Posted by: mikenicholsblog | August 1, 2010

love like that.

How do others view your life? In a couple of instances recently, I have had the opportunity to review the quality of someone’s life in-depth. It was fascinating to learn that friends and family all painted similar portraits. My conclusion: Our character will present itself in every venue of life. People know who we are, and will respond to us accordingly. They know if we tend toward selfishness or have a caring, selfless bent, whether we are driven or laid-back etc…To compound the issue, Christ followers have to be conscious of how our spiritual character is viewed by others.

If the view others have of us matters, which I believe it does, what should be the dominant theme of my/your life? What really matters? If you are a person who really wants to affect others for good, listen to the instructions of Paul, the apostle. It doesn’t matter about your particular personality traits, family background or education. Following his advice will give the world around you a clear picture of how life can be lived.

Galatians 5:6b (NIV)
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Could others say of you and me that we love extravagantly, not seeking to get something, but to give ourselves to others? It is undeniable that Christ loved this way. For goodness sakes, He died on a cross for our sins. We are told to love like that. And if we really want to have a faith that counts, it will be expressed through love, first to God and then to others. Candidly, you and I don’t see many people living like this. But there can be no excuse for the Christ-follower; God’s design is for us to love selflessly. And as a fellow struggler, I can validate that we can trust Him for the results.

There will probably be someone on your journey this week that needs your love. It may even be someone who you struggle even to like. But if you value God’s purpose for your life, accept the challenge to love extravagantly, by a choice of your will. Beth Moore (one of my favorite authors) says it well. “We live by faith. We love by faith.

If you and I will love extravagantly, like Christ did, an in-depth look at our lives will reveal the heart of Christ. Sprinkled along our journey path will be evidences of lives touched and hearts changed. What can be better than knowing that the love He poured into us has bled out to others?

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