Love Fiercely

dallas skyline at night from a parking lot.

I recently was listening to a song by Jarryd James called 1000x. It says,

Tell me that LOVE is enough… That seas will be parted for us.

To be honest I LOVE this song so much. Since I was little I have LOVED the word LOVE. I have a lot of thoughts about LOVE at this point in my life. But one thing is for sure- LOVE is not a feeling | it is not when your heart beats fast | or when you can’t stop thinking about some one… LOVE is fundamentally & ultimately who God is & it is a choice that we get to make to be like Him.

In 1 JOHN 4:8 (NIV) it says,

Whoever does not LOVE does not know God, because God is LOVE.

So if God is LOVE- How does that fit into our everyday life & choices. Well if the definition of LOVE is God… The personification of that LOVE is Jesus. He is the action God took towards us- Based on who He is. You see, you cannot earn this LOVE. You are in fact not able to seek it out or fabricate your own version of it.

LOVE IS GOD & GOD IS LOVE. 

LOVE is a free gift that has already been given to us through Jesus. So what that means is that we either live in GOD |LOVE|– Or we don’t. As humans we get infatuation and attraction mixed up with the real definition of LOVE.

To LOVE is to give up your life for God & each other. God has not asked us to die- But to actually choose to give up “OUR LIFE”- Our way… & take on His reality. When we do this, seeing & being LOVE becomes a lot clearer.

I have recently reached a place in my life & heart that I was able to experience that perfect kind of LOVE from God- As well as be that LOVE, lived out in action. I look at the life of Jesus… & He was not nearly as concerned about others reciprocating His gift of LOVE as He was that they would accept it. Many times we give conditionally If you show me LOVE, I will LOVE you in return… Like it’s a trade.

LOVE is not a trade. LOVE in its pure unadulterated form is a Gift!

Jesus knew what His LOVE could do for humanity… Not even immediately but in thousands of years to come & beyond. What is the one major thing we focus on about Jesus that sets Him apart from every other religious leader. HE GAVE ALL THAT HE HAD. & once that was done- He didn’t stop there… He took the trash that we had to offer & made it beautiful. He didn’t just speak to His followers | or do miracles | & He didn’t just leave a great impression for us to follow.

He showed us a life sacrificed in LOVE- That is what our life should look like.

JOHN 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

If you have been confused about why you are here, or what you are called to do… The answer is really simple. We are CALLED | CREATED | & shown by the best what it means to LOVE. & it begins with you letting go of  the definition/ picture given to you by hollywood, music, poetry, your parents example (good/bad).

Last night in Dallas, Tx- My home… The unspeakable happened. OUR nations people turned on themselves. 11 Dallas police officers were shot & some were even killed. At this time in our world, with all the issues & hatred & violence… We have to understand that VIOLENCE DOES NOT SOLVE VIOLENCE. 

It breaks my heart- All the recent happenings & injustices in America. Yet there is ONLY ONE ANSWER- WE MUST BECOME LOVE… We need to actually BE LIKE JESUS. He is the greatest example of what our response should be today- As He was the most rejected | hated | tortured & eventually killed innocent man that we look to in history. Yet we do not often look to His response in the midst of His hardship & injustice. HE CHOSE TO BE LOVE PERSONIFIED FOR US. He asked God to forgive us- Because we knew not what we did… I want to propose to you today, what if we responded like Jesus- What if we turned to our father & asked Him to forgive those | to teach those | to save those | to draw those close to Him… Because they know not what they do. 



So the question is… IS LOVE ENOUGH?

The answer to that question is ALWAYS…. Y E S ! ! !

But the real question we must ask ourselves is- Are we bold enough | can you be humble enough to let go of your personal feelings | will you actually FOLLOW Jesus in His life example of how to live a life faced with injustice | pain | rejection- & still BE LOVE… When you may get nothing in return?!?

This is the only way LOVE will be & is enough- This is the call | the answer | this is WHY YOU WERE CREATED BY GOD: To LOVE God enough that you LOVE others even if they never LOVE you in return.



