June 12, 2020 - LOVE
When I woke up this morning I thought about how positive and profound it is to be loved and to love others. I also thought about how powerful it is to genuinely love someone else with your entire heart. I am not necessarily talking about romantic love, rather genuine, down to earth, real love. I am talking about that type of love one of our church members refers to as "For Real Love."
It is so easy to tell someone that you love them, but to truly love them is what God calls all of us to do. Romans 12: 9-10 says it best, "Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection." Fake love is disastrous and unnecessary. Have you had people to tell you that they love you, but you question their motive? It can lead to great disappointment. Also know that it is alright to love someone authentically without fear or repercussions.
I recently read a story about people in the Middle East during ancient times and their love for clay pots. Clay pots were considered a precious and expensive commodity. The difficulty was the mere fact that they were fragile and easily broken or cracked. Often on the way to the marketplace to sale them the pots would crack. Because they were cracked they lost their value and the ability to contain water. Sometimes the merchants at the marketplace would take wax and cover up the cracks and then sell them at the regular price. There were cases where the naked eye could not see the repaired crevice in the pot. It was as if the pot was genuine or authentic when in reality it was a fake. Pots that were whole, complete and without blemish were called sincere, meaning "without wax."
There are some people that can be referred to as cracked pots because they are filled with wax. These are persons who pass themselves off as being real and authentic, but are fakes. Being authentic means being sincere about how you love and how you treat others. All of us wish to be loved, but we must first show genuine love.
Too often we throw the word love around as if it is just another word, but in reality it has power and it can change the world. Let us not be callous and reckless in using the word love. It is to be cherished. When my daughters say to me, "Dad, I love you." I know that it is sincere and genuine and it causes a light to shine internally, but it also causes me to show love more sincerely and genuinely.
Before you tell someone you love them in the future, think about this passage of scripture: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV The bottom line to all of this is that love has to be sincere. Have you ever been disappointed because you thought someone really truly loved you, but they were waxed pots?
Remember that God is the ultimate example of love. Therefore, we cannot say that we love God, but do not love our brothers and sisters. Because of the love God has shown us, we are called to show one another love also.
The power of love is spoken in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." This verse of scripture tells us how much God loves us. Through His death, Christ revealed what a pure, genuine, and unfathomable love looks like. "While we were sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Take time to tell someone today that you genuinely and sincerely love them. It will help change the world. Don't be a waxed pot.
Not a sermon, just a thought!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor