In Genesis’ (29:20) account of Jacob and Rachel’s love, we learn that “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”
Jacob found himself “loving as if” Rachel was already his wife. Laban, Rachel’s father, insisted that Jacob work for 14 years for him, instead of the usual seven. It was customary for the eldest to marry first, and Rachel was a younger daughter.
When we act, live, and love as if we are serving the Lord, God’s love is revealed to others through us, as was Jacob’s love of Rachel.
In the book The Love Dare, authors Stephen and Alex Kendrick propose, “Love honors even when it’s rejected. Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all you get in return.”
Jacob’s love for Rachel, like God’s love for us, was unfailing. Those who trust in God are secure, comforted by the knowledge that God’s love and mercy are guaranteed to them. When Christians commit actions as if they are acts unto God, those efforts differ from acts made unto men.
In Colossians (3:12-17), Paul offers a day-to-day strategy for acting unto the Lord. The Apostle Paul tells us to “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Paul insists that we adopt Christ’s compassionate attitude, allowing love to guide us and to permit the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts. We are to be thankful unto the Lord, and to keep God’s word in us!
Living as if unto God requires Christians to live as representatives of Jesus Christ, and to live in peace. To the Romans (12:5), Paul said, “So in Christ we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all the others.” We can disagree, but we must do so graciously.
God gives to each of us special gifts which, together, enable us to build His church. Through a united ministry, we can more effectively use our abilities, and better understand the quality of our gifts.
To best serve God, each must dedicate his gifts unselfishly. By living as if unto the Lord, our gifts become gifts to God who, in turn, bestows His blessings.
Romans (12:5-8) lists our many gifts from God, with strengths balancing weaknesses, a big-picture strategy for which we should be grateful.
The Love Dare maintains that “Love motivated by mere duty cannot hold out for very long, and love that is only motivated by favorable conditions can never be assured of sufficient oxygen to keep it breathing. Only love that is lifted up as an offering to God – returned to Him in gratitude for all He’s done – is able to sustain itself when all other reasons have lost their ability to energize us.”
Colossians (3:23) advises: “Do your work heartily, as to the Lord rather than for men. Work hard at whatever you do…knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Loving As If unto the Lord, we can do all things unto God, rather than for men. Whether prophesying, serving, contributing, or showing mercy, let us do all things, loving as if unto the Lord.
The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami. To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org.