Love is Necessary.
Sacrificial, impossible, graceful love is not only necessary, it is absolutely crucial.
You are here on this earth for a reason. That reason is not to make as much money as you can, to pursue that chunk of happiness to which you feel entitled, or to reach your worldly potential. These are distractions from the goal. You are here for a much nobler purpose, and are capable of far greater things as long as you keep your eye on the prize and shed the layer of self absorption with which you were birthed.
The words of Matthew 28:18-20 were not scrawled on a flyer posted on some billboard filled with innumerable other life goals only to be followed if and when they strike your fancy. “Go and make disciples of all nations” is the Great Commission, not the Inconsequential Suggestion. Christ lived and loved us perfectly and we are called and commanded to follow his example. 1 Peter 2:21 “ To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”
This calling and example of purposeful love requires more than a basket full of flowers to hand out at a street corner. You are called to do battle in the name of perfect love and you will need armor.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
If you feel you are armed and ready for your calling with truth, righteousness, and faith, but have not love, you are not fully grasping Christ’s example for you.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Without love we are nothing, nothing but resounding gongs, and we gain nothing. Without salvation won through Christ crucified, the definition of true love, we are nothing and can gain nothing.
It was necessary for our salvation that Christ became true man and lived a perfect life. It was necessary for our salvation that he died a perfect death on our behalf. It was necessary for our salvation that he rose victorious over death on the third day.
It was NOT necessary for God to love us, but it was because of God’s love for us that he did what was necessary for our salvation. God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
1 John 3 & 4 (Select verses)
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another...
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
Our potential is so much greater when we fully rely on God's love for us. When we do, we have a better understanding of the power in His love and the desperate need for us to love one another. How many days go by in our lives where we fail to comprehend the severity of the situation? Our call to love "with action and in truth" is an urgent one! We are warriors pitted against a very real and cunning foe who does not grow weary. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
In this world we are thoroughly equipped with the full armor of God, but there are people out there who leave home daily without their sword and shield. The enemy is waiting. The lost are filing in front of us by the legion, and how often do we fail to remember that we are fighting for more lives than just our own. It is not necessary for you to employ sacrificial, impossible, graceful love in order to win your own salvation. Your salvation has already been won. It would be tragic, though, for you to sit idly by rather than storming the battlefield to tell those who fail to realize that their salvation has been won as well.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We were so loved that we were freed from ourselves, and our citizenship in heaven was secured. In turn we are called to mirror the perfect love that rescued us and fight the good fight. Our potential is unfathomable when we take seriously our call and ability to sacrificially love the undeserving with the impossible love we have received in abundance. We are warriors armed with true and amazing love, and we are fighting to win souls.
Show the signs of true love, and be someone’s knight in shining armor.
What steps will you take TODAY to walk out this calling to love like Christ? Don't wait for the perfect situation, the ideal person or the perfect amount of knowledge. If you wait for these things, you'll find yourself waiting for eternity. God doesn't need your perfection, just your willing heart. What person has God put in your path for you to love today? It doesn't take going far to bump into someone who needs of the joyous hope of Jesus: the grocery store, the hair salon, the bank, at work or even your own home.