“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” (Mat 24:12 NIV)
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” (Rev 2:4 NIV)
Our sacrifices on behalf of Christ are but tiny offerings compared to Calvary.
One of our most significant tiny offerings is to respond to what Jesus urged us to do: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
We were created to love. Why do we have such a hard time fulfilling our purpose? So many of us don’t even love the spouse or the closest friends we have been given. Others even hate their own children. Friends come and go, and once we fall terminally ill, we realize it is too late to wholly love as Jesus did. We have failed.
But love is not an emotion. It is a decision. If we want to truly live, we must choose to truly love. We will never be able to find love unless we are willing to let it transform us!
Take me, for example. I constantly hear the cry of the ocean. It attracts me like bees are attracted to flowers. And I love the beach. I am the sand kind of guy. I love the feeling of walking on all of those tiny grains of sand, and if I had my way, I would have a living room floor covered with the stuff. Can you imagine the total ecstasy of walking on such a floor? The only thing that would keep this from being perfectly idyllic would be that the scent of a nearby ocean would be missing!
I really can’t help it that I feel this way! After all, I was born next to the North Sea!
My wife, on the other hand, is fascinated by mountains. The higher they are, the better. She, too, was raised near an ocean, however, though you often couldn’t see them because of the smog, the mega city she lived in was also surrounded by mountains. For her, the call didn’t come from the water, but from the mountains, and to her, the view is not as important as the climb! She’s a real mountain goat, that one! I guess we will have to move to Hawaii when we eventually retire. It’s the only place where both of us can feel at home!
Last year I made sure that the highlight of our trip would be “Les Grandes Gorges de la Rivière Malbaie”, home to Mont Erable (Maple Mountain), one of the most beautiful mountains of the Canadian province of Quebec.
Now this sand-kind-of-guy has many problems reaching the heights of such places as Mont Erable, especially since he has become quite decrepit! So to make sure I would be able to arrive at the top, I focused all of my attention on reaching my high-altitude destination. Although many distractions tried to lure me away from my goal, I ignored them. Thirst and fatigue were laid aside, and I refused to even slow down when we came to the outrageously-attractive resting spots along the way.
When we finally reached the first of the mountain’s three peaks, about 10 Kilometers from our car (amazingly, I was still in one piece! Imagine that!), I saw my wife’s excitement, as well as the grateful smile she threw my way. This motivated me to visit the other two peaks as well! It was just a tiny offering for this sand man, compared to the awesome person she is!
“Rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (Prov 5:18 NIV) I sure do and my flame for her as well as for my Saviour motivates me to love others as Jesus does as well.
(To access the entire “Awake!” devotional series, please click here.)