As Christ’s people we are called to love one another. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” - Matthew 22:39 I am sure that you have all realized that your neighbors are sinners. Maybe they have gossiped about you, stole from you, lied to you, persecuted you, or just treated you without respect. Now at the same time I think it is necessary to mention that you are just as sinful.
Yes we have the command to love others just as we love ourselves. But where do we get the power to forgive, and even more to love them? Speaking for myself, when I am disappointed, upset, angry or even furious with someone, can I just push a button to resolve the problem and love? No! We aren’t robots. We have feelings that are often hard to control.
But I have an answer that is very simple. THE GOSPEL!!! The gospel will give you the power to forgive, to love, and to make radical sacrifices of love for the glory of God.
Take a look at these verses. “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” – Colossians 3:12-13
Yes, the call to love and forgive exists, but it is Surrounded by the gospel. Do you see it? It is all over these two verses. “The elect of God” – He choose us long before we showed any signs of loving Him. “Holy and beloved”
- Our sins were washed away and we were made righteous through the blood of Jesus. Through the redemption made by Christ, we have become His beloved children. We are children of the Almighty King. And lastly we have these words, “Christ forgave you” – This is the pure gospel CHRIST FORGAVE YOU!
If it is hard for you to love, if it is hard for you to forgive, fix your eyes upon Jesus. He suffered and died for you a sinner, and your sins against Holy God cannot be numbered. They are billions of times greater than those that have been committed against you. “…if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.“
Jesus had every right to condemn us, to give us what we deserved. But he didn’t. He loved us! He had mercy!
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:6-8
Does not your soul leap for joy when hearing this good news?
Now, next time when it’s hard to forgive and love the one who has wronged you, look at Christ sacrifce for you and be touched by His love
I will close with 1 John 4:11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.“
J. C. Hahne