In part 1 of Love God, Love People, I asked some questions. Questions about love. Did you put some mind behind the heart of how and why you love? What did you discover? Today I will add another dimension: If love is not a thing to be earned, but rather bits & hunks & chunks of something to be given, how do you give?
1- Are you a cheerful giver?
2- Do you recognize that God has placed demands upon you to give?
Take from among you an offering to the LORD.
Whoever is of a willing heart,
let him bring it as an offering to the LORD…
~ Exodus 35:5
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart,
not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
~ 2 Corinthians 9:6-9
When a person gives of God, they must set their own self aside and fully rejoice in the offering–even if the recipient never knows your name. If we delight in a warm smile and a happy hug from the taker(s) of our gifts, how much more does Christ rejoice when we choose to accept Him and His most gracious gift of eternal life? Oh how He must smile!
3- How would our mode, method, means, and magnitude of giving change if we knew this was the final Christmas on earth before Christ’s triumphant return?
I reckon our urgency, generosity, and selflessness would only be topped by our boldness in highlighting Christ as the Ultimate Gift-Giver!
His love would expand exponentially. Un-measurably. We would be more of who Christ wants us to be.
Dear reader, imagine if you will that love is indeed something to feel and taste and hear and smell and see. Previously we learned that love is an action. It requires movement. It demands motion.
Because LOVE is not of you,
nor is it for you alone.
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
~ Mark 12:29-31
Go and secretly demonstrate love today. Do it with no intention of being known or thanked or even recognized. Do it because He does it quite liberally each and every day for you. And me.
“The human heart has hidden treasure.
In secret kept, in silence sealed:
The thoughts, the hopes,
the dreams, the pleasure.
Whose charms are broken if revealed.” (Charlotte Bronte)
I disagree. Completely. Instead the last line should read like this:
Whose love is only revealed when broken is the seal!