Love First

February is always a fun season. You get to see all sorts of pink Valentines stuff that no one really needs, unless it’s the heart shaped Reese’s candy. It’s a season of love, the end of the winter season is around the corner and we remember being in class and getting those great little paper notes. Love is so much more than this, it can often just be seen as the romantic, but the reality is that love is so much more than feelings toward another person, it is an action and one that should be our first choice.

I’m struck by how little love there is around us.

There’s plenty of anger and opinions, but not a whole lot of love and forgiveness. When it comes to Christians, Christ followers, we need to remember one thing: Jesus is a king. Jesus isn’t a democratic choice, he’s the only option, and he called you to action. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and the second, love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-40, paraphrased by yours truly of course.

We’ve lost sight of what is important, we’ve decided it’s better to pick and choose what Jesus says as long as it fits an agenda, and even justify our hate of others with scripture. That’s sin, that is allowing Satan to have twisted the words you read.

Be faithful to the sovereign king and love fist.

I got pretty serious there, and it’s because my heart aches. We, believers and those who claim to follow Christ, must be the light that others desperately need, yet we have caused others to avoid us. What would happen if we chose to love first? What would happen if we decided to reach out in love and not let Satan manipulate our minds? That means loving the people you don’t like, loving the people that have deeply hurt you, and loving those who are lost.

1 Corinthians 13 is a chapter all about love, true, real love. You may here this at a wedding, but it is so much more than romance, it is describing how to love like Jesus. Paul is writing this book to the church in Corinth who have been caught up in immoral behavior and anger towards each other. 1 Corinthians 13:2 says, “Suppose I have the gift of prophecy. Suppose I can understand all the secret things of God and know everything about him. And suppose I have enough faith to move mountains. If I don’t have love, I am nothing at all.

Believers, being faithful means loving first in all things.

Your knowledge and giftedness mean nothing if you don’t have love in your heart.

Take heart! There is always hope, there is always forgiveness and reconciliation by the grace of God. That is the beauty of Christ, because he spilled his blood for you, it covers our sin and makes us new. Crimson blood makes us white as snow.

We must love first. Love God with everything, this means that he comes first. A relationship requires effort and communication, so spend time in his word, allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you in quiet moments. Be active in your faith. Let that love spill over into the love towards others. Fear, anger, and hate poison us; even when they look appealing. Love others; catch yourself before you make that post, in gossip choose to end the conversation, when your thoughts drift towards negative views of others, make the choice to forgive and let go.

Loving others is not easy, but it is fruitful and life giving. Try each day to look for opportunities to love others, those who you like and those you may not. Live a life that reflects Jesus; he is the sovereign king, nothing else compares to him. Be the light, the reason for others to find that same freedom that saved a sinner like you.

I want my life to be marked by how I love people. I’ve made mistakes and I know I’ve hurt others, but I don’t want live that way anymore. I want people to know that I am sorry, that I was immature, I want them to know that I am moving forward with what I have learned.

Every day, no matter how difficult it may be, love first. It’s what your King has called you to.

-Joshua Thomas

About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__

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