|Loving others is one of the most important and difficult commands Jesus gave us. We are a messy, broken, needy, and sinful people. We constantly deal with our own wounds and those of others. Because there is no perfect person, the foundation for loving others must be based outside of the merit or worth of others. The foundation for love must come from the God who is love. As believers we must be constantly tapped into the love and grace of our heavenly Father so that we can love others selflessly and powerfully. May you receive the love of your Father and be empowered to love others this week as we look to grow in our obedience of Jesus’ command to love people.|
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” PSALM 34:18
Highlands (Song of Ascent) | Hillsong United
Without perspective given by the Spirit, our love will only reach as far as the human eye can see. Brokenness comes in all forms and fashions. Without Jesus, the man or woman covered in dirt and filth standing on the street corner begging for help is just as broken as the millionaire lying and cheating his way into fleeting fame and fortune. It’s just that our brokenness takes on varying forms depending on what temptations and trials get the better of us.
Jesus saw past the brokenness to the hearts of those around him. He chose to love and minister to the core of the person rather than being intimidated by the symptoms of sin in those around him. He saw into the heart of the woman at the well in John 4 and ministered to her brokenness caused by failed marriages and sexual sin. We see him speak to the core of the wealthy tax collector, Zacchaeus, in Luke 19and love him by spending time with him when no one else would.
If we are ever going to love others well, we have to devote ourselves to loving people at a heart level. We have to care for and speak to the core of their wounds rather than dismissing them for their external problems. Romans 15:1-5 says:
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.’ For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.
We must follow the example of Jesus and love those no one else will. We must take in the outcasts, orphaned, widowed, poor, prideful, arrogant, and selfish. We must have our Father’s heart for the enemies, strangers, socially unacceptable, and downcast. If we don’t love them, who will? If we don’t speak and provide love for the deep wounds that cause their brokenness, who will? If we don’t reveal the heart of our Father, who will?
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” May you discover the unconditional love your heavenly Father has toward those broken and crushed today as you enter into guided prayer.
1. Meditate on the importance of seeing past brokenness to the heart of those around you. Allow Scripture to fill you with desire and purpose to love people well today.
“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
2. Whose brokenness has kept you from loving them well?What person would God fill you with the ability to minister to today that desperately needs a touch from God?
3. Ask the Lord for his heart for that person. Ask God to give you an understanding of what wound he wants to minister to. Ask him to give you a creative insight on how to love them well today.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Often, loving someone well can be as simple as going out of your way to say hello, ask a loving question, or make an uplifting comment. Many people just need to know that someone cares about them and notices them at the heart level. May the Lord use you in mighty ways to draw others to himself today.
Extended Reading: John 4 or watch The Bible Project’s video on John 1-12.