transformed love

Image of butterfly

Read: I John 2:7-11

Reflect: Saved, redeemed and sitting in the front row of his Bible classes, Sam does not miss a single word of the professor. At last, he knows all the answers to how to minister! And then comes the weekend. His sister Katie visits. She is a believer, struggling with hurts suffered from other believers. She opens up to Sam. He immediately jumps at the opportunity to straighten out his sister; to give her the prescription he has carefully memorized. Yet, things don’t go as planned. Katie takes afront to him and clams up. Sam has just dumped on her the truth and she has not listened. The brother shakes the sand off his feet and goes on to the next problem he will solve.  Afterall, he knows all the answers…

love for the “prickly ones”

The author of I John is the same disciple who wanted to call down fire from heaven upon those who rejected Jesus. (Luke 9:52-55) Sam’s behavior toward Katie is akin to the Luke account. However, Disciple John featured in the Book of Luke and the John writing the epistle of I John are as different as night and day. The mature version of John knows the love that makes every effort to conform to God’s mindset toward believers, even the prickly ones lost in the shuffle. John’s love is transformational.

love transformed

This type of love is not a new love. Yet it now has an entirely different look. Jesus extends this love to His “besties”, the disciples. We can love the same way as Jesus; transformed by the same working of the Holy Spirit.

non-optional love

This is foundational to the gospel message. John Piper writes: “For John, the commandment of love belongs to what people should hear from the beginning. It is not an optional stage two in Christian growth.” This is the power of Christ to be transformed into a new love; love that loves the unlovable.

In that living room, Sam never listened to Katie, never shared her pain, never waited for the nudging of the Holy Spirit in the conversation. Sam clinically considered himself the pharmacist, the one who dispenses the medicine and goes on to the next patient. He didn’t allow himself to be changed into a loving person who walks alongside his sister to help her find healing.

if you don’t want to love, then you have not been changed

It is costly to walk alongside someone who is hurting. Jesus spent three years walking alongside 12 men whose spiritual growth was often negligible. Yet, He endured, nudging them toward maturity.  John commands that this type of love enter the life of every believer. It is not optional. Piper continues: “If the church doesn’t understand how the commandment of love relates to the newness of the light that has come in Christ, they will be no more successful at keeping it than the Old Testament saints were, or as the disciple John was before the cross. The Apostle John would say, ‘If you don’t want to love, then you have not been changed.’”

Sam missed the boat by not bending to the command to fully and humbly love his sister. Is your ability to love transformed by the power and wisdom of Christ? Could Katie safely come knocking at your door?

For further inspiration regarding transformed love, watch the testimony of Gracia Burnham

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