To love and be loved – the desire of every born again soul.
It is written of the world that its citizens hate and are hated. So, which shall we choose? Love or hate?
A loving Father or the enemy of our souls.
Our Father most likely will require our best efforts, the enemy only a white flag, a weak surrender. Both will cost us everything; only one will give us anything in return.
Both require suffering; only one offers redemption.
Loving is a full time job, but so is hating. Loving is often difficult, but so is hating. Hating feels good for a time, but loving will feel good forever.
And so we begin; we start small; we are nice to our neighbors and helpful to our friends; we believe in God’s love, and and we decide to trust him with our lives. Then, the plot thickens.
Difficulties, enemies, sicknesses, and opposition. Is this what we signed on for? Why didn’t somebody warn us? Or, did they, and we just didn’t believe them or quite understand how real it would be? It is real, alright. A veritable war with real winners and real losers, real casualties, and real prisoners of war.
There is deprivation, hardship, discipline, and danger. And, yes, there is hope.
This war will be won, and we will be on the winning team. Peace will come, and we will be there to enjoy it.
So, how do we endure? How do we stay the course until the end? Who can we lean on? Who can we run to for comfort? The answer is Jesus! We endure by keeping our eyes on him; we stay the course by keeping his commands; we lean on him, and we call out to him for help.
Many times our loved ones will be there to encourage us, and we will reciprocate, but each of us must run our own race; each of us must play our part.
Christianity is both a team sport and an individual sport.
When any one of us wins our race, the whole team rejoices! And no one is happier than Jesus, our coach, except for maybe Our Father! And so, “We love, because he first loved us.” “Freely we have received, so freely we give.”
~ Brad Heilhecker