Why do we feel entitled to be the judge, jury, and even executioner of our fellow human beings? I’m guilty of the judge and jury part, how about you? Today there is so much pressure to take sides. God tells us to “love one another” not to “Love one another only if they think, talk, act, believe, or vote like us.” Let’s consider and remember that God delights in our differences. They are as beautiful to him as a field of flowers is to us. True freedom allows for freedom of thought, action, political affiliation, and religion, and true love affords others to have them all.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.1 John 4:7
End Time Epidemic
Not one person on the earth is expendable just because they are different. There is an intolerance in today’s “Cancel Culture” that’s really concerning me., Our culture on all sides tends to throw the proverbial baby (in this case, other people) out with the philosophical, religious, and political bathwater. Jesus foretold what’s going on today with staggering accuracy. In the end times, there will be mass deception,(any story you see on the news with facts there is an opposite one with facts) and abounding lawlessness, which results in the love of many people growing cold. Sometimes it seems like we’re following a script or systematically checking the boxes of an end-times checklist. The unacceptable casualty of today’s events is the loss of our love.
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.Matthew 24:11-13
Whose Side Is He On?
Does God care about our social, economic, moral, and political views? Yes. How do we know what side he’s on? My mind goes to the book of Joshua, Chapter 5. The night before Israel went to battle the city of Jerico, Joshua asked God whose side was he on. The answer was simply powerful and powerfully simple, “Neither,” said God. He wasn’t even on Israel’s side who worked for him; God was on his own side. No president, representative, institution, sports figure, celebrity, or man is my God. No human or human-made entity can successfully take that place. We are fallible, damaged, and imperfect, and so are the systems we design. Who’s side is God on? His side and so that’s the side I’m on too. No representative or president (No matter how much I believe in them) has my undying loyalty, only God has that.
“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies? “Neither…”Joshua 5
Does God Want To Punish Us?
Sometimes I look at the injustices, violence, pain, the innocent children being hurt or trafficked, and I wonder, get sad, and at times feel hopeless. God sent Noah with a rainbow (I love that he gives us a visual) as a promise never to punish the earth with a flood again. For years I thought that word choice to never do it again, “with a flood,” gave him a loophole. God doesn’t think as we think. John 3:16 proves that God doesn’t want to destroy the world but save it. He wants redemption, grace, justice, joy, and good relationships for us. His wishes for us as clear as the image of the beautiful cross. For God, “So loved the world that he gave” his one and only son. Jesus came, not to be worshiped but to take our punishment so we could have a relationship with him on earth and in heaven.
For God so loved the world that he gave…John 3:16
Its All About This
How does God want us to treat one another even if they are different? He wants us to establish his kingdom first in us and let it flow out to the world. It’s not a human kingdom, subject to human bias and limited human thought. We fail, we have our issues, our bruises, and our bitterness, but if our aim aligns with His desire, we will start to be free. When we invite him into our pain, dysfunction, and resentment, miracles happen, our hearts change, and his kingdom comes to life on the earth, within us. This is when prayers become powerful. Our politics, priorities, and our lives should aim to align with God. We should never be the other way around. God’s will and expectations for us are simple and clear as the lovely cross. He makes them explicit in Matthew 22:36-40 “Two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 22:36-40
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?Micah 6:8
The 20:20 Challenge
Imagine if every one of us lived the verse Matthew 22:36-40 and Micah 6:8. Imagine how the world would change if we loved God first and loved others as we loved ourselves. Would we suffer the chaos if we loved justice, mercy, acted kindly, and walked humbly with God? No! A quote I love from Gandhi is, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In my life, when I allow the power of God to change me first, that same power is so effective working through me to change things in my world. God loves the world, and the world is in desperate need of change. Please pray with me daily at 20:20 (8:20 pm) 2 Chronicles 7:14 that God would heal our land.