February 19, 2011 in Features

Christians are called to share love of God by words, deeds


Remember show and tell?

Nervous and excited, you didn’t just tell your grade-school classmates about the family’s black Lab or a chocolate cake you’d made; you gave tangible evidence of your passion for them. Petting the dog and tasting the cake made for better learning.

Christians do well to remember this. It takes telling, and showing, to share the love of God expressed in Jesus Christ.

God gives us indisputable evidence of his love: “… God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 – NLT).

Our love for others ought to be gracious, sacrificial, and truthful – because it’s how God loves us.

Gracious love

Grace, blessing those who haven’t earned our favor, is in short supply.

But White House adviser Valerie Jarrett discovered recently that grace is not yet extinct. At a recent Washington dinner, Jarrett saw the striped pants of a waiter and, without even looking up at him, sent him to fetch a glass of wine.

To Jarrett’s surprise, the striped pants she’d glimpsed were part of the full dress uniform of four-star Gen. Peter Chiarelli. The man she mistook for a waiter was the second-highest ranking general in the U.S. Army.

CNN reported earlier this week what followed: “Rather than take offense, or try to make Jarrett feel small for her blunder, the general, in good humor, went and poured her a glass of wine.”

He also invited her to have dinner with his family sometime.

That’s grace.

The love of God is gracious. He lavishes us with love even though we don’t deserve it and cannot earn it.

Will we love others graciously?

Sacrificial love

A few years ago, some dear friends gave my son a gently used pickup. It was something neither he, nor his parents, could have afforded at the time. It was also a vehicle our friends easily could have sold for a nice profit.

As Jake gratefully grasped the keys to his first vehicle, I thanked God for a gift of even greater value. That little Toyota truck is long gone now, but my son will never forget the look and feel of sacrificial love.

How much more the cross of Jesus reminds us that true love costs something of value: time, money, self.

As the economy worsens, Christians are challenged to love this way. To give others our leftovers, what we can easily spare, is not a godly love. God gave his best, not his leftovers.

Will we love sacrificially?

Truthful love

This spring, the Union Gospel Mission expects to break ground for a new homeless shelter in Coeur d’Alene. Once built, the center will first serve women and children, who comprise more than 40 percent of Kootenai County’s homeless.

The need is staggering; homelessness in North Idaho increased 54 percent between 2009 and 2010, according to UGM, and is still growing.

I pray the mission can be built quickly, and is supported by the community, because it’s committed to give more than food and shelter. Mission staff and volunteers love the needy enough to tell them the transforming truth about Jesus Christ.

People do not experience the forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus Christ without hearing the Scripture: “… how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14 – NLT).

It is often easier to do something nice than to speak truth. But true love does both. Will we love truthfully?

Christians sometimes wonder how best to share the love of God.

But it’s elementary.

Remember show and tell?

Steve Massey is the pastor of Hayden Bible Church in Hayden (www.haydenbible.org). He can be reached at (208) 772-2511 or steve@haydenbible.org.

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