Why can’t we just love each other?

Published 7:44 pm Saturday, September 9, 2017

By LARRY P. STOVER | Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene 

Love is a powerful motivational force. We love our football teams, especially this time of the year. It doesn’t matter if they are great or stink, we are drawn to them with an intense fervor that is almost unmatched.

So why are you a practicing Christian today? Is it because of guilt, for fear of the consequences of eternity apart from God?

Maybe you were raised in a Christian home, and it is just expected of you.

Could you possibly call yourself a believer because it generates some kind of false sense of duty that allows you to mark off another obligation by attending church occasionally?

What motivates you to be a Christian? What is the driving force behind the decision you once made to be a “follower of Jesus Christ?”

Second Corinthians 5:14-15 is what drives me to believe in Jesus Christ.

It reads, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

First of all God loved me so much that he sent Jesus Christ to be my and your savior. Conversion so changed me that I am compelled to reciprocate that love to Him first and then share that love as the foundation of every relationship that I have.

Secondly, that unconditional love relationship that I have with Jesus Christ is the inspiration and motivation in my life. Christian love is empowering as it changes everything about me as I relate to others.

Love for people is an amazing thing. People who know me are quick to realize that I don’t see color, nationality or any of those other labels that we use to decide whether or not we will love someone.

An illustration from Matthew 20 will help us understand.

There were two blind men sitting by the road begging. They were the outcasts of society.

As Jesus was passing by one called out to him, “Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me.” Our Lord, moved by compassion, healed him. The social stigma was not a hindrance to Jesus meeting a need or interacting with this outcast.

Love and compassion change everything. It allows us to fulfill the Great Commandment which says, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

His love compels me. His love flows through me. I want his mission to be my mission. I want his love to so flow from my heart that it affects every motive and attitude I possess.

I am determined to be the husband, father, grandfather, pastor and believer that he wants me to be. That is my passion. I believe that any person or church that operates with that compelling love will be blessed by God beyond measure. And as that love overflows, it will make our lives “Simply Beautiful.”