So, after having written a title like that, I am starting to reconsider the claim. I am realizing that the most obvious thing to some might not be obvious to all.
By definition obvious means:
- easily perceived or understood; clear, self-evident, or apparent
However I will stand by my assumption that to love is OBVIOUS. In my faith, the concept of Love is foundational and is the only true marker of a disciple of Christ.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34, 35 NIV)
In a conversation last night with a friend, I was sharing the story of how I came to Torch Church, my church in Round Lake Beach, Il. In short, it was a story in love. After my true heart conversion in 2008, I began following Christ hard in all the ways that I knew how. As a youngster in the faith however, my steps were loud and often walked right over people, especially those closest to me. Moving churches was an act of pure love for my wife, as we had been traveling over an hour every Sunday morning, where her role was to support me being fed in service.
In coming to Torch we found it not only was a church with young vibrant Jesus loving folks, but it was a place where love could come alive in our lives in a much more fierce way. We are now in a community of believers and not commuting to believers. The love in this move really came about because the church we left was the church I grew up in, Gorham United Methodist Church on Chicago’s South Side, the church where many of my family members are leaders. It was a very difficult choice, but it was what love would do.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)
As I continually submit myself to His word, the Lord is slapping me across the face with a call to love. I continually feel in my Spirit an urge to love in extravagant ways…to love when it makes no sense…to love and love and love.
I call this post obvious, because it is the baseline for Christians. However, the world doesn’t always line up with God’s idea of love. The world’s love is fleeting, emotional, conditional. The world will love you until you give them a reason not to. God would have ALL of us to love ALL people beyond ALL things.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:2-8, 13 NIV)
What are you willing to do today for love? Not the obvious ways to love….but the extravagant…the unexpected…the against the grain kind of love.
- You know, buying a cup of coffee for an enemy at work.
- Taking your angry neighbor dinner after your long hard day.
- Surprising a long lost friend with a random act of service.
Love First, until it Hurts, and then Love some more!
I know the fact that we need to love is obvious…but have we been missing the obvious opportunities to love in a not so obvious way?
Comment below and let me know if you’ve accepted the challenge to BE OBVIOUS today.