Influencers Devotionals, devotionals

All You Need is Love by Rocky Fleming

July 9, 2024




 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. ” " John 13:34-35 (NIV)




I was recently in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This is a beautiful, Victorian town in the Ozarks, with old hotels, bathhouses, and interesting residents, to say the least. Since it’s near our farm, my wife and I love to hang out there and sample the food and culture. Although there are some folks who live there that identify with the mainstream culture and lifestyle to which my wife and I are accustomed, there are also some people who look at life through a different grid than us. There is a reason. Back in the 1960's, this small village was all but vacated, with many things in disrepair. It then became a favorite hangout for the "hippie" movement of that era. These young people visited and remained, becoming the primary residents of the town. The "Love Children" of the 60's created a unique present-day attitude and laid back persona in this artsy community.

With these things in mind, you will better understand what happened to me at a local restaurant. I had just finished the best Reuben sandwich I had ever eaten, and I told the waiter so. He was a guy with a long pony tail, and he had that laid back persona of which I speak. I asked him, "What made that sandwich so good?" He looked at me, rubbed his chin and thought a minute before giving a slow-talking response. With an honest look he answered my question, "Yeah man, that's a good question," he answered. "I guess it has to be love?" He was serious as a heart attack, and I could not help but break out in laughter. We both had a great laugh by his reply.

After he left my table, in my thoughts, I was taken back to a time in my past when certain young people had discovered what they thought was the answer for the world's problems. In fact, the Beatles wrote a song about it, which you might remember. All You Need is Love was first performed in 1967 by The Beatles via satellite on a live global television link. It was watched by 400 million people in 26 countries. The song’s message made quite an impact, and this is also a truth spoken by Christ. Would not the world's wars and evil toward one another be solved with love flowing to us and from us to each other? But like so many other truths God has given mankind through history, Satan took this one and perverted it, giving free license to a youth culture to live a lifestyle of sexual "free-love" and irresponsibility.

Therefore, we need to understand what perfect love is all about and how we love one another with it, for I think the culture of the 60's is now invading the Church, and we are losing our moral bearing. The love of Christ is indeed revolutionary, for there is nothing like it in this world. His love is heavenly and cannot be produced or replicated by mankind. It can only be accepted by us personally and flow through us to others. It can be rejected, for that is our God-given right. However, even if it is accepted by a believer, it can also be hindered from flowing through us. This is a great shame when this happens, for it is a great loss for the family of God. On a good day, there are several kinds of love that mankind can produce. Examples would include family love, friendship love, our love for a girlfriend or best friend, and yes, the possessive love of lust for a person or a material possession.

But one thing is common in all of these types of love, even the best of them, and that is the conditional nature of each. Each of these types of love will have an attitude which says, "I will love you if .....," and it is the "if" that separates Christ's love from the rest, for He loves at all times, good or bad. Think of it: Do we love that car as long as it does what we hoped it would do when we bought it and hate it if it doesn't? Do we love a friend, or a best friend even if he or she lets us down or shun them if they have? Do we love all those people and things through thick and thin, even when they have betrayed us, broken our hearts or angered us? Now let's get honest, for I am not condemning you or me if we see we are not measuring up in these areas. We should not condemn ourselves, for certainly we have Satan working overtime to condemn us, since he is the Great Accuser.

But we do need to see clearly the distinct nature of Christ's love. It is a love completely separated from all the different loves that the world and the flesh produce, and it is the kind of love Christ told His disciples to give each other. It is also the kind of love that is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 which enables spiritual gifts. It is also the kind of love mentioned in Ephesians 5:25 which enables a man to love His wife as Christ would want. But a man and mankind cannot produce this kind of love. Only Christ can. But Christ can love through us, if we allow Him. This kind of love cannot be counterfeited. Like the Beatles who told us that all the world needs is love, we hear the same thing from activists, politicians, world leaders, and even religious leaders. But most all of them simply point out the obvious need to love others.

What they do not do is show us is how to love one another in a way that overlooks and accepts our differences. Christ does. They cannot show us how to love in such a revolutionary way that rocks and changes our world. Jesus can. Christ has given us this kind of love, and we should allow it to flow through us to other believers and to non-believers alike. It should be an overpowering example that should be seen in the Body of Christ. The world should look at Christians, and the way we love others, and see a love separated from all others. It should be the most visible example in Christ's Church.

What the world needs is love. I agree. What the Body of Christ needs is love. What a family needs is love. What a wife needs is love. And what a man of God needs is love. But let's understand that what we all need is Christ's love, and what our world needs is His love flowing through us. All the other types of love fall short of God's perfect love, and it is only perfect love that can influence this world for the good. As Christ's disciple, we can unleash His perfect love on all the people in our life, and it is this love, not the others, is what the world longs to see. Maybe my hippie friend was somewhat right though? Things do taste better when they are given in love, even a Reuben sandwich.

Because of the love of Christ,