Caring love is perfect heavenly love that has no limits and extends to
all of creation, including all other human beings and animals.
Caring love is like the “golden rule”; we are to love all others as we want to be loved, without any exceptions.
Caring love relates to others in such a way that we could never again kill or eat any animals or exploit them in any other way.
Caring love relates so deeply to our fellow human beings, that we could never physically or emotionally harm them, and would do everything in our power to help them and make them feel comfortable in our presence.
This relates very closely to a conversation that Jesus had with a lawyer, as recorded in Luke 10:25-28…
25. And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying,
"Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
26. And He [Jesus] said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?"
27. And he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
28. And He [Jesus] said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live."
Remember that according to caring love (God’s perfect and unconditional
love), all other human beings and other animals are our neighbors.
A person, who is peacefully talking with caring love to another person who doesn’t necessarily agree with his or her point of view, will leave a lasting positive impression. To “point the finger” or argue will only create tension, chase the other person away, and have the opposite effect from that which was hoped for.
Let’s now take a look at Exodus 17:1-7, where we see an example of a lack of caring love.
1. The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling
from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but
there was no water for the people to drink.
2. So they quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses replied, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?"
The people forgot all that God had done for them recently and because they lacked caring love, they quarreled with Moses instead of thankfully praying to God. This is the problem with the world around us even to this very day.
3. But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?"
Remember “livestock” is a euphemism for “exploited animals,” which people who have caring love could never be a part of.
4. Then Moses cried out to the LORD, "What am I to do with these people?
They are almost ready to stone me."
5. The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
6. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7. And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"
Psalm 95:1-11 is partly a psalm of praise, and partly a reminder of what we just read in the Exodus passage above.
1. Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2. Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3. For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4. In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5. The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6. Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7. for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if you hear his voice,
Before we go on with this psalm, note that even in this psalm a hard of heart example is used to compare us with a flock of animals in our relationship with the Lord our God.
8. do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the desert,
9. where your fathers tested and tried me,
though they had seen what I did.
10. For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways."
11. So I declared on oath in my anger,
"They shall never enter my rest."
Caring love requires us to always be at peace with others, and even though
we can discern evil in and around them, we are never to pass judgment upon
them; we must leave such decisions to the Lord, for He sees the intent of
their hearts and minds.
In John 4:5-42, Jesus gives us an excellent example of how we are to extend our caring love unconditionally to every other living being.
5. So He [Jesus] came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel
of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph;
6. and Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."
8. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9. The Samaritan woman therefore said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
Even though Jesus is apparently only asking for something for Himself, the
woman is shocked by His unconditional caring love that initiated the
conversation with her.
If Jesus had followed Jewish tradition He never would have talked to this woman, but Jesus saw the error in the Jewish tradition and continued the conversation with her.
10. Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
Jesus is offering this woman salvation and eternal life; something the Jews incorrectly thought was reserved for them, but Jesus is showing her and us that it is intended for the whole world.
11. She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is
deep; where then do You get that living water?
12. "You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?"
This woman is still thinking in worldly terms, but questioningly, and Jesus responds in a loving way, just as we should do with every other person.
13. Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water shall
14. but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
Because of Jesus’ loving manner, she responds in somewhat spiritual terms.
15. The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty, nor come all the way here to draw."
From her answer, Jesus perceived that she is not at the point of fully understanding His message of caring love.
16. He said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."
Jesus already knows the answer, but asked the question anyway to spark a response.
17. The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her,
"You have well said, 'I have no husband';
18. for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly."
This is when the Samaritan woman begins to understand that He is more than just another Jewish man; He is someone special, just as we should appear when talking to others with caring love.
19. The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
20. "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
21. Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father.
22. "You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23, "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
24. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Jesus is now breaking down the traditional walls that have separated the
Jews and Samaritans for centuries.
This is what caring love can do for the whole world and every living being in it whether they are humans or other animals.
25. The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called
Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."
26. Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
27. And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He had been speaking with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?"
The disciples are still thinking in worldly terms.
28. So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city, and said to the
29. "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?"
30. They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
31. In the meanwhile the disciples were requesting Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."
32. But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
33. The disciples therefore were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?"
The disciples are still thinking in worldly physical terms, so Jesus corrects them.
34. Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and
to accomplish His work.
35. "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
36. "Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
37. "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows, and another reaps.'
38. "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
Jesus is referring to the Samaritans who are ready to become true believers and worshipers of God.
39. And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the
word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have
40. So when the Samaritans came to Him, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.
This is also an act of caring love which breaks down the former barriers that separated the Samaritans from the Jewish people.
41. And many more believed because of His word;
42. and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."
It doesn’t matter what we talk about in caring love; all that matters is
that we are loving in our approach to them, even if the other person or
people are not that way with us.
Caring love is what ushers in the peaceable kingdom where no humans or animals will ever again harm one another, “for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)
We would never again have any wars or terrorism, and waste trillions of dollars on them.
We would never again exploit any animals, for both humans and animals would return to eating only the plant foods that God originally gave us to eat (Genesis 1:29-30).
This is living in caring love!
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