Let's talk about love.
I'm not talking about that mushy gushy stuff. You know, the kind with butterflies and etc? Yeah, not that kind.
I'm talking about real, in your face, life changing love.
I'm talking about agape.
The kind of love that can only be shown to us by Jesus. The kind of sacrificial, unconditional love that should drive us to our knees.
The kind of love that is so deep, it aches for us. It longs for us. It desires to know us.
I don't believe that when Jesus took his last breath on that cross and said that 'it is finished' that it was the end of the story.
Now hear me out.
I am by no means diminishing or taking away from the incredible act of love that was on display that day. When he said it is finished, he meant it. Sin was finished. Death was finished. They had been defeated. That was the end of their story.
But it was just the beginning of ours.
If you are reading this and you believe in the radical saving grace of Jesus, these instructions are for you.
If you are reading this and you haven't yet made that decision, your instructions are different.
If you fall into this second category, here is what I want you to do. I want you to find someone in your life that has made this decision and implore them to show you this kind of love. Tell them that you want to know all about this Jesus guy that has radically saved them and changed them.
If you don't have someone like that in your life, find someone. If you can't find someone, ask me. I would love nothing more than to tell you about the Jesus that saved me.
If you fall into the first category I mentioned, the following instructions are for us. I say us because trust me, I am speaking these words to myself just as loud, if not louder, than I speak them to you.
Be that agape love to your neighbor.
That kid at school that you all think is a bit off.
The girl in your youth group desperately trying to find where she belongs.
Your gay neighbor.
Your straight neighbor.
Your Muslim neighbor.
Your atheist neighbor.
Stop being so quick to condemn.
Love them enough that they desire to know Jesus.
Love them enough that they no longer question whether Jesus loves them.
How many young people like Leelah Alcorn have to die before people just love the way Jesus commanded us to?
Now, I am by no means saying that you or I should condone sin.
Speak the truth in love.
I think too often we leave that part out.
We become too focused on proving our point, that it becomes our main priority.
Earnestly spend time with Jesus and his word.
He will not fail you.
Understand that you will not save them.
Only the Holy Spirit through you can do that.
Our opinions don't matter.
Yours, mine, your pastors, your parents.
In the end, it's God's opinion that matters.
My former youth pastor once said, "I don't agree with anyone's lifestyle. Not even my own."
Jesus commanded us to love.
No restrictions. No exceptions.
But to just simply love.
The last time I checked, I was still desperately in need of his grace and his mercy, and I'll bet you are too.
It's okay to disagree.
No one will ever see eye to eye on everything.
But don't we stand a lot better of a chance of seeing people turn their lives over to Jesus and follow him with everything they have if we would just simply love more?
I'm not saying I have all the answers.
And I'm sure there will be a lot of people that disagree with a lot that I had to say today.
And that's okay.
We don't have to always agree for me to still love you.
It'd be kinda boring if we agreed about everything anyways.
I'm just a girl with a heart broken for this generation of lost and hurting people. No matter what baggage or sins they may be carrying.
Agape love isn't easy. Just ask Jesus.
But he did it regardless.
When he said it is finished, the story began for us.
Will you continue to be a part of his story?
Will you swallow your pride, your bitterness, your need to be right and love without restrictions?
He died for them too. His blood can save them too.
Will you show them that?
As always you can keep up with me over at ohhaiiitsbrandii.wordpress.com
Until next time,