I want to end with a story:

Nicky Cruz was the leader of the renowned Mau Maus — the toughest gang in New York City — “New York was a jungle. The law of the jungle… you behave like an animal,” Nicky Cruz recalls. “Animals don’t know the difference between right and wrong. An animal has to kill another animal for survival.” Pain and violence weren’t anything new to Nicky. He grew up in Puerto Rico, where his parents brutally abused him. So when he was on the streets of New York, Nicky was a hardened man void of love and full of hate. “I wanted to do to others what my mother did to me,” Nicky says. “I used to feel good when I hurt people.”

But alone in his tiny apartment in the projects, he didn’t feel good- “When I was alone, loneliness became like a seductive woman who crawled inside my chest and eat me. I was there twisting and fighting; I felt so lost. The most you can live the way I lived is 20 years. I was 19 already. So in my mind- In one year, I would be dead.”

A pastor named David Wilkerson had come to NYC to love people- To show them Jesus. He risked his life to tell Nicky there was hope for him. “I heard Davids voice: ‘God has the power to change your life.’ I started cursing loud,” says Nicky. “I spit in his face, and I hit him. I told him, ‘I don’t believe in what you say and you get out of here or I will cut you down.’” Nicky never expected what he heard Wilkerson say next.

Wilkerson replied, “You could cut me up into a 1000 pieces and lay them in the street. Every piece will still love you.”

“It did damage. Good [damage] in my brain and in my heart. I began to question, and for two weeks I could not sleep thinking about love.” Nicky and his gang showed up at one of Wilkerson’s rallies. One by one, they gave their lives to Christ. It was the crucifixion – Jesus’ death on the cross — that grabbed Nicky. “I was choked up with pain, and my eyes were fighting and tears became to come down and more tears and I was fighting and then I surrendered, & I let Jesus hug me- I let my head rest on His chest. I said I’m sorry. Forgive me, and for the first time, I told somebody I love you.” The love Nicky got in return radically changed his life.

Nicky left the gang scene. He enrolled in Bible college and met his wife Gloria. The two married and moved back to New York City where they ran “Teen Challenge,” a program to help troubled teens. Since then, Nicky has raised four girls and traveled all over the world as an evangelist and head of Nicky Cruz Ministries. “I am the most happy human being because I have reached thousands and maybe millions of people who have come to Jesus through my message, but the greatest success of my life was when I brought the very people who had abused me- my mother and my father and my brother to Jesus.”



Today is the day! Right now is the right time- LOVE is enough. God is enough!

We don’t need more justice or world peace. We don’t need to take away guns or hurt each other- THE ANSWER HAS & ALWAYS WILL BE LOVE (GOD).

It’s not only enough for us… It is the ONLY TRUE answer. 

Can you be treated badly | abused | & maybe even give your life- & still know that even in your brokenness, even when you have nothing left- EVEN YOUR PAIN  can praise God… BECAUSE YOU DECIDED THAT HIS LOVE WAS ENOUGH- That you actually LIVED it too!

 

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

LUKE 6:35

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

1 JOHN 4:18-19

 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

PROVERBS 10:12

Lastly I want to thank the men & women that have laid down their lives to protect us & to those who have been treated unfairly & had no choice… Your life will not be in vain. May our LOVE be the honor we show you- & may it be our response according to our heart for God!

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

JOHN 15:13



THIS IS OUR CITY!

Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Mayor Mike Rawlings addressed the media yesterday & stated:

“It’s just terrible. It’s sickening, cowardly. It furthers no cause; it accomplishes nothing but misery and grief. It’s violence for the deranged love of violence itself, disguised beneath a political veneer….
Today, we have a choice. We can let somebody else write the script, tell us that some of us are victims, and some are perpetrators; tell us which camps we’re in and whose side we’re supposed to be on.
Or we can unite in our shared shock and sorrow. We can all choose the side of decency and humanity. We can reject home-grown terrorism, mourn our fallen and support our wounded. We can wrap our arms around the community we share, and make our message clear: Terrorism can hurt us. On Thursday night, it did. But it doesn’t win. This is our city, and we won’t let it.

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