I was sitting in church this Sunday listening to our pastor talk about how we are to love each other because we are loved by God. He challenged us as a church to make sure we get the “horizontal” right before we know that we have the “vertical” with God. What he meant by that was that if we can’t show love to the people around us, then we can’t truly be connected to God because God is love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
1 John 4:7-8
This hit me hard. I started to question my actions, words and behaviours with the people around me. Am I a person who forgives those who have hurt me? Do I hold grudges? Am I welcoming? Is my first reaction to judge, rather than love? Do I reflect God’s love to others the way that I should?
Deep down I knew that the answers to those questions were not what God expected from me. I need to do more to show the love that God has for me and to spread that love to others. Sure, I care about others and do my best to be a good person. Yes, I do things to encourage my friends and make sure that they know I care about them and love them. But what about the people who have hurt me or the people that I care about? Do I show them love? What about the hurt and lonely around me? Have I showed them hospitality and love in my actions?
So now it’s time for me to make some changes and step out of my comfort zone. God paid the ultimate sacrifice to show his love for me, I need to be sure that I am sharing that love with others. And I challenge you to do the same.
We ended our service Sunday morning with a song that is becoming my prayer as I step out in faith to love others with all that I am. I want to leave you with the words to the chorus of that song. I pray it speaks to you the same way it has spoken to me.
“I’m wide awake, drawing close, stirred by grace and all my heart is yours. All fear removed, I breathe you in, I lean into your love, oh your love.”
Hillsong – Sinking Deep