It’s Love That Makes the World Go ‘Round: Part Three

Colossians 2: 1 – 3

Jesus said, “If you love Me keep My commandments.” (John 14: 15) The followers of Christ in the first century complied and it was said of them, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” (Acts 17: 6)  They had warmed their hearts by the fire of Christ’s love for them. The agape type love taught and modeled by Christ carried such a spiritual wallop that it overwhelmed people’s minds. It divided people into two camps. One camp for and the other against the concept. 

Those for it were transformed overnight into reckless joyous followers of Jesus, ready to lose property, go to prison, or even be tortured to death for Him.

Those who opposed this agape love quickly became cruel, bloodthirsty persecutors of the new revolutionaries of love.

None who heard the news of agape could remain neutral. None should.

Corrie ten Boom. Her family had all died in the Nazi concentration camps. Somehow Corrie survived. The war had ended, the camps had been liberated. She writes in her best-selling book, “The Hiding Place”:

“It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, [my sister] Betsie’s pain-blanched face.

“He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. ‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.’ He said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’ His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

“Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.

“As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”

God is our source of love, and his supply never runs low. When you have trouble loving someone, whether friend or enemy, ask God for the love you need. He will surely supply it, for it is in his very essence and will.”