By Pastor Marcus Davidson
One of the most misused, casually thrown around words is “love.” People often say “I love you” out of habit without ever really knowing the implications of those three words when they fall upon someone’s ears and enters someone’s heart. Love is so often misrepresented that many guard their heart in such a way that they refuse to love or be loved. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book, The Four Loves:
So as Lewis stated, one must be willing to be vulnerable to love. To love is to do more than just express the words verbally; one must be willing to express it through action. God shows us the most beautiful picture of love in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
The words, penned by John, teach us that love is an action word. God loved us so much that He GAVE; He was moved to action. When we love authentically, it will move us to action. The action is often not difficult when the love is towards someone who will reciprocate that love. However, as believers, we are commanded to love those who will not always reciprocate that same love. Therefore, in life we will have to love some people who are not so loveable. That is the essence of love without limits.
The Bible gives a wonderful description of love that we can embrace. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
Loving unconditionally requires a willingness to be vulnerable. As we love family, friends, and even foes, there has to be a willingness to go all in; which can sometimes be challenging. Loving family, for example, can occasionally cause you to feel helpless if your family forsakes when you need them most. Loving friends can be painful when friends become fickle. There could be risk of great harm when you extend love to foes knowing they have no love for you. However, we must love anyway. We must love unconditionally, uncompromisingly, and unselfishly. When you love like that you become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, loving without limits me-ans that we must love those who are not like us, who do not believe like us, and even those who do not behave like us. To love without limits is to demonstrate love towards others when it is difficult, yet our relationship with Christ demands it. However, to love like Christ one must hate like Christ. To clarify that statement, in order to love biblically, one must love the things God loves and hate or reject the things that God rejects. Romans 12:9 (NLT) states “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”
LOVE WITHOUT LIMITS!
Pastor Marcus Davidson, Div. M., is the senior pastor of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact Pastor Davidson at www.mountolive.org or follow him on Twitter @ mdd1911.