Love Them First
1 John 4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.
That is a principle to live by. We love God because He first loved us. If we want others to love us we must love them first. We Christians have more ammunition than we will ever need. We will never run out of it. We need to use it. We will never run out of people who need it either.
Galatians 5:22a: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, . . .
We get bent out of shape when people don*t love us or when they flat out hate us. We should not expect them to love us until we have loved them. The more they hate, the more obvious it is that they need someone to love them. It is possible to love the unlovely. When you can*t think of a way to love someone, Matthew 5:44 gives some great instructions.
Matthew 5:44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Love them, bless them, do good to them and pray for them. For me it works better if I pray for them first. That is the easiest thing to do and it often helps me to get going with the other things. When I am sincere in my love for them, I will pray for them and the Lord will help me find a way to love them. The wisest and most loving thing we can do for anyone is to share the gospel with them. The only way they can ever love us back is if they receive Christ and become filled with the Holy Spirit. When I share the gospel with someone and they receive Christ, there are a multitude of ways in which they return love to me, and to the Lord who saved them.
The Lord taught us by example how to love. It is not that complicated. Because He loves us, He gives us what we need. He first gave us all sorts of little things that we needed, then He gives us salvation which is our greatest need and then He continues to give all sorts of little things.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
If you have trouble figuring out how to love someone, give them something that they need. They need for you to spend some time in prayer for them. My Pastor McBay said recently, they can stop you from doing many things for them but they cannot keep you from praying for them. I have actually had some people ask me not to pray for them. I have not obeyed them. When Satan controls them, he understands that when Christians pray for his people he often loses them. Then you might be able to give them something of the Word of God and He might show you all kinds of ways to love them.