Love is a Muscle

People - Jones, Steve 2012Can the Gospel of Jesus Christ be consigned to one simple and descriptive word? Love is certainly a central theme of Jesus’ message. He modeled every aspect of it as described for us in 1 Corinthians 13. The Lord taught about love. Luke 10 contains one of the most powerful illustrations found in the New Testament: the story of the Good Samaritan is filled with spiritual insight on how love is to be extended.

We discover through the Samaritan’s actions that love is less of a feeling and more of an action. Love is a muscle: something we do that creates a feeling. It flexes, tenses, and bolts into action to meet the needs of others. Like any muscle, you either use it or you lose it.

In Luke 10:30-37, three men respond to the scene of a crime in three different ways. The temple priest (vv. 30-31) keeps his distance. He “crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by” (TLB). Some of us avoid getting close to those in need and keep our distance. If we get involved, we might get hurt.

The second man, a temple assistant (v. 32), “walked over and looked at him lying there, but then went on” (TLB). He sees the victim, but keeps on walking. Don’t we like to slow down to stare at an accident, and then move quickly on to our next important appointment? We’re curious about the need but apathetic about dealing with it.

The third response comes from an unlikely character—a Samaritan; someone despised by good civilized folk. Verse 33 states: “…and when he saw him, he felt deep pity.”Spring/Summer 2014 - heart is a muscle

Love always begins with the eyes. There are wounded people all around us, but we’re often in too much of a hurry to notice. We focus on tasks and walk by the wounded without noticing. Some of us have spiritual ADHD and are easily distracted. Love pushes “busyness” and distractions out of the way so that we can see need. Ask God to give you spiritual radar. If we care, we will be more aware.

Take a moment right now. Close your eyes and picture in your mind the face of some of the people you come into contact with on a daily basis. You work with them, go to school with them, or live in the same neighbourhood. As each face flashes through your mind, could you write down the number one challenge that person is facing? How did you do? We go to work, school, the gym, shopping with these people and we so often remain unaware.

Love compels our eyes to “kick in” (“he saw,” v. 33) and our heart to follow (“he felt,” v. 33). If sensitivity begins with the eyes, then sympathy begins with the ears (we listen) and ends with our heart (we act). Love is a muscle.

The year 2014 has been declared a “Year of Love” in our Fellowship. Our theme verse is John 13:35 (NLT): “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples!”

Love is powerful. Within this edition of THRIVE you will read stories that have demonstrated God’s love and hear about lives that have been transformed. God calls us to action.