Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
— 1 Thessalonians 2:8 NIV

There are a lot of good passages that God used throughout my freshman year to change my life, but this one stuck out so boldly to me. I have always been a nice guy, but this verse talks about a love that was pretty radical to me at the time. This love isn’t based around what’s convenient or what makes me look good; it’s a love that sacrifices for others because I actually really care about them. It’s a love that looks like Jesus. God has radically changed the way I treat people, and He has given me a deep heart to share my life and His gospel with those around me. 

a natural response of authentic love

I think it’s easy to be disengaged with “the Gospel” and “sharing the good news” because of how often we hear those words. The regular exposure to religious people talking about the gospel really sucked the life and the love out of what it actually means. This verse gave a restored meaning to what it looks like to “share the gospel.” It’s not a cookie-cutter presentation to some rando on the street. It’s what happens when you see people the way God sees people. It’s rooted in genuine affection and deep caring. It’s a natural response of authentic love. I believe God cares about the gospel because He died to spread it. I believe God cares about the people around us because He died to save them. This verse has urged me to live my life caring about the things that God cares about. 

I challenge you to read this verse and ask God what it looks like to love the people around you in this way. It will look so differently across the board, but it will surely look like Jesus. To love someone like this verse reflects a willingness to sacrifice and a readiness to share our life. It will affect the way you treat your roommate, your response to your classmates, and your relationship to your hallmates. God has used this verse to change the way I treat the people around me, and I pray that He does even more in your life.

pray

God, thank you for the way you sacrificially love this world and the way you individually love me. I pray that you give me your eyes for the people around me. I want to see people the way you see people. Help me to love people like Jesus. I love you a ton! Amen

- Tim del Risco