It will be beneficial for us to take a look at the character traits of God, the fruits of the Spirit. As we commit to be together studying this for the next few weeks let’s begin with the most important character trait of God, love. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Racing isn’t a lovey dovey sport. We don’t spend a lot of time telling each other how much we love them. I am pretty sure, as Tina Turner says; we might ask ourselves “what’s love got to do with it?” It has everything to do with it.
I am not talking about erotic love or brotherly love; I am talking about unconditional love, no strings attached. Love that sacrifices without the expectation of receiving something in return. When we treat people with respect and dignity no matter who or what they are. When we give them that respect we begin to value others the way God values us.
For some reason we think we can compete with each other and not consider who is in the other car. I like to remind the drivers at the drivers meeting before I pray, look around, these are the people you will be driving against, treat each other with respect.
Respect is only one aspect of reflecting the love that God has for each of us. Sacrifice is another important component. We read how much God loved us in the familiar verse from John’s Gospel
John 3:16-17; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
God did what we could not do for ourselves; even the score, pay the price for our sin. God loved us so much that He provided a sacrifice for us. It is because of that sacrifice that we can have a relationship with Him. Listen to the words from Romans;
Romans 5:6-8; When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
What about our earthly relationships? How do we treat those around us that we care about? Many times we are guilty of taking them for granted. Many times we assume they know we love them and it isn’t necessary to show them. Let me share with you that isn’t the case. Everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they are important, and that they matter. To take it one step further, we need to express that without being asked!
Genuine Love for someone isn’t something that comes natural to us. We tend to be better at pointing out what is wrong with someone than what is right. We are conditioned to pick people apart. We need to turn that around and develop the technique of building people up. That is the first step toward showing others God’s love.
Are you a person that likes to antagonize others? Pick at someone just to get a rise out of them? Not meaning anything, just for fun. Well that is destructive, it is demoralizing. It doesn’t matter whether you mean it or not it is the greatest tool Satan uses to wedge his way into relationships for one sole purpose, to destroy them. Don’t fall victim to this tactic, it is one of the hardest habits to break.
Jesus says, do not call someone a fool, you have committed murder.
Paul writes, “Do not put out the Spirits fire”
We are all guilty of this, tearing each other down just for the fun of it. This should not be. Listen to what Paul says about God’s love, the love we need to show others.
1Corinthians 12:31b; And now I will show you the most excellent way.
1Corinthians 13:4-8a; Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
We have quite a list to tackle don’t we. The point is this, God’s love is not just something that happens; it must be practiced. We don’t naturally act in a way that reflects the love of God. We need to practice and learn what it means to love one another the way God loves us.
For the world to see the hope they can have in Christ, those of us who are Christians need to start learning how to love one another. We are called to be bigger than the pettiness of selfishness. If others don’t see it from us, who will they be able to turn to?
The way we act will go a long way toward helping people welcome the love of God into their lives. When others see the love we have in our heart for them they will be drawn closer to God. You don’t have to look any further than Jesus to see that.
He came into this world to show us the love of God. He walked with us, He taught us, He guided us, He healed us, He gave His life for us; He saved us. What a wonderful example to have to follow.
2Corinthians 13:14; May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.