“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.“-1 Corinthians 13:1–2
During the heart of a Chicago winter one year, people were advised not to leave their homes due to the driving wind and snow. Most schools, businesses, stores, and even churches had closed down for weeks on end. Yet one tiny church kept its doors open. On Sunday, the pastor stood just inside the church doors and watched the blinding storm blanket the city with whiteness. Suddenly, he saw a small boy making his way through the snow to the church. The pastor ran out the door, grabbed the boy, and hurried him into the warmth of the church. After the boy thawed out for a few minutes, the pastor asked him, “Son, why were you out in that storm? What are you doing here?” The boy looked up at the pastor through tearful eyes and said, “I just had to come to church, pastor. This is one of the only places I feel loved.”
This young boy risked his life to go to church because he knew the love and compassion the pastor had for him. He didn’t allow a severe snowstorm to keep him from reaching the place where he most felt loved.
The very heart of God could be summed up by love. “For God so loved…”(John 3:16); “…because the LORD thy God loved thee” (Deuteronomy 23:5); “For the Father himself loveth you…” (John 16:27); “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 14:8). God is love!
Just as the pastor in the story above showed God’s love to this little boy, as Christians, we are to show the love of God to others around us. We are to be imitators of Christ and are to let His love for others show through our thoughts, words, and actions each day.
Our Lord’s love was shown through his passion to see others saved. His love overlooked the sins and shortcomings of the people He met and offered them hope through eternal life. Yes, His justice demanded their repentance, but His love provided for their need.
How often do you look at someone for what they’ve done rather than for who they are? How many times have you seen the sin rather than the sinner? We all struggle with this because it’s not human nature to so easily forgive failure. But Christ gives you the example to follow—love others and point them to God. He is the One who can forgive them of their sin and give them a home in Heaven.
Has there been a loss of love in your life? Have you lost that tender love for others and the desire to see them saved? So often as time goes by, you can lose your love for others. Whether through pride, a hard heart, or some callousness of spirit, you forget to see the person, not the perpetrator. Take time right now to renew a love for people in your heart. Become burdened once again for those who don’t know Christ. Refuse to focus on someone’s sin rather than offering them the hope the Lord has provided for them today.(Paul Chappell)