“Without love, where would you be now?”
The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin’” is one of my favorite songs from the 70’s. I sang along with that catchy tune for years, then one day I asked myself the question, “Without love, where would I be now?”1
I thought about the sacrificial, unconditional love of my mother and father. Where would I be had they not loved me?
I thought about the love shown to me by teachers, coaches, pastors, and friends. Where would I be had I not experienced their love?
Then I thought about the passionate, persistent, faithful love of my wife, Debbie. Where would I be without her love?
Love has made all the difference in my life.
The absence of love leaves us alone and exposed to the elements of a fallen world. We all know what it is like to be hurt by impatient, unkind, prideful, rude, selfish, angry people who keep a record of our every mistake. If we are honest, we also know what it is like to treat others hatefully. We cannot claim to love when acting like this.
Many seem to be confused about love. We may easily mistake lust for love. Our love may become dependent on what others do for us and we may choose to love only when we are loved. Love may also be misdirected to things rather than people. Some have been hurt so deeply they may doubt they will ever know or experience love again.
In our new teaching series, “Love: for a Lifetime” we will take a close look at real love and how we may experience it throughout our entire lives – even into the next.
Love transforms lives, renews relationships, heals broken hearts, strengthens families, empowers churches, and gives hope beyond this life. You and I need love. We need to experience real love in order to share it with others.
The Swiss theologian Karl Barth was in the United States and someone asked a question during one of his sessions: “Dr. Barth, what is the greatest thought that has ever gone through your mind?”
The questioner probably expected some complicated and incomprehensible answer, as if Einstein were being asked to explain the theory of relativity. But after he had thought a long while, Barth replied by saying: “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”2
If you have not experienced God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ or need to renew your love for Christ, please contact me.
If you don’t already have a church family where you may grow and serve I hope you will join us at Pebble Creek for this series, “Love: for a Lifetime.”
Because of Christ’s love,
Tom Johnston. “Long Train Runnin’,” Doobie Brothers, Warner/Chappell Music, The Captain and Mealbum, 1973.
James Montgomery Boice, Romans: The Reign of Grace, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991–), 539.