Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Does Love Really Make the World Go ‘Round?


1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


On a recent Saturday morning as I pulled out on the highway, I saw a woman and a young boy walking along the side of the road.  They were holding hands.  He was holding a big container of what was likely soda pop from the convenience store not too far away.  Since we live in a manufactured home community and since some of the people who live there are very poor, I assumed these two did not have a car or much money.  But they had each other.  I know that I am making assumptions when I say it looked like a mother was spending quality time with her son; and that she had just bought him something that he wanted, even though it might not have been good for him.  She wasn’t forcing him to excel at some sport, she wasn’t making him do his homework, she was just spending time with him.  I wondered if this boy realized that he was experiencing one of the most precious things that anyone can experience.  He was experiencing his mother’s love.  She was showing that love by just being there with the boy.  I may not know the whole story behind the scene that I witnessed, but I have to admit that seeing that mother walk with that boy while holding his hand, gave me the “warm fuzzies.”   And then I thought of the verse that I have quoted in today’s meditation.


Different kinds of Love

When our society thinks of love, people usually think of erotic or romantic love.  That kind of love is found in our Bible.   The Song of Solomon is certainly a poem of erotic love.  However, the New Testament does not use the word for erotic love at all.  That kind of love is exciting and attractive, but it can be self-serving and usually does not last.  It has to mature into something more substantial and permanent.  The New Testament does distinguish between charity, a love that is often defined by duty and sacrifice, and the love of friends.  The love of friends is a mutual thing.  Charity may not be mutual.  However, when we show charity to one that we think is unlovable in the sense of a friend, we often find ourselves liking the person to whom we are showing charity.  Often they become our friend.  We use one word to explain all these different facets of love while God has several words helping us to understand the concept of love.


Why is Love or Charity the greatest Gift?

There is an ad that I have seen many times that says the world runs on Dunkin.  I think they mean that eating Dunkin Donuts energizes us.  But actually love in its different aspects is what should run the world.  Christians need friends and the fellowship of a church should be the best place to find those friends.  We are admonished in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”  We need other Christians friends so that we can encourage (exhort) one another.  Living a Christian life in isolation makes us targets of Satan and can cause us problems with depression and assurance.  We can lose our confidence in the good that the Lord has in store for us.  We may become useless to others.


While we need the love of a friend, we also need to experience and show the love of charity.  It is the charity of God that provides salvation for us through the sacrifice of His Son.  We tend to be self-centered in our friendships and in our romantic relationships.  While we do good things for others, it is always with the idea of being happy ourselves.  But when we show charity, we are usually transcending self.  Recently, we have had major flooding in northeast Iowa.  The communities that have been flooded pulled together to save the towns and to help one another.  To me, they were showing Godly charity although many of the people involved were probably friends.  Often it is difficult to distinguish between true charity which is a God-given gift and and the love that we show for a friend.  While charity is given without expectation of return or personal benefit, the person showing the charity always benefits. 


Love is certainly Needed!

In a country where the political system and the economic system are based on personal greed, criticism, lies, bullying and cheating, it is certainly a breath of fresh air to see communities coming together to help one another.  It certainly is refreshing to see a mother and a son walking hand in hand down the road.  It is great to know that God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His only Son.  I know someone is going to ask if God loved His Son since we would never allow our sons to suffer like He did if we coult prevent it.  He said He did.  He said in Matthew 3:17, “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Obviously His love for the people in the world is measured by His love for His Son.  To be personal, His love for me is measured by His love for His Son.  His love for you is also measured by His love for His Son.


The world does not run on Dunkin’.  The world runs on love.  It really does make the world go ’round.  It is the oil that keeps the engine running smoothly.  Without love, things get really sticky and kind of noisy.  My prayer is that each of us has experienced the love of a friend as well as the charity of God today.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of August 28, 2016

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