Love for the Lost

By David Berg

From pretty young shop girls and waitresses and secretaries to elderly widows and rich old dowagers; from handsome young clerks, bookkeepers, technicians, white collar workers and engineers to wealthy businessmen, retired widowers, single shopkeepers, and even bachelor farmers, we found them all the same:

Hungry, lonely, empty, unhappy, dissatisfied, and spiritually destitute--all longing for love of all kinds, but especially for a love they had never known before, true love, sincere love, genuine love, the truly great love of their life, the love of all loves, of the Lover of all lovers, who alone can satisfy that deepest yearning of every human soul for total love and complete understanding.

Some were finding momentary relief in a night of affectionate dancing closely together in each other's arms with an occasional tender caress and gentle kiss. Others carried it further--from the floor to the bed afterward each night in a casual sexual relationship which temporarily satisfied their bodies but left leanness in their souls, wondering why no one and no love ever truly satisfied or brought that lasting happiness of which they dreamed and is so deceptively and romantically portrayed by the media and tellers of tales.

Why could they never find this happiness for themselves? Why did even a prolonged relationship still leave them feeling empty, incomplete, and unfulfilled? Even those with seemingly naturally well-rounded full lives of plenty, security, families, spouses, and children were still feeling so dissatisfied and unhappy and discontented that under the cover of darkness and the dimly lit ballrooms of the big city they clandestinely sought new relationships outside the usual circle of their family and friends, always seeking something new.

As God's Word says, "The people seek a new thing" (Acts 17:21). But they find nothing that ever satisfies, no love that ever lasts, no happiness that is forever theirs.

They are miserable, brokenhearted, wounded, bound, captives of their own passions and prisoners of their own shattered hopes, desires, and limited human frailties. For although the body is of this earth and is satisfied with the things of this earth, the human spirit--that intangible personality of the real you that dwells in that body--can never be completely satisfied with anything but utter union with the great and loving Spirit that created it.

He's the power and life of the universe that some people call God but that the Bible itself calls love, for "God is love" (1 John 4:8), the very spirit of love itself--true love, everlasting love, real love, genuine love that never ends from a lover who never leaves, the lover of all lovers, God Himself.

He's pictured in His Son Christ Jesus, a man who loved everybody, even the poorest and the worst of all, even His self-righteous, hypocritical religious enemies. He was a man who went about all His life trying to do good and help others, even the drunks and the harlots, the publicans and the sinners, and sometimes even the Scribes and the Pharisees, who finally crucified Him for His dangerous doctrine of love. But His death brings life, forgiveness, and eternal joy to those who love Him in return.

He is the lover of all lovers, who came for love and lived in love, and died for love that we might live and love forever! He even loves the unlovely and the least likely to be lovable, who blossom into beauty at His loving touch. But He has no hands but your hands and He has no lips but yours and He has no eyes but your eyes, for you are His body, His bride for whom He died that you might live and love others as He did, your life given for them as His was for you, to even die for them as He did for you!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).

Are you willing to be sent like Jesus into the deepest and darkest places of this earth amongst the lowest of the low, not to condemn them but to love them into His kingdom of love--God's kingdom, God's love? Then, "Because He laid down His life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16).

We found out we could not withhold bread from the hungry--the bread of life, Christ Jesus, nor drink from the thirsty--the water of His Word, which satisfies the most ultimate longings of the human soul.

We sometimes passed through the agonies of Gethsemane, but once having begun the life of love, we found there was no stopping place, no limit, and no end. We had to give and to give and to give again until it hurt. It hurt our pride, crucified our flesh, killed our selfishness, and made us "of no reputation" like Jesus Himself (Philippians 2:7). They called Him a devil, a winebibber, a glutton, a friend of publicans and sinners, drunks and harlots, but He kept on giving and giving and giving again until the day He died for love, to give us His eternal love and life and happiness for ever after.

We soon found there was no stopping place, no limit to which God would not go to save a poor lost soul with His infinite love and unlimited mercy! As the apostle James so clearly states: "If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food and one of you say unto them, 'Depart in peace! Be ye warmed and filled!'--Notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body--what doth it profit? "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead" (James 2:15-17). In other words, if in the faith of God you really love them, they cannot understand it or believe it unless you really show them by some visible tangible work or action that puts your words into action and puts your faith into effect and makes it fact and not fiction, a sample, not just a sermon.

Are you willing to give that much to bring them eternal joy and happiness through the salvation of their immortal spirit by the power of the love of the God of love Himself?