Christ Exemplified ... Love
November 1, 2002 - "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."(1) Luke 19:10, NIV
by Ron Hutchcraft
Night-lights serve a useful purpose. We still have a night-light in our bathroom—it's the new and improved kind. It goes on only when the lights go out. But, of course, that's when you need it—when it's dark!
It's nice to have a light that turns on when it gets dark, especially if that "light" is a person. Because when we are going through dark times, we need someone who brings some light into our lives.
This kind of friend is described in Proverbs: "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."(2) In other words, a real friend, a real brother, is one who's walking in when everyone else is walking out. And that takes the kind of love that Jesus has, the kind of love that Jesus can give you to give to someone else. It's called unconditional love—the kind that has absolutely nothing to do with how the person is acting, how the person is treating you, or what the person can do for you.
Christ exemplified unconditional love. He spent time with sinners such as Zacchaeus, a tax collector who was unscrupulous. When people grumbled about Jesus' visit with Zacchaeus, Jesus said, "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."(1)
As Christians, we are called to follow Jesus, and I'm guessing that right now you know someone who needs you to be a night-light. But you may be holding back. Maybe she has experienced a big hurt—and, frankly, you don't know what to say, so you're avoiding her. She just needs your presence, not your words; your hug, not your talk; and your help with some of the everyday stuff that has become too much in her dark time.
Or maybe someone who needs you isn't acting very lovable. He's angry, negative, lashing out or withdrawn. He's sending off "leave me alone" signals that don't make people feel like trying to reach out. But often when people are the least lovable, they need our love the most. Someone has to disregard those negative vibes and reach out with love and tenderness. God's "someone" may be you.
It's possible that a fellow believer who has made some serious mistakes has been written off by other Christians. Maybe, in spite of those mistakes, God is calling on you to extend the hand of Jesus.
Here is the bottom line: It is the nature of Jesus to pursue the most unlovable, the most hurting, the most undeserving. And it is supposed to be the nature of those of us who carry His Name.
It's time for a phone call, a letter, a listening ear, a helping hand. It's time to bring the healing love of Jesus to someone who is in darkness, someone who needs a night-light. It's time for you to shine.