Make Love Visible
by Richard Blake
Core leader at YWAM Perth
God is Love. Through the story of the Bible we see over and over again the love of God being expressed towards us as human beings. Through the Old Testament we see God’s love brought to life through creation, provision, guidance, salvation and the list goes on.
In the New Testament through Jesus Christ the love of God becomes visible in a unique way. John the beloved disciple records Jesus saying that “…He who has seen me has seen the Father”. The Apostle Paul instructs us that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” The writer of Hebrews declares that Jesus is the “…brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” The scriptures also tell us that God gave humanity authority on earth and that we, through sin, lost that authority. God’s response was to launch a plan of redemption and humanity itself was to be the vehicle of redemption. From Genesis 4 through to the close of Malachi we see prophecies declaring this. Through incarnation God came as a human being to show us the love of the Father and redeem a people unto Himself. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the authority lost to humanity was won back.
Then the unthinkable happened and God sent us out into the world to bring the good news with His authority. On the side of a mountain outside Jerusalem, surrounded by His disciples Jesus declared “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all men…” Jesus showed us what it means to be truly human; to be fully who God created us to be. We were created in the image of God. God is love. We are made to make the love of God visible to a world that just can’t see Him.
/ THE NEXT QUESTION BECOMES HOW DO WE DO THAT? /
We do this by trying our best to be the best people that God created us to be! When God rescued His people from slavery He created a nation of people that were to be representatives of Him to the nations. This would be a multigenerational task that required the full diversity of gifting that the people of God could muster. They would have to be prepared to take their place in this task. God spoke through Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 on how this preparation would take place for each individual child. These verses, called the Shema Yisrael, have a special place in Jewish culture. They outline the responsibility of families to prepare their children for a life of loving God and being loved by Him.
The instruction to love the Lord with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength is really as simple as it sounds. In Hebrew culture there was no distinction between the heart and the mind. The instruction literally means with the totality of your being; with all that you are love the Lord your God.
Each person is made with unique gifts, talents, and abilities. Some are gifted in creative arts, some in building houses, for some it is relating to young people. In Matthew 25 Jesus uses the parable of the stewards to explain this. Just as we have different gifts, we have different strengths. Comparison is the surest way to kill joy in your life and in those around you. The alternative that Jesus gives to comparison is celebration. Let us not miss the opportunity to fellowship with the Lord in rejoicing another’s victory, especially when we have lost sight of our own. As Paul exhorts in his letter to the Roman churches “Let love be genuine… Outdo one another in showing honour”.
A mark of Christian maturity is the ability to express joy and appreciation of others. It builds up and heals. It brings security and true fellowship. Ultimately it gives glory to God in recognising what He has done. As Paul quotes Jesus in his farewell to the Ephesians in Acts 20, “it is more blessed to give than receive.” Give your life to Christ. Try to be the best you you were created to be and make God’s love visible.
This article was published in the
September 2018 edition of Westcoast News.
Read the other articles from this edition:
In the following articles are some examples of YWAM Perth staff teams that make the love of God visible in the nations by using what they “have in their hand”. Each individual on these teams is on a journey of being transformed into the likeness of Jesus and in doing so becoming more of who they really are. Part of their journey is the surrender of their gifts and talents to God and His purposes. In this process God anoints their offering and brings a divine fullness to it.