(Love for God, Love for Other People)
In response to a lot that is going on in America, I have an answer that will bring peace to the streets again. It will seem trite to some people, but in the arena where I live and work, I have seen it work successfully again and again.
With people young and old from all walks of life and from a variety of backgrounds, there is a God-given “secret” that pays dividends wherever and whenever it is employed.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”—Matt. 22:36–39.
Jesus gave us this twofold plan that is an infallible way to get things going right on the street where you live.
When we love the Lord, we listen to Him and take instruction. Since He is all-knowing and all-wise, we can follow Him without hesitation and without fear.
What He tells us, we can take seriously and put it to work in our lives.
There is no need for you to go chasing other issues until you get command of the two “greatest” commandments.
Love God; love people! Don’t flinch, don’t fear, put your faith in God and just do what He says.
Love, Not Hate
I don’t like what I’m seeing and hearing from some quarters these days. When hate is being practiced and promoted, that gets my attention; but I refuse to support it. I can listen all day long to grievances and try to find solutions; but I cannot be friends with looters, arsonists and killers. Law and order is a staple of a free society.
On any given day right is right and wrong is wrong. That goes for all of us with no exceptions. There is always a right way to correct wrongs; but if you try to correct wrong things in a wrong way, it complicates rather than facilitates getting the wrong made right.
Love Is Bible-Mandated Christian Character
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”—Matt. 7:12.
When our love of God is first and foremost, it makes our love for human beings an easier matter. You cannot impress anyone with your professed love of God if you are practicing hate toward other people. It is simple enough just to treat other people the way you want other people to treat you.
It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure this out. It is common sense that is scripturally mandated.
Love Knows No Limits and No Exceptions
You can rightfully hate sin; but if you are genuinely right with God, you will truly love the sinner.
If I disagree with you or if I disapprove of your behavior, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you.
You and I may disagree religiously, politically or on any number of issues; but we should still have the love of God in our hearts for each other.
Even when we do not know each other well, we can have a love that shows respect and acts responsibly toward each other.
In a word, love doesn’t leave any one out because he is different or because he is difficult.
“So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being
angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in
hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”—Luke 14:21.
When you are hurt, love pays attention. If you are mistreated or misrepresented, love will be there to help you.
Love doesn’t pretend to be blind. Love doesn’t duck and run when there are burdens or difficulties.
Love Is a Two-Way Street
If you are needing help, you must be careful that you don’t get so loud, so boisterous and so overbearing that all we hear is the noise.
If you expect love, you must give love. It is the two-way street that makes peace and harmony a reality. If one party (person) loves and the other party hates, the solutions to the problems are going to be hard to find.
Love Finds a Way
Love will work when all else fails. The great love chapter (I Cor. 13) offers a lot of insight on the properties and the priorities of love.
Love will be up and running when everything else is still looking for its track shoes.
What is an alive church about?
What is our soul winning in the street about?
What are our bus ministries about?
What are our ministries about?
The answer to these questions is simply this.
It is love finding a way!
This is the Christian way.
This is the hope that will straighten out the stressful situations facing our nation.