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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Love One Another ( For the Days are Evil )

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34

The days were surely evil, the days in which Jesus, Paul & the apostles lived; the Land was occupied by heathen, pagan Rome, and even their neighbors on pretty much all sides had turned against the people of Israel! There were even divisions ( factions ) among the Jews themselves, some, to a greater or lesser extent, had accepted & even embraced their Captivity ( 'hell' ), while others, to whatever extent, were subversive & seditious towards it!

Talk about 'evil' days; the day & age in which we currently doesn't see to be much better! Our own government is so full of corruption that it often feels like we are captives within our own freedom, and ecclesiastically, the number of denominations ( factions ) within the Institutional Church far outweighs anything that Jesus, Paul & the apostles ever experienced!

Many are tempted to look at our current situation and think, 'how could this be the Kingdom of God, or Heaven'?! Truly, from a human standpoint, we would have to agree! If this was it, one would think that things like wars, murder, rape, and even pornography, the sex trade, child abuse, and the worst of them all, abortion, would not exist. We've heard over & over that 'God cannot dwell with sin'; therefore, He must not dwell on this corrupted earth, right? If this were God's Kingdom, or Heaven, and He was truly ruling  & reigning, would sin be so rampant in this world, if it even existed at all?

The thing is, we ( Christians ) are ruling & reigning with Him & He with us! Or, at least we're supposed to be! The problem is that many Christians have forgotten how to share the Love of God in Jesus Christ! Sure, we 'love one another' ( or do we? ), but HOW do we do that? Do we show love to everyone, or do we just show love to those who love us? Is the act of war against another nation, etc. showing love for our neighbor? Who then, IS our neighbor?!

The most-quoted passage of Scripture, Joh n 3:16, tells us that 'God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should have eternal life'. He gave His Beloved Son for us, He sent Him to die that we might Live; what king of Love was that? What Grace, what Mercy, what Amazing Love!

Is that the kind of Love we show for our neighbor, to say nothing of our wives & our families?! The alarming divorce rate that we see in this nation under God, even & especially among Christians, seems to say otherwise! ( I speak to myself here, as much as to others, being a divorcee ). The apostle Paul wrote ( Ephesians 5:25 ) that 'Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her', saying previously that this is why men should love their wives, our marriages being a representation of the Marriage of Heaven & Earth, or Christ & the Church!

The days are still evil, yes, but they are evil because we have not loved one another as He loved us! If we all truly loved our neighbor as ourselves, do you think we would hear of wars & rumors of wars, like we hear so often? If we all loved as He loved, would would crimes such as abortion, child abuse, the sex trade, etc even exist or happen? 

HELL NO, they wouldn't; there would be no room for them! We would be so full of Love for all things that this world would be a utopian paradise!

The sad fact, though, is that we cannot ( individually ) love as He did; it's not within the human nature! Only as part of the ( corporate ) Body of Christ can we experience & share His Love! Only by Communing daily with Him ( in His Body ) will we ever be able to truly love as we are Loved, to do the works greater than His ( John 14:12 )!

This IS our Father's world, there can be no doubt of that glorious fact; we live in the Kingdom of His Love, and His Love will never end, or fail! We ( individually ) fail very often to love as we should, and our love often comes to an end, dries up and blows away! As the ( corporate ) Body of Christ, though, our Love is His, our Strength, our Stamina & Endurance is His! In Him alone can we love one another as He loved us, in Him alone can we bring an end to the warring & other crimes ( sins ) that have plagued the People of God in the past and that continue to be a thorn in our flesh!

Let us determine ( individually ) to act ( corporately ) as the Body of Christ, Loving & Living as He Loves & Live, for He alone IS our Life; He IS our ALL!

Charles Haddon Shank

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