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Trae Durden

Love has everything to do with it

FRANKLIN LIVING— If you’ve ever noticed how the cheeseburger in the advertisement looks 100 percent better than the cheeseburger you receive, then you have experienced the letdown of a high expectation.

Maybe it was a car. The paint was shiny, the interior was clean, but after driving off the lot, the radiator blew, and you’re stranded by the side of the road. Reality didn’t measure up to your expectations.

A college student once asked, “If the transformative power of Christ is so strong, why aren’t more Christians living transformed, abundant, spirit-filled lives?”

God’s word teaches that a Christian is “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” This renewing is a daily experience. If believers aren’t spending time in the word of God, neither renewal or transformation are going to happen. Instead, that Christian will experience and exhibit a slow “conforming” to the ways of the world.

This is why we don’t see Christians living the abundant life Jesus called us to live. If Christians were spending time with the Lord, through His word, the transformation would be obvious.

A side note to those reading this who maybe don’t follow Jesus. Just because you’ve encountered a few hypocrites, don’t totally dismiss the faith that has done so much to enrich the world around us!

Jesus said others will know we are His disciples if we love one another. Love has the ability to cover a multitude of sins. Love can change hearts and lift spirits. Love is the most vital characteristic of a Christ-follower.

Sacrificial love draws us to a Savior who gave Himself for us. Love demands much of us in the service of others.

Outspoken atheist Sam Harris once said, “We must pay attention to the frontiers of our ignorance because on the frontiers of our ignorance is where new things are discovered and found.” Although I disagree with him about many things, I agree with this statement.

It applies to Christians in the sense that we must search the Scriptures daily to eliminate ignorance and continue the process of divine transformation. It is in the reading of Scripture that faith is grown and true love is discovered.

Jesus made it clear that our love for others, even our “enemies,” is required if we choose to follow Him. It’s the answer to the young man’s question about how Christians live. It’s the answer to our own doubts and fears.

What’s love got to do with it? Everything!

Trae Durden has been the preaching minister at North Highlands church of Christ in Russellville since January 2013. He is married to Leann Durden, and they have a daughter, Darcy Grace (15), and a son, Dalton (12).