to love even them. The love from Jesus is love that has no self interest at heart; it is love that is pure and centered on the one we are serving in love. It is not mushy, heart-warming love, it is hard and difficult to do and it cannot be done in our own power. The power must come from the Lord Jesus Christ.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.John 13:34
Again Jesus said:
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, … But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.Luk 6:27.35-36
We are to love others for a multitude of reasons, but here are just a few:
- We are to love others because it is a command from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Luke 6:27)
- We are to love others because we are to be the kind of person He is, and He loved others expressing that love even when He was on the cross. (Luke 23:34. “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments.”)
- We are to love others because God loved us when we were still sinners, having compassion on us and being merciful to us. (1 John 4:10-11 “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.)
Beloved, rely on the Lord Jesus Christ to give you the power to love as you should love. Do not rely on your own strength, will-power, or determination. Let the love of the Lord Jesus Christ flow through you to others. Then it will be the love that goes beyond all limits and boundaries. It will be divine love that comes from God, the Father and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Have power? Oh yes you do, through the Lord Jesus Christ!
Father, thank You for giving Your Son to be our Savior. Thank You for loving us even when we were sinners and when we were running away from You as fast as we could, doing evil and hating others all the while. Thank You for bringing us to Your Son, our Lord, and for His atoning work on the cross on our behalf, for the Lord taking our sins upon Himself and giving us His righteousness in exchange for our sins. What a marvelous blessing You have given us. Thank You Father. Thank You Son, Redeemer and Savior. Thank You Holy Spirit. Amen.