The other day I was listening to a speech by a pastor by the name of Francis Chan. Great speaker. Great guy. Check him out sometime. He described a moment when he was on a plane flying back from Asia. He happened to be sitting next to a Muslim man. Of course, Francis and the man began to talk. After a short amount of time, it was revealed that Francis was a Christian missionary and the man was a Muslim. The Muslim said to Francis: “All my Christian friends back home are always preaching at me. Preaching. Preaching. Preaching. It just gets old. I don’t see them doing anything else but that.” Francis said: “Yeah, that’s a problem. They should be also living as examples too.” The man responded: “It also seems like many Christians today are fanatical extremists.” There was a little pause at this moment. The man continued: “You are not one of those are you?” Francis replied: “I love Jesus and I love people.” The man asked: “What were you doing in Asia?” Francis responded: “Building a house for orphans. Providing them with food and water. Making sure they have healthcare and education.” The man was astonished and he replied very slowly and thoughtfully: “Oh. So, you are one of those.” After that, the man’s heart opened up to Francis for the rest of the plane ride.
The easy take away from this story is: Love opens doors. Francis’ love opened up a door for the man to hear what he had to say. Two thousand years ago, Jesus often would miraculously heal people and then speak. He would miraculously feed people and then give a discourse. (I’m not saying he did this every time, but he did this often.) And then on the cross, God demonstrated His love for us, that even while we were still in open rebellion against our Creator, Jesus died for us. On the cross, Jesus bore the sins of the entire world. All of it was transferred to Him. Jesus atoned for it all. This is love. Not that we loved God, but God gave His Son to bear the guilt of our sins. After His resurrection, this love impacted the Apostles (Jesus’ witnesses and messengers) and consequently, the entire world. Love opened the door for this good news of God’s love to be shared.
If you are reading this and you are not yet a follower of Christ: My prayer and hope is that you would accept the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross by faith. By faith you will say: “Christ did this for me. I am forgiven. I am made new. The old has passed away. The new has come.”
If you are reading this and you are a follower of Christ, my question to you is: Is your love opening doors? When the people that know you think about you…do they describe you as loving? Sure, people cannot believe unless they hear the message (Paul’s Letter to the Romans 10:14-17), but Jesus said: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (The Gospel of John 13:35). Paul also said: “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians 13:13). Your love doesn’t save anyone from their sins. But, it opens up a door for you to share God’s love in Christ which does.