Love like Jesus loved

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Scene: Little brother (or sister) singing the most annoying song in the world at the top of their lungs. IN YOUR EAR. How do you choose to respond?
Question: What sets you apart from the world?? What makes you different from non-believers? (or in some cases those who call themselves ‘christians?’)
Is it because you believe in God? Perhaps because you go to church on Sunday? Or that you don’t curse (out loud)? Is it because you listen to K-Love? Or because you wear a WWJD? bracelet? Oh, or maybe it’s because you don’t laugh at the inappropriate jokes people say at work?
Maybe it’s because you fast-forward those certain parts on movies? Or because you let someone go in front of you in line at the grocery store?
But what does it really mean, what does it LOOK like to live a life that’s modeled after Christ, to truly be set apart from the world??
It doesn’t JUST start by NOT doing certain things such as drugs, smoking, cursing, flirting with every guy you meet, or stomping around the house. Nor does it JUST mean doing specific “good” things, like taking out the trash, complimenting someone, being kind and considerate, or being genuine.
It starts in your heart. Making the conscious decision that in everything you do, big or small, to do it all to the glory of God. Not so that people will look at what you do and say, “oh, he/she’s such an example of a good Christian guy/girl,” but so that your life will be characterized by that of someone who loved Jesus. (and not just the “iloveunicornsbecausetheyresofluffy” kind of love)
A lesson I learned last week was about living a life that people can look at and tell that you love God. A lot of times we think in terms of the ‘big’ things that happen in our lives, like church camp, Christian concerts, or a missions conference. When you’re gone, no one’s going to say, “I know that [insert name] loved God because he/she went to church camp every summer and played the banjo in the worship service.”
No, you will be remembered for the way you lived your life, in each encounter you had with another precious human being. How you gave up your time to teach kids in Awana or the nursery, how you prayed with someone who was hurting, how you remembered someone’s birthday; how you encouraged others, even if it was just with a smile. How you opened your home and welcomed people; how you treated others as better than yourself, how they were blessed by something you said or did – not because you were trying to impress anyone, but because you did it out of love for Someone who did so much more for you. (J.R.)
Sometimes being set apart simply means that you have to change things in your life that no one else sees or knows about.
Sometimes it means standing up for what you believe in and what you know is right, even when other Christians claim that it’s ok or when your friends don’t back you up.
Whatever it means for you, my prayer is that you will ask God to show you what needs to be changed in your life so that you can be more like Him. Not so that everyone else will see, because in the end it’s only between you and God.
We can either choose to respond like the world and yell, “Will you cut that out???!!!!!!!!” 😡
Or, we can realize that loving Jesus more than myself (for me) means to appreciate what/who He gave me and chose to respond in a loving way. After all, we are not even promised a tomorrow with the ones we love.

I hope you all enjoy your week and choose to love like Jesus loved you. (“He…humbled himself” Phil. 2:5-8)

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