by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 33 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)
"And we have known and believed the love that God hath given to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (I John 4:16)
While we will not attempt to exegete the above verse, we will think a while about perfect or more mature love. One's love for another may grow until he loves another with all of his heart. What then may he do to offer the object more love? Are we not to continue to have our love for each other increase? Should we "arrive" in our love for our friends? Certainly not! Hence, if you love one with all of your heart, to increase that love you must have a "bigger heart." In other words, our capacity to love must increase.
Not long ago I was out soul winning and came to a certain house where the man of the house was very excited. "Pastor," he exclaimed, " I am glad that you dropped by. I want to show you my new car."
I don't think that I have ever seen a man as excited about a car as was this man. His description of it was such that I thought it must be an air-conditioned Cadillac with television in both front and back seats. "Where is the car?" I asked. "I simply must see it."
The man's face lit up, his countenance brightened, and he clapped his hands with joy because I wanted to see the car. "Come on," he exclaimed. "It is in the back yard. You wait `til you see it. I have never loved a car like I love this one." Around to the back yard we went and was I ever in for a shock! "Here it is," he exclaimed.
I looked, and to my surprise I saw an old junk heap. The fenders were not the same color as the body; in fact, it looked like a piece of junk.
"What do you think about it?" he asked.
"That IS a car," I replied.
"Isn't that about the prettiest thing you ever saw?" he asked.
I said, "Boy, that is something." (It was "something," and I was having a hard time figuring out what kind of "something" it was.) I stuttered and stammered trying to keep my conversation in the realm of honesty and truth.
He suddenly saved me from embarrassment by saying. "I made it with my own hands, Preacher. I made it with my own hands."
Then I realized the source of his love. He had gone down to the wrecking yard and picked up a piece here and a piece there, an engine here and a fender there, and actually constructed his own car.
The strange thing about it is that he had a beautiful new car in the garage, but it was one made by Ford or General Motors or Chrysler Corporation. This one, however, was made with his own hands. Hence, he could love it more than the others.
How then may we love someone more? How may our capacity to love someone be increased? We must do things for them. We must invest our lives in them and, like the man with the old car, we will find a love that we have never known before.
Mrs. Hyles and I have four children. We have experienced nearly every Christmas what we had the joy of experiencing again this past year. Our youngest daughter, Cindy, had made a Christmas card for us. This she had made at school. We gathered around the Christmas tree early in the morning to open the gifts. Cindy was most excited, not about the ones she was about to receive, but about the card that she had made for Mommy and Daddy. When I would pick up a gift close to the card, she would jump up and down and clap her hands thinking that perhaps I would find the card too. Though she received a new bicycle for Christmas, she did not exclaim as much over this or her doll or her game or any of her other gifts as she did the card she had made for Mother and Dad. We have all seen a child who deposited a new $15.00 doll in the toy box in preference to a homemade rag doll. Would God that we could find the same truth. Happiness is not in receiving but in giving and the more we actually DO in the making of others and the helping of others, the more our love can increase for them.
Our friends are deserving of more love from us. If they receive it, we have to learn to love more. May our love grow and mature until we can offer to our friends the greatest love ever. Hence, I must do more for others. I must invest more in the lives of others. I must think more of others. I must give more to others. I must give more to others. I must sacrifice more for others and in so doing. I will know something of the heart of the fellow who made the car, the child who made the doll, and the girl who made the Christmas card. And I will have attained a point a little closer to what the Mater meant when He spoke of "perfect love."
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“I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion,
warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years.” —Billy SUNDAY