A story is told of a house of ill repute where there lay a poor woman whose body was racked with the diseases common to her profession. Various Christian workers had visited her and spoke to her of her need for salvation. But the words fell on deaf ears. She was unmoved and untouched by their words. Finally a woman, who was especially burdened by a heart that was full of love and compassion, came to see her. As she stood by the bedside of this woman she told her of the way of life, and as she did so a tear formed and slowly rolled down her cheek and gently fell upon the cheek of the poor woman. Somehow, that day her heart melted and she found the Lord and was gloriously saved. Later someone asked her what it was that had touched her heart. She replied, “The tear did it. As I looked into the eyes of that woman who came to talk to me I saw a tear form in her eye and I watched as it gently rolled down her cheek and fall onto mine. As it fell it seemed to break my heart and penetrate my very soul.” May the Lord save us from coldness and professionalism and give us hearts of love for a lost world.
HOW MUCH LOVE DO WE PUT IN WHAT WE DO?
Dr. Karl Menninger, the famous psychiatrist, was asked at a forum what one was to do if he felt a nervous breakdown coming on. You would have thought that he would have replied, “Go to a psychiatrist.” But instead he replied: “Lock up your house, go across the railway tracks and find someone in need, and do something for him.” Isn’t that illuminating? If you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, you are centered on ‘self’. The only way to break the downward slide is to go and get interested in and love someone more than you love yourself.
If we grow in love, then we grow. If we don’t grow, then we simply go, not grow. And it is a very barren going! Without growing in love we cannot grow in God, for His essential nature is love. The life Christ had, as man, to maintain, He had to maintain it in the power that God gave Him. The secret of how He did it is how we must do it? Jesus said, “I can do nothing of myself.” He tells us that He did not speak one word till the Father had led Him into what he should say. He just lived every moment of the day with this one thought: God is absolutely all, and I am a vessel in which God reveals His glory. The life of Christ is found in his entire, unbroken, continuous dependence upon God; and God really was, in His life, every hour, all in all. Christ came to prove that love, absolute love comes from absolute surrender.
“While knowledge may make a man look big, it is only love that can make him grow to his full stature.” (1 Corinthians 8:1) Knowledge may teach us everything about life but how to live it. Philosophers have tried to convince humanity; the moralists have tried to bludgeon humanity; Jesus melted humanity. They gave words, and Jesus became the Word made flesh. One talked of love, and Jesus was love.
Each little act of love that we do prepares us for the larger responsibilities that love inevitably inherits. For those who love, love becomes the cement of any situation, and without love no situation will hold together. The loving are the inevitable rulers in any situation. As Mother Teresa said, “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in what we do. Do ordinary things with extraordinary love – the way you walk, the way you smile, your kind words, your readiness to forgive – all these are the signs of God’s love to the world through you.”
Paul says in Ephesians 1:5, “In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ,” We all have a destiny and at its core is ‘love’. When we decide to absolutely surrender to His love we then become conduits of that love. Then you will not be a person who occasionally loves when it is convenient, but a person whose purpose in life is to love.
Love will be the organizing motive and power in your life. In that case if love is hindered here, it will break out there; if it is stopped here, it will find a way there. Love never fails, for it will always find a way of expressing itself; and when it expresses itself, it makes the person more loving no matter what the outcome may be.
God’s love for us is not solely for what we are today, but for the potential that lies within us. His desire is to see the person we were destined to be, come into being. Therefore, He can love the unlovable, for He sees beyond what they presently are to what they were destined to become. We too can also love that same way. We can love people not for what they are, but for the potential that lies within. And by our love we tend to produce the person we see – we love them into being. Michelangelo saw a David in a rejected piece of marble and patiently loved it into being. Jesus looked at a murderer named Saul and loved into being a mighty apostle named Paul.
We need to do everything for the love of Christ because the love of Christ transforms the menial into the meaningful, the sordid into the sacred. The fullness of our lives with its victories and defeats, all these are not obstacles but opportunities for showing the love of God. Then everything becomes big, not because it is inherently big, but by the opportunity that it presents to us.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO SAVE A LOST AND DYING WORLD?
A man stopped at the country store, leaving his team of horses out in the road. While he was in the store the team became frightened and ran down the road. The man ran out of the store, across the field, climbed the fence and caught the team by the bridles as they came dashing round the road. They sped on, dragging him as they went, but he would not let go. Finally, after they had almost exhausted themselves, they stopped. The man relaxed his grip and fell panting, bruised, bleeding and dying. As he lay there the men from the store came and saw him in his dying condition and said, “What made you do it?” “They are not worth it; you are dying.” The dying man said, “Go look in the wagon.” They did and there they saw a little boy on the hay. They knew why he did it. You ask, “Why did Jesus come to this poor old world, and run the gauntlet of hell and suffer and die?” Our answer is, “Go, look at a lost world and you will understand.
Jesus has the power to open that which has been closed because He is the Word of Love become flesh. Where others failed, He succeeded, for where knowledge knocks in vain, love enters. Where other keys get jammed, love opens the doors, for it fits the heart—every heart. It is the Master Key. Paul says: “Love never fails” – it never fails, for even if it is not received, then one is more loving for having loved.
With all our love and with thankfulness for all of you,