The language of love

John 17:18 “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

Jesus says in John 17 that just as He was sent into the world by the Father, so He has sent those who have followed Him into the world.  So how did the Father send the Son into the world?  He sent the Son with love – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16).”  So how did Jesus then send his followers? He sent them with love.  He sent them with the gospel of salvation to the world, but he didn’t send them with great eloquence, or with great power to wow men by foretelling the future. He didn’t send them with secret knowledge that only a few insiders from his secret society could understand.  He didn’t send them with impressive feats of self-sacrifice, or self-flagellation, or anything else to draw attention to how incredible they were in human terms.  Nor did he send them with great wealth – the kind of wealth that gets people’s attention and impresses them because it’s so much greater than their own.  No – he sent them with love. 

Although some of God’s people are eloquent, or powerful, or extremely knowledgeable, or impressively self-sacrificial, or wealthy – He knows that it is not these things that give credibility to the message of the gospel. It is love.  We will not win people to Christ because we impress them with our knowledge, or wow them with miracles, or show how “blessed” we are because we follow Christ.  While those kinds of things may impress certain people, they can also turn them off completely if they are not accompanied with love. 

People will notice love, eventually. Persistent, self-sacrificial, genuine love cannot be ignored, even by the most ardent enemies of Christ.  The human heart is impacted by love like nothing else on the face of the earth, and the infinite love of Christ in the human heart can impact a life like no other love that exists. 

May God help us to speak the language of love with our lives as we speak the truth of the gospel with our lips.  It was in this way that we have been sent into the world, and this is truly the only way that the world to whom we’ve been sent will notice.

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