Love's Real Test
Scripture Reading — Matthew 5:43-48
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …”
Matthew 5:44 —
If God is love, as the Bible insists, then Jesus is love personified. He came to be a living, breathing, walking, talking example of love wrapped in human flesh.
In Jesus’ life and especially in his death we can see clearly that love can be costly.
Christ set aside his divine privileges and rights and acted in selflessness. That’s love!
Real love is demonstrated for us in Christ’s sacrifice. He willingly experienced death on a cross so that we can experience life in him.
Our world today is absorbed by “self.” Books on self-fulfillment, self-actualization, and self-improvement fill the shelves of bookstores and best-seller lists. But Jesus’ example shows us that real love is selfless, self-giving, and self-sacrificing. It looks first not to its own interests but to the interests of others.
Making the commitment to act in love will not always be easy. Jesus pointed out that loving the people who love us is not very demanding. In fact, anyone can do that. The real test, he said, is to love people who consider us enemies and mistreat us.
When we find ourselves increasingly able to reach out across fences to heal divisions and mend hurts, then we know that the Holy Spirit’s fruit of love is ripening in our lives.
Lord, thank you for your love shown through Jesus’ sacrifice. By your Spirit, grow in us a love that is able to reach out with grace even to people who are difficult to like. Amen.