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A mark of godly love
- Jacob Ninan
Many people move into 'faith' thinking that Jesus will be there to take care of everything for them. All their prayers are for what they want, and they feel 'blessed' when life prospers and doubtful about God when things don't go the way they expect. Many of them actually don't know Christ or belong to Him because they don't have the spirit of Christ (Ro.8:9). This verse has to be understood as meaning both having the Holy Spirit (through whom we are born again and who dwells afterwards in our heart) and having the same attitude that Jesus had (Php.2:5-7). Jesus said He had come to serve and not to be served (Mt.20:25-28). He said that the people of this world (those who have not yet been born again) looked for greatness in the sight of others and tried to lord it over the others, but His people found greatness in serving others. This change of heart and attitude is something that begins to happen when we are born again. The love of God (His kind of love) is poured into our heart by the Holy Spirit (Ro.5:5).
When we love people like this, we desire to bless them in whatever way we can, instead of expecting them to serve us, or worse still, demanding that they serve us. We are willing to make sacrifices of time, money and effort to do good to the others. Christians are known all over the world for sacrificial service of various forms. The sacrifice is in being willing to say no to our own comfort, convenience and pleasure in order to do good to the others.
Of course, there is a development and growth in this willingness to sacrifice and wisdom to do things better each time. Also, what each of us will do in response to this desire to bless others will vary depending on our particular calling and task within the Body of Christ. But what we need to examine is whether we do have this spirit of sacrifice or whether we are still looking out for our own interests. If we are looking out essentially for our own interests we need to look at the possibility that we are not really born again. It is pertinent to note that even many people who were active in 'Christian work' along with the apostle Paul were only seeking their own rather than the interests of the others (Php.2:20,21). Is it not possible that some of us are active in Christian work not because we are really driven by a desire to bless the others but with the idea of making it big in the organisation? Sad to say, it is also a fact that many have chosen Christian work only because they could not land any other job!
Only the love of Christ can 'drive' us to make sacrifices for others (2Co.5:14,15). God's Spirit working in us will first begin to make us aware of certain needs around us, and then we feel a great concern for them and then a burden to do something about them. If we start doing what we can and recognise our limitations, our burden will drive us to ask God for greater abilities and skills to serve. God will equip us if we have the right motive (Lk.11:5-13).