Monday, June 26, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, June 26, 2017

All You Need Is Love

"Easy to Be Hard" is a song from the rock musical Hair and was written by Galt MacDermot, James Rado, and Gerome Ragni in 1968.  Part of the lyrics were, “How can people be so heartless, how can people be so cruel? Easy to be hard; easy to be cold. How can people have no feelings, how can they ignore their friends? Easy to be proud; easy to say no.”  Those lyrics hearken back to the sixties where many of us believed that we could change the world to something better.  With the current conversations on refugees, minority killings, healthcare losses, and increasing income disparity, one has to wonder how can civilized people be so indifferent to the plight of their brethren?

Thank God this is only a temporary situation because the God that is in charge of everything is love (1 John 4:8).  We do not have to be afraid of life’s challenges because His perfect love gets rid of all fear (1 John 4:18).  We then can understand His command to love our enemies, because love comes from God (1 John 4:7).  His awesome love makes up for sin because it covers them (1 Peter 4:8). It would be easy to hate those who have wronged you, but God has a simple formula, simply love them so that you can have a relationship with Him (Matthew 5:44, 45).

This appears very simplistic, na├»ve, and seemingly invites disaster.  Can you imagine loving someone who is unlovable, unlikeable or even dangerous?  If it was easy, any of us could do it.  We cannot love in our own strength.  We must obey God and have faith in Him to truly love like He wants us to.  Even our faith works by love (Galatians 5:6).  Let us not respond to life’s challenges with negative thoughts. Let us allow God’s love to work through us.

1 John 4:7, 8
New International Version (NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 Peter 4:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Matthew 5:44, 45
New International Version (NIV)
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Galatians 5:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love.

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