Enough Love For Everyone

When we witness to others or encourage others, we are expressing Christ's love to them. But how do we prepare for expressing Christ's love? I will explore two approaches. The first approach focuses on ourselves, while the second approach focuses on Jesus, and then others.

Consider the first approach, in which we place ourselves at the center of attention. You have probably heard the saying, "You have to learn to love yourself, before you can learn to love someone else." That sounds like the best way to encourage someone else is to first encourage ourselves. You have probably also heard the illustration of God's love filling someone up, and then God's love overflowing from that person. That sounds like we should concentrate on having God fill us up with His love, and then we could give the part of God's love that overflows from us to someone else.

It does seem to make sense that we need to make ourselves feel loved, or accepted, because we cannot give someone else something that we do not ourselves possess. But when we try first to build up ourselves, and then build up others, we fall into a trap. When is enough enough? When can a person feel confident enough that his needs have been met, so that he can give away his "extra" love? Feelings of insecurity and selfishness prevent us from thinking we have any extra love to give away. We find it hard to believe we could have any love to spare.

All of that discussion is pointless when you realize that love is not a commodity that can be bartered. Love cannot be collected in a container and then passed around when needed. It is not like energy that can be collected in a battery, and then dispersed at will. It is not ours to store up and then pass out, like a party favor. Love is more spontaneous than that. Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Gal 5:22)

We must have faith that we can empty our containers, or that we can disperse the energy in our batteries to care for others. And while we are caring for others, God will care for us. God will refill our containers and God will recharge our batteries. God will provide for us, while we are providing for others. And God will bless us when we follow His will.

As Christians, we have a special relationship with God. God is our Father and we are His beloved children. We are God's treasured possessions. Since we are so special to God, we sometimes jump to the conclusion that we should be the center of attention. However, now consider the second approach, in which we place Jesus, and then others, at the center of attention. Jesus should be our example for learning to love. He must teach us to love others, as He has loved us.

Love requires letting go of our own needs to address the needs of others. We must have faith that we can go ahead and tend to the needs of others, without being preoccupied with our own needs. We are to live the life of a humble servant. Read Philippians 2:1-11.

Instead of looking at witnessing from the perspective of a Christian, try looking at witnessing from the perspective of the unsaved. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how much God loves the unsaved and how much He desires for us to reach out to them in Christian love. (Luke 15) So God loves Christians. And He also loves the unsaved, whom He desires to become Christians.

When you are witnessing to someone or encouraging someone, remember how much God loves that person. In fact, the realization of how much God loves that person can be quite overwhelming to you. It may seem that God's love is overflowing from the other person and is spilling over onto you. You will be filled with joy because God loves that person. And you will rejoice with God over the love that God holds in His heart for that person. That is certainly cause for celebration! As I said before, while you are tending to the needs of others, God will tend to your needs. And God will bless you when you follow His will.

So we do not have to feel inadequate or insecure for not being confident enough to witness to someone or to encourage someone. God loves you very much. And God also loves the other person so much, that, whenever God wants you to witness to him or to encourage him, God will provide the love to do it. And God will provide enough love for even both of you. Paul expressed Christ's love to the church at Thessalonica. He said to them, "May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you." (1 Thes 3:12)

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