Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
As a pastor, I encounter far too many Christians who witness for their Lord by sharing the love of Christ like a well, rather than a reservoir. Let me explain the difference; and I hope you will be encouraged to understand that you have been redeemed to be a reservoir.
Imagine that both a well and a reservoir are filled with the life-giving water that is the love of Christ. The difference between the two truly makes all the difference in the world when it comes to the impact we make in our walk with Jesus. With a well, others must go to the time and labor to receive the love of Christ that lies deep within. They must lower the bucket, fill it, and pull it back up to the top in order to be refreshed. But with a reservoir, the love of Christ not only fills the reservoir, it fills it to overflowing and continually gushes into the lives of all those who come near it!
We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and that love should infuse and permeate everyone we meet, with no effort required on their part. Because the love of God in Christ Jesus flows to us, it must also flow through us as a testimony to the truth that we are His. People should not have to labor to discover the love of Christ in us; it should spill out of us into their lives. It should be that others can’t help but experience the love of Christ from us because that love is so much a part of our lives.
We are redeemed to be a reservoir of the Redeemer’s love . . . and not only to those whom we find easy to love. We must always remember that our Lord loved us while we were still His enemies (Colossians 1:21), and that amazing love and grace of Christ must move us to love even those whom we would otherwise prefer to have nothing to do with. What grace is at work when we love only the lovable and those who love us? As Jesus said, do not even unbelievers do that? (Matthew 5:47). It is only when we let our love overflow toward those who are unfriendly and disagreeable and even openly hostile that we know for certain that we are truly new creations in Christ.
So . . . which term best describes you as an ambassador of the Almighty: a reservoir or a well? Does it take a great deal of effort for those around you to experience the love of Christ that lies deep within you? Must they do all the work in order to taste and see that the Lord who lives within you is truly good? Or are all those who come anywhere near you being drenched by the divine love that has filled you to overflowing?
Here is a helpful reminder: Consider all the times you have been less than lovable to your Lord, yet He poured out no less love on you. Perhaps you denied Him like Peter, not just three times, but more times than you can count? Maybe you were like Martha, far too “busy” to sit as His feet and learn from Him? Is it possible that you, like Thomas, found yourself in a season of doubt? Whatever it was that made you unloving and unlovely, far from experiencing less of your Lord’s love, you were filled to overflowing, because His love for you is as unconditional as it is unending.
Remember, there are many tasks you can perform and many professions you can pursue that do not require you to display any signs of love. But you cannot be a Christian without the love of Christ flowing through you; that is because you have been redeemed to be a reservoir of the Redeemer’s love.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!