It is sometimes mind boggling to think of all the things that people both here in the U.S. and throughout the world go through. Some of the experiences of our lives bring incredible joy and many of them bring inexpressible sorrow. We all share the common experiences of birth and death, gain and loss, grief and celebration. No matter where you live there are those things that make perfect sense and those things that make no sense at all. Here in the U.S.A. we experience unprecedented privilege and wealth that much of the world outside of the U.S. cannot even fathom. My wife, Cindy, and I have had the unique privilege to see some of the poorest places in the world through numerous mission trips as well as some of the wealthiest. We have met some of the most amazing people. We have met persecuted Christians meeting in homes nestled in the mountains of India, extremely poor African Christians struggling to feed their children in Malawi, Africa, Thai believers yearning to see their family members discover Christ and become free from fear and shame. We have also been privileged to share moments with everyday Americans that are common to all of us.
In all of these situations there is one thing in common: our need to feel and express love that is unconditional, sacrificial and pure. It’s the kind of love that is seen most clearly and purely in Christ. Christ loved us by bearing our sins on the cross - all because He loves us so much. This is a kind of love - the only kind of love - that can set us free and fill the yearning void of our hearts. This is the kind of love that all people yearn for. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, where you live, what your nationality or race is, or what your background is like. This is a love that can only be found in Christ through a personal, life-giving relationship with Him.
However, this is also the kind of love that every human being not only yearns to receive, but yearns to give. As we have traveled we have seen joy in the most unusual and difficult places. Love and joy is not based on outward circumstances. It is based on and found in human hearts that have been captured by the love of God. Love brings joy and joy leads us to love. It’s a joy to love God and it is a joy to love other people - especially when there are no strings attached and when we love just for the sheer joy of it. The Bible says, ‘we love because Christ first loved us’. When we get the love of God in us by knowing and experiencing Jesus, we can’t help but love others in real ways - not just in words but in real ways that make a real difference.
That is really the point. What we need to do is not just talk about love, but live out love, show love and share love through our actions. Do something simple for just one person at a time. Spend time with someone who is lonely, help someone who needs help, hug someone who is crying, pray with someone who is hopeless. If you are having trouble loving it’s probably because you need to be filled with love. Go to Christ, meet Christ, encounter Christ, turn to Christ, open your heart to Christ - that is the way to find love. Then with every waking breath show love to everyone you meet. It really can change the world!