Hands in a Heart Shape

Known by Our Love

Special Feature


“They will know that we are Christians by our love.” The words to the song penned by Peter Scholtes remind us of our mandate: love. Our desire as Christians to change the world, transform the culture, reach the lost, and bring God’s kingdom must all come from the heart of love. When we lose love, we have lost the heart of the gospel.

We live in a moment where the world needs to see the love of Jesus displayed through the church. For many years, Christians have been more easily defined by what we stood against than Who we stood for. As parents, we should be teaching our kids the power of love and inviting them to join us in displaying that love to those who our culture has forgotten.

In Luke 15:4-5, Jesus tells a parable which pictures love in a very real way: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” From this simple story, we see three truths that help us to lovingly engage those around us:

1. Love for Others Comes from God’s Pursuit of Us. On one level, we are the lost sheep. There was a time in our lives that we were lost and far from God’s grace. God sent Jesus to leave heaven to come and rescue us and restore us to Him. We can lovingly engage with others because we have first been loved at a great price.

2. Love Requires Leaving Important Things Behind. On another level, we are like the man with the sheep. We have 99 other important things that we could do. The responsible thing would be to stay with the 99 sheep, yet love calls us away from our comforts and responsibilities to chase after the one who is lost, disconnected, forgotten, and alone.

3. Love Results in Celebration. Once the lost sheep comes home, the party begins. The man rejoices that the sheep has been found. Christian love for others results in a celebration because it is in our love that people see the work of Jesus in and through us.

For your family this week, who is someone that you can love? Who is someone who has wandered off into the darkness of depression, the lair of loneliness, or the hole of hopelessness? Will you leave responsibilities and convenience behind to show them the transforming love of Jesus?

-DrBen Birdsong. Ben Birdsong 

Writer, speaker, and minister


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