"Now It's Our Turn," from We Are Messengers' latest album, Wholehearted, is an inspiring pop-rock anthem with a convicting message about loving as Jesus loves. Let's look at what these lyrics teach us about the way Jesus loves us and how we can model that love to others.
Mercy's not a pretty word/It gets down in the dirt/For better or for worse/And sometimes it's gonna hurt/To love without reserve/But Jesus did it first/And now it's our turn
Loved and Called to Love
So many times You've forgiven me/Even while I was Your enemy/Yeah more than just 7 times 70/I can see it finally
The lyric above comes from Matthew 18:21-35. In this passage, Peter asks Jesus how often to forgive someone who sins against Him, and Jesus tells a story to answer Peter's question. In the story, a man is extravagantly forgiven a large debt he owes to his debtor. By the end of the story, though, that same man who has been shown mercy refuses to extend grace and compassion to someone who owes him a lesser debt.
This parable is an illustration of the way God treats us and the way we're called to treat others. But I think you and I can honestly admit that we don't always hit the mark. It's easy to gratefully receive God's love and grace for ourselves, and then fall short in showing that love and grace to others.
This doesn't only apply to forgiveness, loving enemies, and conflict resolution. It applies to loving others well in all areas of life-from honoring people with our speech, to acts of service and compassion for those in need, to patiently walking alongside a fellow believer struggling to overcome an area of sin in their lives.
1 John 4:11 (NIV): "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
Jesus calls His followers to love as He loves, as mentioned in John 13:34-35. Of course, that's not easy. The contemporary band We Are Messengers acknowledges in this song, loving like Jesus challenges our pride, our comfort, and our convenience. But loving like Jesus is good and godly, and a blessing to those around us.
Making Love Practical
Are we ready to turn the other cheek/Are we ready to bless our enemies/Are we ready to love like Jesus/Are we ready to give it all for free/Are we ready to be a family/Are we ready to love like Jesus?
So, what does love look like?
The Bible gives us so much practical instruction on how to love others tangibly. I'd encourage you to look at the words of Jesus in the Gospels about how we should treat one another. You can also lookup the "one another" verses in the New Testament letters. For now, let's look at one passage in Colossians as an example.
Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT): "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body, you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful."
The apostle Paul is teaching the believers in the city of Colosse how to live in community with one another (and it's a word for us today as well). How much do you see these character traits in your life? How many of your interactions with others look like this passage?
Every time I read this chapter, I feel God challenging me to pause and ask Him the aforementioned questions about my own life. Maybe He's asking the same thing of you today. Maybe He wants to help you grow in the way you love others both inside and outside the body of Christ. So He can transform lives and testify to a watching world who He is.
I challenge you to pray this and listen for His response: "God, who specifically are You calling me to love well right now and how can I practically do that?" I believe He'll lead you. You've been loved by God and called by God to love. Now, it's your turn.
Find "Now It's Our Turn" on We Are Messengers' album, Wholehearted. Buy it on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify. Read the full lyrics of "Now It's Our Turn" here.
NRT contributor Jasmin Patterson is a lifelong fan of Christian music who is passionate about helping others connect with Christ. She lives in Kansas City where she serves in college ministry and runs a blog to help seekers and believers discover and live biblical Christianity.
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