COLUMNIST: Pastor’s Pen
It certainly isn’t easy being a Christian in today’s world – living out God’s love to everyone, family, friends and strangers – especially given the nature of the love Jesus spoke about and lived during His life and ministry, which for us, is often difficult to achieve, writes Alan Millar.
It seems easier to live according to the other kinds of love the Greeks named as: Storge love – love of a friend; Philia love – love within the family; Eros love - romantic love between boy and girl, husband and wife.
Maintaining such loves is difficult enough, which can, and do sometimes fail. But the love Jesus speaks of is Agape love, God’s love, which is the selfless, sacrificial love God showed toward mankind, through Jesus Christ, His own Son, who gave His life on the cross at Calvary to pay the price for our sins. God’s love is eternal, unquenchable, can never be extinguished, is indestructible, never tires, and never changes. Paul describes the nature of God’s love in 1st Corinthians 13:4-8, which, by the way, Christians should read everyday as a reminder of what it means to love as God loves us.
The problem is that the spirit of love in our hearts often gets battered and bruised by the bitterness, selfishness and hatred that confronts us in our daily lives. Our souls become weary, and God’s love needs to be restored within us. (Psalm 23:2-3). Help comes in the form of the Spirit of truth, the Helper, the Comforter, whom Jesus promised to send us, who would teach us how to shine for Jesus – like we sing in the children’s hymn, ‘Jesus bids us shine’.
Consider an old rusty car, one of the old classics, the kind that in prime condition, old car enthusiasts would drool over. But sadly, it is terribly dilapidated, dented and rusted, unroadworthy, ready to be thrown on the scrap heap for cars beyond their purpose.
Then a discerning eye sees it, someone who sees its potential, someone with the skill, knowledge and passion to restore it to its original glory. He buys it, and in his workshop, carefully dismantles it, then over a period of time rebuilds and restores this old misshapen car, this useless piece of metal into a gleaming thing of beauty, which everyone admires.
In the hands of the Holy Spirit we too can be restored to our original glorious condition, the image of God, so that His love, and the beauty of Jesus, can be seen in us, all to give God the glory.