As we continue this month’s theme – REvival of the Heart – while it’s important that we love self, we must also extend love to others. Loving others isn’t always easy and nobody ever said that it was. There are some mean-spirited people in this world: hurt people, hurt people. God is looking to His children to show others the same love He has for us, but we can’t love others until we learn to love ourselves. We need a revival of the heart.
Revival of the heart requires that:
1. Love must be received. Some of us have been hurt in the past, so we put our guard up and are reluctant to let it down; it’s our way of protecting ourselves from getting hurt again. This is not living life the way God intended. We must get back up and get back in. We can start by looking in the mirror, finding something good to say about ourselves, believing and embracing it, and learning to love and appreciate the unique YOU that God has created. God makes no mistakes!
2. Love must be matured. Too many times, when people treat us negatively, we respond like them, instead of demonstrating the love of Christ. We must learn to turn the other cheek. Loving others, in spite of the way they treat us, shows our maturity in Christ. That’s not to say that we should allow others to abuse or destroy us, but we don’t have to attend every fight to which we are invited.
3. Love must be planted. We can demonstrate the love of Christ by allowing it to reach others. As we love others, we must know our limitations, so that we can reasonably give people what they want, but keep what we need. It’s okay to set boundaries in loving relationships. Nothing or no one should get more than Christ. He comes first!
4. Love must be harvested.
Sometimes the love of Christ that the world needs to see isn’t even expressed in the church. Stuff that we do and say makes us look religious but we are missing the essence of who Christ is or should be in our lives. Make a concerted, genuine effort to be a blessing to others. A word of encouragement, a smile or hug, can make a huge difference in the life of someone who may be struggling. We can do this once we seek a revival of the heart!
Peace and power,
© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,
We invite you to join us at Grove Church, 5910 West Norfolk Road, Portsmouth, Virginia, Sundays at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Tuesdays at noon and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.