Do You Really Love?
My Spiritual friend, do you light a
lover's fire for your significant other? Do the ashes of desire
for them remain when the flames begin to abate? If you were to
see a family member whom you have not seen for sometime, although
you know they exist, hug and kiss them; speak with them, catching
up in all the past events? Yet, so it is, that we mill about in
our life and dismiss our closest companion.
During this season of Lent, may I
begin with the first link in this golden chain, namely, love for
Christ: "If a man love me." This "if" seems to stand at
the entrance of our text, like a watchman at the gate of a
palace, to prevent anybody from entering who should not enter. It
is an "if" with which to examine yourself, for not everyone loves
the Lord Jesus Christ. If you cannot answer in the affirmative
the question asked by the lips of Jesus himself, "Do you me
Love?"  you
have nothing to do with the rest of the verse.
True love cannot be passive for long.
It is like fire, having an active nature. It must be at work.
Love longs for expression, for it cannot be mute. If you were to
command it not to express itself, you then command it not to
live. True love is not satisfied with expressing itself only in
words. Of course, it uses words, but it is painfully conscious of
their feebleness. The full meaning of love cannot be conveyed in
any humble language. For it breaks the very backs of words and
crushes them to atoms with all that it means.
Love must express itself in deeds, as
the old proverb says, "Actions speak louder than words." Love
also delights in making sacrifices. She rejoices in denying
herself. In fact, the more costly the sacrifice, the more
pleasure love takes in making it. She will not offer that which
costs her nothing. She loves to endure pains and losses, for this
is how she expresses herself best. Today, as in the past we
cannot dismiss the 'give and take' with any relationship. Thus,
parts of us surrender for the other and the survival of our
I know of no other love to compare
with sacrifice than that of a Mother's…for she willingly
surrenders her body for the gestation period, knowing full well
the inevitable pain which awaits her as a lioness awaits crouched
in the grasses for its prey, and quickly runs ever faster in
full-gallop, with no mercy, claws extended, quickly incarcerates
Yet, I know of no mother who does not
readily dismisses all…yes the complete experience, for the bundle
of joy which is given to her in reward for her surrender and
endurance. No…indeed I know of know one reading this, who has not
a mother, who has not also succumb to this.
However, it does to God Himself; for
"God is love," and being love, He must display love.
Merely speaking of His love is not enough. His love must manifest
itself in action. More than that, God could not rest until He had
made the greatest sacrifice that He could make and had given up
His only begotten Son, to die in the place of sinners.
God does not come to us and say, "Men
and women, I love you. You must believe that I love you, although
I do nothing for you to prove My love." Nor does He ask us to
believe in His love, but He has given us abundant proofs of it.
Therefore, He has a right to claim our belief in it. In a more
literal translation of our text, the apostle of love tells us,
"Hereby we come to know-we do know-'the love of God, because
He laid down His life for us.' "
Just as we learn the love of others by
seeing what they are prepared to sacrifice for us, so it is even
with God Himself. We discover, discern, perceive, and are made to
know the love that He bears to us by the fact that "he laid
down his life for us." There are several ways in which we see
God demonstrating this remarkable love to the saints, the first
being His acts of love.
My spiritual friend, do you love
another, do you see them? Do you spend time with them, thereby
fanning those flames of desire and thereby consuming the energy
in this experience? How often we readily accept a lost family
member who has not been a part of our family fold, and yet, open
heartedly accept them into and hold nothing back. Oh, how often a
mother longs for the child whom she, for numerous reasons, gave
this infant up for a better life, yet does not have an inkling of
them in real time.
Yet,.. if they were to walk up to her
and say "Hi Mom!"
Oh….I cannot begin to fathom the
influx of thoughts not alone the stormy emotions, which would
pelt down upon her understanding as if in a hail storm. No…no I
cannot! Nevertheless, with these same convictions, these same
factors, God speaks to us and we dismiss them as though He was
simply a panic button, or a stuffed animal we occasionally hug
and talk to.
My spiritual friend, if we love those
that we readily see or even those who we know of, yet have not
seen for some time, and even encompassing those who have passed
away, yet let no idle, nor slander be spoken in your presence
before such ire, will slay the would be offender.
Ah, such devotion, …yet may I say,
what have you in your heart's hearth? Does the fire still blaze
or is there simply a glow in the embers, fort the bellows has no
keeper. May I say to you, no 'Smith' ever allows the flames to
retard. Nor does a true love ever dissipate from the
Come now, and stoke those embers, fan
them well and experience its warmth, which shall shield you from
the coldness brought on by others, and shall be a light for you
to focus and shall heat up all that you place in it purifying it
and yielding it to your hammer of determination as you once again
assail it against the anvil of faith.
May you love greatly, give often,
empty yourself that you may be filled with newness, let not your
being be merely a vessel to store, for surely it will become
stale with time...be fresh. For although, and for some of us it
has come to pass, the loss of our mothers is irreplaceable, there
will never be that same voice on the other side of the phone's
receiver to speak to us, to express their unconditional love. For
there is no number to call. Oh…but prayers from a circumcised
heart is readily responded to by God. He does not sleep, nor is
His phone ever disconnected…go now and call upon Him, share your
As the season of Lent is upon us and
Easter's sunrise awaits us. Come and be prepared!
Bro Smith SGS