A Friend of Jesus
ALL YOU NEED
Surviving a World of Division
You know those videos on social media that make you cry like a baby? The ones of service men and women surprising their families? I always stop and watch. It makes me feel good when I experience love, even if that love isn't directed towards me. Have you ever wondered why? To anyone who has felt the love of God in their life the reason is clear. We are created in God's image. The Bible tells us that God is love. Our natural desire is to love and be loved. It really is. From feel good movies with happy endings, to weddings that little girls plan for their entire lives, to valentines day cards and cuddling sweet smelling newborn babies. Love touches us deep in our hearts. Whether we believe it or not, we all seek it.
Soldiers who enlisted after 911 did so because they love their country. We were attacked and the love they had for this country was so great that they were willing to go to a foreign land and tell the enemy "not on my watch." This sacrificial love was done to preserve the nation that had given them freedom. They wanted to preserve that for the generations to come. Many of them died in the process. We owe them a debt of gratitude. That is why these videos are so uplifting. These are the men and women who didn't die, and whose families get to hug them one more time and tell them how much they love them.
We live in a world that sometimes feels overwhelmed with hate. The news media pushes hate 24/7. Many of us have turned off the news because of this. Their motto is "if it bleeds, it leads". What a horrible motto. We are bombarded with hatred from morning until night. Have you ever wondered why? Well, consider this. If God is love and love brings us together, and Satan is God's enemy and wants to pull us apart, would it not stand to reason that whoever is controlling the stories is doing the work of God's enemy? Something to consider when the news turns your stomach or makes you yell at the TV. Just turn it off. Most of what they report is not newsworthy, nor is it truthful.
This wasn't meant to be a political blog, but we are at a time in our country's history where we have a lot of division. I believe that division is done on purpose. God's enemy is our enemy. He knows that we are stronger together. He knows that Love conquers all. He knows that if we believe a lie and fight each other, we can't fight him very effectively. While fighting each other those who are doing the real evil are ignored and are getting away with some pretty horrible things. The fact that the news isn't reporting much of the truth these days, but spending its time commentating and "fact-checking" should tell us a lot. We don't get facts, we get opinions along with lots and lots of doctored video. Honestly, I don't know how people watch the news any more. I can't even watch a two minute clip without becoming angry, because I know the truth and they aren't telling it!
Imagine Jesus being the main news story. "Man in Sandals Performs Amazing Miracles!" is what I would put as the headline. However, in today's news it would probably be "Homeless Man Causes Riot. Nationwide Manhunt Underway!" How sad. But this is where we are. So many of life's amazing moments don't get reported or are reported with a spin that makes us angry or divides us. There is a reason that blood sells news. It sensationalizes life and speaks to the opposite side of Love - Hate. Both can make us equally passionate but one drives a wedge while the other pulls us together.
Imagine Jesus being that perfect picture of love. Imagine his smile, his gentle touch, his kind eyes, his compassion, his empathy. Everywhere he went he drew a crowd. He wasn't flamboyant or boisterous. He was humble, and spoke life into people. He came for the purpose of dying and never once strayed from that goal. Imagine Jesus knowing that he was walking among sinners, people who would reject him, and yet he was still willing to die for them. Imagine knowing in advance the horrific death he would suffer but never wavering. That is the greatest love. It is such a strong contradiction to how the world lives inside our television sets.
I live in an apartment complex where I am the minority. I don't see hatred or conflict. I don't see the picture of the world that is painted by the media. I see people, just like me who need love. There are times when people argue, but usually it is family members, and not neighbor with neighbor. We are created in God's image. We can reflect the love of God, but only if that love dwells inside of us. When you reflect outwardly the love that lives inside of you, it brings peace to those around you. A smile, a kind word, a conversation can do wonders to bring people closer. We don't have to believe the lies that are being pushed into our face all the time. If we turn off the TV we find that we are all pretty much wanting and needing the same thing - LOVE. The only true source of real love is Jesus.
Just Imagine if we all loved like Jesus.
1 John 4:8 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
1 Corinthians 13 " If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
70 years ago today my parents were married. This blog is in remembrance of a that day.