30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
35 The next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:30-37
Real love is about action. Real love gets you up in the middle of the night to care for your sick child, while gladly wishing you could take your child’s fear or fever upon yourself. While natural love takes care of a sick friend, God’s love takes care of a sick stranger. Perhaps the greatest example of this in the New Testament is Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). In fact, Jesus used this very story to illustrate what it means to love God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.
Natural love compels you to be patient with your spouse when he or she is grumpy, or to remain faithful when you are tempted to stray, but God’s love goes further. God’s love looks always to give what is needed rather than what is deserved.
Living Godly love means treating others the way God treats you. Jesus said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Would you really want God to treat you the way you seflishly treat others?
Godly love is about loving others the way God loves you. It’s forgiving others the way God forgives you. God’s love serves. Genuine love will reveal itself when you take on the heart of a servant and serve someone who doesn’t deserve it. Jesus was the greatest servant of all. He was the King of all glory, yet He came to this earth and didn’t expect people to wait on Him. Instead, He waited on them. He had the heart of a servant. The anointing came on Jesus as He served.
When you start serving, everything seems to improve. Why? Because you get the focus off of you and your problems and you being living for a greater purpose. As you begin to humbly serve, many doors will open for God to speak to you and bless you. Jesus teaches that whatever we do for the least of our brothers, we’re doing for Him, and that those who serve Him in this manner will “inherit the kingdom prepared for [them] from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34-46)