February 21, 2011
by Rev. Janet Marston
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
In today's world, hate and violence is so increasingly prevalent, that it is easy for people to wonder where GOD is and also, where the "so-called" Christians are. With all of the media showing the failures and sins of Christians instead of the good that we do - we are even more under the microscope and need to be careful how we witness to others.
JESUS gave us the greatest commandment, to "love one another" - when we show true unconditional love for others - not judging or condemning others, but just really loving others - the light of JESUS shines. We cannot shout aggressively against violence and hate and then act out violence and hate without being labeled hypocrites - we should do our best to "practice what we preach". For example, how can a servant of GOD preach against profanity and domestic violence, when you are abusing their own spouses? How can a servant of GOD preach against alcoholism and drug abuse, when you are abusing alcohol and drugs? YOU CAN'T. You will turn people away from GOD and that is NOT what JESUS wants from us.
To be Christ-like is to show love, forgiveness, kindness to others as CHRIST has done for us. We cannot force our opinions on others and we should not try. We can only express them and pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them of the truth. I truly do not believe you can reach the lost by shoving the spiritual spoon down anyone's throat. You CAN reach the lost by showing JESUS' love the way HE commanded us to - helping the helpless, homeless, disabled, sick, elderly, the hurting, and more - all of those who are in need. I have seen more people turn to GOD because of simple acts of love and kindness - NOT by violence, shouting, or judging.
Yes, we are in a world that is increasing in violence, profanities, vulgarities, addictions, pain, hurt and hopelessness. It is our duty, as servants of the Cross, to hold up the Cross in unconditional love - not judging - just showing people that GOD loves them - once the seed of Love is planted, the Holy Spirit will do the rest - we should then listen to GOD and minister to them as GOD calls us to.
FATHER GOD IN HEAVEN, IN THE NAME OF JESUS, YOUR BLESSED SON, I COME TO YOU TODAY AS YOUR HUMBLE SERVANT - HELP ME TO BE KIND AND LOVING TO OTHERS AND NOT JUDGE OR CONDEMN THEM - BUT INSTEAD, TO SHOW THE LOVE THAT YOU HAVE FOR THEM AND PRAY FOR THEM AND HELP THEM, AS YOU CALL ME TO DO. AMEN.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
1 JOHN 4:11-13
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.