What Manner of Love?
What manner of love are we living in today? After one of the roughest weeks in America it is time we as a nation, and even us Christians ask this question
Click play to listen to this sermon:
Text for today’s sermon: John 15:9
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. – NKJV
This week was a rough week for our society, for America. Monday, we all hopefully ate some really good BBQ, set off fireworks, and we celebrated this country in which we were all born, we are all citizens, and we all live here. Tuesday, an innocent man looses his life to a couple of officers while selling CDs; what manner of love? Wednesday, another young man looses his life while in the passenger seat of a car with his fiance and her daughter; what manner of love? Thursday, 5 officers, protecting protesters of all the recent police violence, gunned down and killed; what manner of love?
One of the lawyers for the Sterling family had said he hasn’t slept and that he’s watched the reports asking what’s wrong with us? As I began the year saying, it all begins with our mind and our soul. We must look at what manner of love is in our soul. Our soul is in trouble. Our society is messed up; its not brand new, our country rose off of manner of love that was hate filled. Folks thought it was getting better but they failed to realize all we was doing was sweeping our problems under a rug – eventually it was going to spill back out. What manner of love leads to these events?
What manner of love do we live in?
What manner of love do we live in that creates a surrounding to where we choose to execute each other, like nobody has family, friends, or acquaintances to go home too. What manner of love do we live in that creates a surrounding to where we pre-determine, judge, who somebody is and what they stand for without even personally knowing them. What manner of love do we live in to where we feel very little to no empathy for what a person is going through because the color of their skin is different from yours.
Does that sound right? Does that sound like love? Love is defined as an intense feeling of deep affection. Deep affection. Affection is a gentle feeling of fondness or liking. Recently, while I was hospitalized, I had family come out to visit me and I could certainly feel their love towards me. When it comes to familial love, I would say that our society doesn’t necessarily struggle with familial love. I understand that there are some families that don’t get along, but it seems that it is more common for family to get along. The challenge seems to come when love must be given outside of our bubble; affection is very rarely given to those that aren’t alike.
The manner of love we should have
We as Christians have been commanded to do one specific thing – love. In our key verse we that Jesus tells us, the believer, “as the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide (continue) in My love.” Christians are told to abide, which also means live, in Jesus’ love; this is all a part of our faith in Christ and our walk in the way of Jesus Christ. Here lies a very big problem when it comes to Christians, so-called Christians are one of the biggest antagonist when it comes to the love of God – we simply do not walk in the love of God.
The thing is this, Christians are supposed to know better and know to walk in the love of God. It seems everybody outside of Christians have this inkling that Christians aren’t necessarily acting like Christians – Jesus. When you really think about Christianity and the thing that Christians have done, it will truly make you sure your head and make you wonder. Christians created the image of a white Jesus, even though he’s an Israelite, tribe of Judah; they created this banner and image to stand behind as they moved in hate. These Christians used that image spread a superiority complex that’s still at odds with the world today. Men fought wars and died because of this false image that man had created of our Savior.
Our Savior did not say anything about going around and spreading a word about being superior. Our Savior didn’t come into the world saying that He was superior to us, when He actually was very superior to us. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, told us to continue in His love. The question for us Christians is this, are we? Are we actually continuing in the same manner of love of Christ? The same manner of love doesn’t hate somebody because they don’t believe the same thing that you do. The same manner of love does not hate somebody because they don’t dress the same way that you do. The same manner of love does not hate somebody because of who they choose to enter into a relationship with.
Tell me this, how many people did you read or study about Jesus telling not to come to Him? We turn people away from the church doors weekly, and yearly and I tell you that Jesus would be absolutely ashamed. Tell me this, how many people did you see Jesus murder? I get the idea of being able to defend yourself, but to see Christians create so much strife about being able to tote guns around that can do so much killing is absolutely sickening.
Are we continuing in the manner of love as Jesus Christ? The answer to that question is actually very simple – no. We, as Christians, can’t even love each other and treat other like we’re equal people; we can’t worship together, fellowship together, or eat together. We have set up denominations within the body of Christ to be able to, once again, sit down and worship with folks that look like us. You have probably heard me say it before, but I have heard it said that Sunday is the most segregated day of the year, and it is completely true. When are we going to actually worship together? We go to football games together, we go to restaurants together, but when it comes to praising God together? And then all throughout the media they talk of needing to sit down and talk together. Who is going to sit down and talk together when the one community that should be about love can very rarely interact with one another? Is Christ love filled with the hate that we have brought into His body? If you could go back in time, do you think you would see Christ moving about with the same kind of hate in which the Church body moves about nowadays?
Understand and remember that the love of God can be seen in John 3:16 –
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
I know you have probably heard me refer to John 3:16 a hundred times, but it is important for a Christian to remember the kind of love in which our Father had for us. We were not worthy of His love yet, at the same time, God still had love for us! God’s love, as you have certainly heard me say before, is not like that of our own. If God’s love was like that of ours, He would have fell out of love with mankind years and years ago! We aren’t like Him. We certainly can’t think on His level. Oh, let’s not forget that we are sinful creatures. If God was like man, He would have dropped us, mankind, like a bad habit.
Moving forward in a new manner of love
The one thing that has been made even more clear, and what continues to be made clear after these kind of events is that our society must change. It doesn’t take a genius to look around at our society, and see that this world cannot make it in the way that we are currently going. I believe that we as Christians are going to always “make it” because God is not going to allow anything to happen to His children, but the mere fact that we do not work together in love is very bothering.
I want to see us do better, and for us to do better it all begins with us – individually. We have to look within our own self and ask, what manner of love is inside each of us? Whether you are a child of God or the biggest atheist there is, we must ask, what manner of love resides in each of us? As a Christian, and even as a black male, it always seems that we are being asked to love others at a time when the most hateful thing has happened to us. I will say this, as a Christian, we were told to love. Even as hard as it can be to love a person that has absolutely no love for you, as difficult as it is we must learn to walk in a manner of love that can pierce through that hate; Don’t forget, we chose to do the difficult, we chose to be Christians! Let us learn to walk and live in the manner of love that both the Father and the Son (God) had for us.
Paul said it best in 2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
It all begins in the mind, our mind, our soul, must be sound and filled with faith and with the love of God. We must move beyond what we currently are or else we will continue to see our world fall deeper into hate.