Do you know what a model is? One definition says a model is the standard of excellence—pretty close to perfection.
During the Super Bowl or any other football game where experts play, watch how the quarterback holds the ball. See how his shoulders are turned? See where he plants his feet? Young football players and people in almost every sport are helped in their game by watching an expert “model” the right moves.
Jesus is our model for showing love to others. He shows us love is powerful. Yet, just like the air we breathe or gravity, we can’t see love’s power.
My brother and I used to blow up paper sacks and pop them. When my mother traded her old wood-burning cookstove for a gas range, we invited company. While baking, not knowing how the stove regulated oven temperature, Mom noticed the only flame she could see was the pilot light and she was afraid gas was escaping. Several women circled the stove debating what they should do. My brother sneaked up behind them with a blown-up sack and popped it. We were fortunate the loud boom didn’t cause us to have to scrape women off the ceiling.
We couldn’t see the force that caused the little explosion and blew a hole in the paper sack. Dynamite’s power is invisible, too. The powerful explosive is made by soaking nitroglycerin into an absorbent, such as sodium nitrate and wood pulp. Usually when we think of dynamite, we think of something destructive. Yes, dynamite can kill and take down a skyscraper. But it also is useful for making tunnels – highway tunnels, railroad tunnels and mine tunnels. It helps miners find gold and other minerals. It’s used to blast rock for roadways. Most of the highways you see through the mountains probably would not be there if the construction crew couldn’t use dynamite to get through rock.
In the same way people are changed through love and you can see results of love.
The first type of love you probably experienced was your parents’ love and your love for them. We also have love for self, which apparently God wants us to do because He said to “Love our neighbors as ourselves.”
But can we love ourselves too much? How would we know? I would think the test for that is to see if we are selfish or unkind to others.
Love is powerful!
Because of its powerful force, dealing with love can be a tricky business. Jesus even told us to love our enemies and to do good to those that despitefully use us. Not easy, but the Bible tells us when we shower our enemy with kindness it heaps coals of fire on his head
While society equates love with romance or even lust, God created love and it is pure and builds up people’s charactaer. Genuine love is a positive force. Like air we breathe or gravity, we can’t see it, but we see it in what love does, enriching people’s lives and providing contentment and joy.
Love gone awry can be destructive, too. For instance, if a baby will cry because of an immunization, a parent might be tempted to avoid the shot—although it will protect the child later from deadly or debilitating disease. Or a mother won’t give a child medication that could save a child’s life because the child doesn’t like the taste.
Other ways love gone awry is when jealousy ends up in murder. Children sometimes are kidnapped or even killed in custody battles.
God loved humans in the beginning, and because of that love, He set boundaries for our good. For instance, breaking any of The Ten Commandments will either hurt me or someone else.
Because He loved them, God walked and chatted with Adam in the Garden of Eden in the evening. After He gave Adam a wife, the Lord said, “You can eat everything in the garden except from the tree right in the center—that one is the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you’ll die.”
Adam and Eve disobeyed, but they discovered God still loved them because He promised to send a Redeemer that would take away the curse of sin and death. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
So Jesus came to earth and bled out for me and you—then rose from the dead, sat down at the right hand of the Father, to send the Holy Spirit and His comfort and power to us.
Does knowing God loves you make you want to change anything about yourself? What? How will you make these changes? Ask God to help you love Him and others more. I pray He will help me to allow God to love through me.
©Ada Brownell 2013