Monday, February 15, 2010

Love Through Demonstration

John 17:1 says, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:” This particular Scripture hit me at a time when I was struggling with praying for two particular people in my life. Yes, you heard me…. I WAS STRUGGLING WITH PRAYING. I usually had no problem with praying for them as they called on me to do so on a regular basis. But this particular time in my life, in my walk, I just found myself tired. I found myself not wanting to answer the phone when they called (and had actually did it to one of them, the day before). Nevertheless, I did not “feel” like talking to them, I just did not want to listen to the same complaint, putting myself aside, as they always seemed to have a total disregard of what I was doing at the moment or even how I was doing.

Earlier this day, as I purpose to do every day even still, I prayed, “Lord, use me for Your glory. Let me be a vessel of Your goodness. Your mercy. Give me the words of wisdom I need, words that will comfort, encourage and strengthen someone who needs to hear You. Who needs to know that You love them.”

Now of course, God being the faithful God that He is, began a work. And what is so funny about it is I had not planned on reading this Scripture that morning. I was actually doing my Sunday School lesson, reading the assigned Scriptures for the day and mistakenly (to me… God of course, meant it to happen), my eyes were redirected to John 17 and the Scriptures jumped off the page and caught my attention. God has a way of making you see things.

So God continued His work. The Scripture says that Jesus was praying for Himself first (v.1-5), then He went on to pray for His disciples (v.6-19), concluding with praying for all believers elsewhere (v. 20-26). Note, that even in praying, there is an order for how we ought to pray. Get this though, GOD hears us no matter what because He is an ever present God. But when we pray according to His will and according to His word, He not only HEARS us, He ANSWERS us. So just make a mental note of the order that Jesus prayed. For Himself, for His disciples (those that He has been given charge over) and then for believers elsewhere. Anyway, then the Holy Spirit went to work on me, as I received fresh revelation from God’s Word, and immediately I was convicted. TOTALLY. Caught in the act, red-handed!

I heard God tell me, “You asked Me to be glorified in you, just today. You prayed that I would use you so that someone would be encouraged.” I didn’t see how that was happening though, because I was too concerned with how I was feeling. We cannot let our feelings stand in the way of what we know to do. Our faith is not based on our feelings. Our love is not based on our feelings. Feelings will trip us up every single time. They will cause us to take offense, when there ought to be none. They will cause us to do some things that we know better. Don’t do something based on whether or not how it makes you feel, good or bad. Sometimes that good feeling is SIN. Anyway, but God said, “Yes you pray for yourself, you pray for your charge (those that I have put in your circle), and you even pray for believers elsewhere. But Jesus prayed aloud. Jesus prayed out loud so that His disciples would hear Him and be comforted.”

Then I understood. Sometimes and it may seem too often to us at times, but if we really want to do the will of the Lord, we must set ourselves aside and love. Love as Jesus would love. It is God’s will for us to care about others. To tend to the needs of others. This is how the world will know that we belong to God, because of the love that we have for each other. But the love has to be demonstrated. We cannot just simply say we love someone. God said if you love me keep my commandments. Even that is demonstration. Love is an action word. Continually demonstrated. It may not be enough to say I’m praying for you. Show them. DO it. If you don’t feel like it, even the more so, because then you are sacrificing. And love is a sacrificial demonstration. It is putting your needs and desires to the side to fulfill the needs and desire of someone else. God demonstrated His love by sacrificing His only Son.

In this Scripture and through this experience, along with some things of late, God is yet teaching me about love. That it has nothing to do with emotion. It is active. That sometimes people need to see you look up to heaven and bow your head on their behalf. It may not be enough to tell them that you are praying, pray with them. Aloud. They need to hear you go to God and make a petition for them. Sometimes love means so much more when it is demonstrated. It is nice to tell me that you love me but when you show me, that is a whole other story. And God is saying the same thing. “Don’t just tell Me you love Me, show Me.”

God could have just told us He would die for us. But He showed us instead. He demonstrated His love. He put His love into action. Love is an action word. Demonstrate it.

God is real, and He really, really, really loves us.

Be blessed.
A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

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