In 1967 one of the most popular songs was, What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love.”
- Surely no truer words were ever spoken. The world does need love. But do we really know what love is? What does the Bible say about love? Is it really that important? Jesus explains that “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22: 37-40). Here Jesus is saying that if you had to summarize the Bible in one word you could do it with the word “love.” The Gospel is about God’s love for us expressed through Jesus. And the law is about our love for others expressed in our daily living.The first three commandments show us how to love God. Then the rest of the commandments (4-10) show us how we are to love one another. But God did more than just explain to us love in the 10 commandments. He also showed us what real love looks like through the life of Jesus. On Maundy Thursday Jesus explained. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34–35). Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Matt. 20:28). That’s what love does. It serves others in their need. Jesus looked down from heaven and saw you and me and all humanity in our great need for redemption. So he humbled himself and was born of Mary, lived and suffered and died not only to accomplish our redemption, but also to set an example—of sacrificial love—for us to follow. We can follow the example of Jesus because His love empowers us.
- Because God loves us in Christ, He forgives us: therefore we are empowered to forgive others.
- Because God loves us in Christ, He is patient with us: therefore we are empowered to be patient with others.
- Because God loves us in Christ, He is good & kind to us: therefore we are empowered to be good & kind to others.
This is how God expresses His love toward us—through His forgiveness and patience—through His kindness and mercy. And that is how we are to express our love for others.
This is nothing less than the very meaning of life. Dr. Luther writes, “A man is placed between God and his neighbor as a medium which receives from above and gives out again below, and is like a vessel or tube through which the stream of divine blessings must flow without intermission to other people.” Again Luther writes, “We have no other reason for living on earth than to be of help to others. If this were not the case, it would be best for God to kill us and let us die as soon as we are baptized and have begun to believe.” This gives every life divine significance. Don’t you ever think your life is insignificant or unimportant. Not only did God make you and redeem you in Jesus Christ, but He has also put you here on this earth here and now on purpose. He has given you the most important job in the world—to be the channel through which His love flows out to others.The most important thing in the world is knowing and sharing the love of Jesus.
In His name,
Dr. John Tape, Guest Preacher