The life of a follower of Christ is a pretty “cush” place to be – eternal life without fear of what comes after death; abundance and peace personally delivered by the Spirit of God; and nice Christian people who are great to be around. It would be easy to focus only on what Jesus has brought you… if it were not for those five pesky words after the first and greatest commandment – “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If eternal life, peace, abundance, and the fellowship of believers are great for you, surely you can love the unbeliever enough to want them to have the same? Human nature gravitates towards that which is easiest and most pleasurable, while Jesus lived His life by intentionally loving others: When Jesus and His followers were hungry, He saw the hunger of the 5,000; when Jesus was being wined and dined by the rich and powerful, He saw a repentant woman who was worshipping Him with her treasured possession; when Jesus was pressed in by the crowds desiring to hear and see Him, He saw their oppressed and helpless nature; when cultural norms expected certain behavior, Jesus responded according to the needs of the person instead of cultural norms. Jesus could have easily just fed Himself, enjoyed the adulation of the rich and famous, quenched His thirst, and found gratification in the thousands clamoring for Him… but He loved others more than Himself. His every movement, every word, and every opportunity were used by God to touch the lives of others no matter the discomfort, cost, or inconvenience. In John 4:34, Jesus revealed to His disciples His passion when they challenged His time with the woman at the well, “‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.’” The Father’s work for Jesus was to love people and to give His life for them. Loving people was not a ministry project but the very nourishment and fulfillment of His life. Bringing others to the throne of God to have eternal life and to experience His abundance was Jesus’ greatest joy. Pray for God not only to give you opportunities to be “salt and light” for Christ, but also that your soul and spirit are fed by loving others more than yourself. Pray that your soul hungers for the opportunity to share Christ and His love so that you are filled with the love and joy of Christ!
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." (NIV)