It took a long time for our cat to learn to accept love.
You see we had got our cat from the SPCA. We presumed by its attitude that it must have been an abandoned cat, a cat that grew up fighting in the alleys, taking its licks and licking the ones it took. Probably a cat that had pretty much only known survival. Anything new or foreign in its environment was a threat, something to defeat or from which to run.
The SPCA picked up this cat, looked after her and gave her some love. But she was in a cage, her own little prison until we came along and took her home and tried to love her.
She didn’t take kindly to love at first. Any attempt to touch or pet her was met with resistance. She’s since learned to accept us… even seek us out — and cuddle. But strangers in the house are another story. Old instincts kick in when strangers are about.
For years I didn’t really like our cat. She had that cat-attitude… didn’t quite ‘get’ that we are in charge here! —At least, I like to think we are!
Do you know people like that?
I do…. You know — abrasive people. People that don’t even recognize that you are loving on them, trying to share some of that good fruit of… joy… gentleness… kindness… Sometimes they just hiss and spit, arch their backs and maybe even claw at you. You give love, but get back bleeding.
That’s what Jesus did. He gave love, but got back bleeding. Agapé Love is just that sort of love. It’s the sort of love that gives “while we were yet sinners,” enemies, spitting in His Face, lashing and gnashing at Him. Its the sort of Love Christ asks us to give…. to give to all people… including the abrasive.
He said “Whatever you did [or failed to do] for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did [or failed to do] for me.” (Matt. 25:40, 45)
Do you love this man? – this God-man? Do you love others with this Holy Spirit empowered unconditional love…sacrificial love… Agapé Love?
I have a gnawing suspicion that the true measure of my love for Christ is no greater than the measure of my love for our cantankerous cat! Who is “the least of” in your sphere of testimony?
To hear Pastor Steve’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website, click on ‘Media’ and select the April 28th message.