Letting Christ’s love flow through us to others: That’s what it’s all about.
9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
What is the way of the wicked? It is our own way, when we do not seek the way of God, nor do we consider what He wants or what is best for the person or persons with whom we are dealing.
What is righteousness? It is the love of Christ. Christ imparts to us the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21), which is Christ Himself (1 Cor. 1:30). God is love (1 John 4:16) = Christ is love (John 10:30). To live righteously is to let the love of Christ flow through us.
Imagine that your life is a fountain. If you focus mostly on yourself, you’ll be too dry or clogged up to flow properly. But if you shift your focus to other people, the living water of God’s love will flow through you to your family, friends, and others throughout your community and the world.
How can we get beyond our feelings to the part where we allow Christ to love through us? Let’s look at what Paul said to the church at Colosse:
(1) Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (3) For you dies, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
I see three things that are important for us to remember:
- We have died to sin and self and have been raised to walk in newness of life with Christ (also in Romans 6:4).
- We are to set our hearts and minds on the things of Christ. A good list can be found in Philippians 4:8-9, “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy, and whatever we learn from the life of Paul.”
- We are to hide our life and allow His life to shine through us. We are to “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge [we are learning it as we go] in the image of its Creator (Col. 3:10).”
Further in the chapter, Paul gives us explicit instructions on how to let the love of Christ flow through us:
(12) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (13) Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (14) And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (15) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (16) Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…with gratitude in your hearts.
Let’s start from the top down.
- Jesus Christ is God. God so loved the world that He came as Jesus to die for us. Having risen again, He is now seated at the right hand of God and rules until God puts all of His enemies under ow His feet (various Scriptures).
- Jesus gives us peace with God and continuous peace (John 16:33). This peace is designed to rule our hearts. We access His peace when we “pay attention to the tension” and set aside how we feel and do what we “know” the Spirit is telling us to do, which is to love our adversary (we know the word as “enemy,” but the word actually means hostile person, which may not necessarily be an enemy).
- If we will work on allowing the things mentioned in this passage be our guide to life and relationships, we will have turned from darkness to light thus allowing Christ’s light to shine through us to a dark world (based on John 3:19-21).
- Starting from the bottom up: If we are grateful for what Christ has done for us, then we are thankful. With thankfulness comes the peace of Christ. This peace gives us the ability to forgive. With forgiveness comes the power of Christ to be kind and compassionate (Eph. 4:32) with all humility, gentleness and patience (Eph. 4:2). As we bear with one another in Christ’s love, we discover an amazing truth: His love, joy and peace gush through us! We FEEL Christ and His pleasure in an amazing way.
Let’s work on allowing the love, peace and joy of Christ to flow through us today. The world–and those around us–are dying to “get a drink.”