A few weeks ago, my fiancé and I had a brief interaction with a homeless guy-Carl on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. He was sharing with my fiancé how people often totally ignore him and he overhears all their insensitive comments about him but to one another. After I met him and exchanged pleasantries, we had to leave because I had to work- and as he walked away my fiancé told him, “I’ll be praying for God to come through for you, and when He does know it's because He loves you!” and in response Carl said as he walked away; “urrggh, God don’t give a **** about me.”
That comment has haunted me since. It made me wonder how many dejected people are walking around fully persuaded of that conclusion. More importantly, I wonder how unhappy God must feel, that the humanity He came to gave His all for- feel lost, dejected and unloved.
God, the maker of all things- LOVES YOU! Not in a superficial, temporary or inconsistent manner, but in a dependable way. First and foremost, it is important to state the foundational truth found in 1st John 4:16, which is that “God is love.” This phrase is more than just a cliché term thrown around by Christians; it clearly and accurately states a comforting truth that God himself wants us to keep at the forefront of our minds.
In His holy Word we are reminded by Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:8 that His love never fails! Friends, what a comfort that is- to know that regardless of our shortcomings and imperfection, His love never ceases to reach out to us. He continues to chase after us without ever retreating. Which brings us to the big question WHY so much love?? “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16(emphasis mine). In essence, He loves us so much because He made us and we are His. He desires for us to have an impactful, purposeful life on earth telling others about Him and fulfilling His purposes here. And even better still, as promised…those who believe in Jesus, will enjoy an eternity in heaven!
And so to my fellow believers; I issue a challenge: Love people! Rooted in these 2 Scriptures are the commands that Jesus Himself gives us to live by- Matthew 5:44 “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” and Mark 12:29-31“The most important commandment is this: love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these.” No doubt it isn't easy to live these out, but with God living inside of us, it is possible! With His strength we can look beyond our needs, and meet the needs of those we encounter. If we all can share the good news of the Gospel alongside exhibiting the life-changing love of God to people, I am certain that we can completely transform our world!
So friends, let’s go and live out this commandment…in high hopes that people in our spheres of influence, like Carl the homeless guy, and maybe some close friends who may be amidst hopeless circumstances, may know without a doubt through us, that God loves them relentlessly!