Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Looking for Love

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35 NIV)

This is the time of year that new Christian students are looking for a ministry and a church in which to get involved.  What are they looking for? All of them would say they are looking for friends, but I think at a deeper level they are looking to be loved.  Love is at the core of the Christian faith, and not as something we talk about, but something we actually live out among fellow believers.  

Every year I talk with students coming to our ministry who have been involved or attended other ministries. And I have heard from others who didn’t like our ministry and became involved elsewhere. They sometimes volunteer the reasons why they didn’t like our ministry or another. It almost always revolves around not feeling accepted.  In other words, they don’t feel anyone really cares about them.  Friendships are already established and they feel they are on the outside looking in, with no invitation to join soon to be forthcoming.  So they leave and go looking elsewhere.

This is less an indictment on a particular church or ministry than an emphasis of an undeniable fact: feeling loved is crucial to each of us.  And if someone doesn’t feel it, they will move on.  This is how important it is for us as followers of Jesus to truly love each other.  And as He pointed out, those on the outside of our faith are observing.  What they see will help determine whether or not they feel this whole “Christian thing” is worth another look.

Today, ask the Lord to help you love other people, not just those with whom you are already close, but those who come along your path who are looking for the same thing you are—to be loved and accepted. By doing so, they will know you are a follower of Jesus.

© Jim Musser 2013

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