PLAN to Love

And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Col. 3:14, MSG)

In 1965, Hal David penned profound lyrics to “What the World Needs Now is Love”, a timeless song written during an era of cataclysmic events, where racism and violence were widespread.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not just for some but for everyone.

These lyrics—which seem to be foretelling in nature—present a myriad of contradictions in today’s world. Clichés such as “every man for himself” and “the power of one” seem to be more prevalent. These views however sow seeds of dissonance that directly oppose the paradigm of love. Yet, love is always relevant, and many modern-day occurrences seem to echo the trials of 1965. So, bellowing from the musical archives, the message for today continues to be that the world is certainly in need of love…..now!
Time and again, Scripture reinforces love’s mandate. Jesus, the consummate manifestation of love, commands us to love each other, just as He has loved us (John 13:34). Strong’s Concordance proposes to love as Christ loves means “actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction)”. Through Jesus, the ability to obey His commandment is birthed out of an internal working of His Spirit that equips, leads, and guides our hearts and minds.

Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). As Believers, we cannot embrace the Cross without loving people. So how do we uphold the commandment and express a love that is inclusive (i.e. “not just for some”) and spans the boundaries of our understanding or human capacity? We P-L-A-N!

Pray for one another: “…I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be
offered to God for all people” (I Tim. 2:1, GNT)

Lift one another up: “So encourage one another and build each other up…” (I Thess 5:11, NLT).

Accept one another: “…Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other” (Eph. 4:2, GW).

Nurture one another: “… Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love…” (Heb. 10:24-25, MSG).

Love never fails (I Cor. 13:8), and long before a prognosticating song or cataclysmic events, there was a beckoning commandment. Through a relationship with Christ, we meet the criteria! Therefore, let us heed the call and implement the PLAN that will overshadow and extinguish adversarial messages of fear, racism, sexism, and violence. This PLAN is a catalyst for saturating the earth with God’s love, which is indeed needed in the world.

Lord, You are the ultimate expression of love. Today, Lord, we ask that you clothe us with your mantle of love that we may extend it to others as you have commanded. We are your ambassadors. We pray that everything we do is a sheer reflection of you and that the world will know that “we are Christians by our love.” In Jesus name, Amen.