No love – no life
I want to talk to you today about love.
Love is what makes the Christian world go round. If there is a disaster in some part of the world, Christians are there with their tents, and medicines, and food and shelter. Love cares about other people. Love goes out of its way to do something good to benefit others. Love serves others. Love doesn’t think about itself. It is not selfish. It is not greedy. Love gives. Love is what Jesus said it is: It is better to give than to receive.
Love doesn’t yell at people, or demand things from others, or take advantage of other people. Love is generous. Love has an open heart. Love hopes. Love trusts. Love gives.
Without love anything that we do is useless. If we don’t put love in as an ingredient, whatever we do or try to do is not going to work out. I could have all the money in the world, but if I don’t have love, it is all useless and empty. I could have the biggest aid organization in the world, but if I don’t have love, it’s meaningless.
Look at the problems in Somalia. Don’t they exist because people don’t have enough love for one another? Don’t the problems in Somalia exist because there are people who hate other people and they want to destroy them? Hatred is the opposite of love. As Christians we do not hate anyone. We love God and we love everyone who God has created.
Jesus would say to those of you in Somalia: Love people from other clans. Love people from other families. Jesus would say: treat people from other clans like your brothers and sisters. We are one big family. We are not different clans or groups of people who should be at war with each other. We are one clan. We have one God. We have one Saviour Jesus Christ. We should not be groups or clans that take revenge on others because of what they did to us.
We are to forgive people for the evil things that they have done. Jesus said: Do good to those who do evil to you. Pray for your enemies. If your enemy is thirsty, give him something to drink. If your enemy in hungry, given them something to eat. Don’t let evil conquer you, conquer evil by doing good. Love in the answer. Love is the key that will open up the borders of Somalia. Love is the weapon that will bring peace and prosperity back to the land of Somalia.
I remember one time I was witnessing to Somalis outside. There were some older men sitting on a park bench. I approached them and told them about Jesus. The one old man said to me: If you ever come to Somalia we will kill you. But we will not kill you in the plane. We will wait for you to come down the stairs on the tarmac. Then we will kill you.
Love is not war. Love is not bombs, and hand grenades. Love is putting down your weapons and rebuilding the country. Love is taking care of the orphans, and the needy. Love is giving a cup of water to someone who is thirsty.
Jesus said: No greater love can a person have than to lay down their lives for their friends. Jesus called those who believe in Him – friends. Jesus laid down His life on the cross for our sins. He willingly went to die for us so that we could have a good relationship with God our father. It is because Jesus died on the cross that we have peace with God.
There was a lady in the New Testament who loved Jesus with all her heart. We read about her in Luke chapter 7. Jesus was having dinner at a religious leaders’ house. While he was there a prostitute, or some other kind of sinful woman, entered the house. She had a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Alabaster looks like pearls. This woman had money. The jar and perfume were very valuable. She got down onto the floor behind Jesus on her knees. She was crying. Her tears we dropping down on Jesus’ feet as she was there, bowed down to the floor, crying. She wiped his feet with her hair. She was amazed at how much love she had for Jesus. She couldn’t express the thankfulness to Him for forgiving her of her sins. She poured some perfume on his feet and continued to wipe them with her hair.
The woman washed Jesus’ feet with her hair, tears, and expensive perfume. She knew that she was a sinner and that Jesus had forgiven her for all the bad things that she had done. She was grateful to him. She wanted to express her love and care for him. She had a new life. She was clean. She was set free from her sins. She was willing to give what she had to show the Lord how thankful she was.
“Then Jesus said to the woman, Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”
The woman received what this world cannot give. She received the forgiveness of her sins. She received peace in her heart. She was clean. She was forgiven. Her guilt for all the bad things she had done was taken away. She was so thankful. Many people who are doing bad things do not want to do them. But they don’t know how to stop. When Jesus helps you stop doing what you don’t want to do you become very happy and thankful. When Jesus gives you the peace in your heart that you are a child of God, you become peaceful. You have found everything that you are looking for in Jesus.
Is it love when people steal food that has been sent by aid workers to feed the hungry? Is it love when someone uses a gun to steal what other people have? Is it love when a terrorist bombs a building or a restaurant and kills innocent people? No. That is not love. That is not what God wants people to do. That is hatred. That is evil.
Maybe you are like that immoral prostitute. Maybe you have lived a life of wicked crime and done many evil deeds. Or maybe you are just looking for peace and what the world cannot give you. Maybe you are sick and tired of the lies and hatred that you see all around you and you want something that is pure and right and good. Then you want Jesus. You know what? Jesus wants to forgive you of your sins. Jesus died for you. Jesus died for all of us so that we could have peace with God and receive eternal life. Jesus wants us to have the peace that only God can give.
If I can teach you anything today it is to be kind to one another. Don’t repay evil with evil or think evil thoughts about people who do bad things to you or your country. Let love flow out of you to bless other people. Talk nicely to them. Treat them with respect.