“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
John 15:13 NKJV
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
I John 3:16-17 NKJV
We are a divided nation. We are like opposing sides of a pair of pliers, each squeezing and making no progress. In the middle of the two unrelenting forces is love and ties that bind. We have lost sight of the things that make us human, the things that unite hearts, beyond politics, beyond red and blue and beyond any other boundaries.
No one wants to be the one to reach across the aisle, to start the conversation. We all know that it is risky. I think of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He did not hold back to make the peace between God and man. From the foundation of the world, He determined to come and die for the sins of all. He laid down His life for me. It says in the passage in John, that one showed no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. Jesus demonstrated a love far better: He laid down His life for His enemies.
Before I came to know Jesus, I was an enemy of God. I was one bound for hell, and having nothing to do with Him, His word, or His people. Yet He came to save me. When I finally grasped that fact, I was completely shattered. He loved me before IO was forgiven, He loved me before I said yes, He loved me from the foundation of the world. He made me a friend, before I ceased to be His enemy.
This is going to be a difficult week, and many prayers are being sent up for the future of this great nation. Regardless of the outcome, there may be great difficulty.
I have resolved to love.
Love is a deliberate act, one chosen not by the human will, but by the power of God. We who call on the name of the Lord have the power of the Holy Spirit to assist us in loving in the time of conflict. It is easy to fall back on fleshly, knee jerk reactions, and meet hate with hate. It is a far better thing to meet hate with love. I know that in my flesh, it is impossible, but in spirit, I can do the impossible.
We are one nation, one people. We are like the flag, colors united and sewn into the fabric of one great nation, each having a key role in sustaining the whole. If some of us suffer, we all suffer. No one is in a vaccuum in America.
I have resolved to listen.
I have learned in my time, that situations do not just create themselves. People march, because there are problems. I have also learned that blame can be spread out very evenly across the great divide. We are all at fault for the condition of America. Because we are all at fault, it is going to take all getting involved and listening. There is little of that going on right now.
The greatest gift the Lord has given me is a shuddered mouth. I have a propensity to listen. My contribution to many of my telephone conversations is “uh huh..” I have learned so much about people through listening. When I look at the demonstrators in the streets, I hear the voices of a million people hurting and forgotten by the system. When I look at a Trump rally, I see the faces of a million people who have also been forgotten. The powers that be answer to the corporations and not the people, regardless of what they may say in their ads. We are a nation of people whose needs have not been met, and we are screaming out for someone to listen.
I have resolved to pray.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have the ear of the Creator of the Universe. The access that I have is far greater than access to any politician. My God loves me. I pray for people of all walks of life, day after day, week after week. I hear of the work that the Lord is doing. Yesterday, I got to see the fruit of prayer as I watched a young man who had rededicated himself to follow Christ, decide to enter the baptismal waters. I have prayed for him for years. My heart is singing.
Brothers and sisters, there is great power in prayer. If you do nothing else this week, pray. Pray for the essential worker, pray for the unemployed, pray for the police officer, pray for the demonstrator, and for the politicians running for office. Pray for opportunities to reach across the great divide and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is our only hope.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
I Corinthians 15:3-4 NKJV
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!