For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:11-15
Love, true love, is a rare commodity in the world today. The bombing in Boston showed that there are those out there who do not love for whatever reason. At the same time, the bombing in Boston showed that there are still those out there who do love their fellow man. Many people ran to the spot of the explosion to see if they could help anyone who was hurt. I will talk about this more in my next post, but for now this verse in John reminds me that there are people out there who do not love and do not understand the true meaning of love.
When Jesus was teaching about the coming “end of the age,” he said in Matthew 24, “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” Now, while most of us would never think about needlessly hurting innocent people, I have to question whether or not our love has grown cold. It seems that this world is quickly spinning out of control. Financially our country is on a collision course with disaster, over 53 million children have been killed in the name of personal rights by abortion since 1973, while we think we have stemmed the tide of terrorism it is still alive and well all around the world, pornography is continuing to destroy the lives of not only those outside the church but even within the leadership of the church, and these are just a few of the problems we are facing. There is no doubt that our love has grown cold. Jesus said it was because of lawlessness. It is not that we need more laws, but that we need to remember the most important law….” love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40) Forgetting this law to love God with everything we have is the foundation of lawlessness.
So how do we combat the lawlessness in our lives and the world? The first thing we need to do is repent. I am afraid to say that repentance is not preached enough in our churches today and in our lives today. What I am talking about is true repentance, actually turning from the course we are on and turning back to God. Joel Rosenberg shares how he teaches his kids about repentance:
“Lynn and I have tried to teach our four sons what repentance means in a very simple way. Our youngest son is Noah. Sometimes I will bring Noah over to my side and say, “Noah, start running running away from me, out of the family room, through the kitchen, and to the dining room. Ready? Go!” So Noah starts running. Then I suddenly say, “Stop, Noah!” and he stops. And I say, “Repent, Noah.” And he turns around. And I say, “Come back to Daddy!” And he comes back running to me and jumps into my arms and I hug him and kiss him.”
Now that is repentance. God is waiting for us with open arms to turn from the path we are walking down. We need to turn in run into His arms. If we do this it doesn’t mean that all of our problems will be gone. We will still suffer persecution and we will still struggle with sin. The difference is that we will not be doing it alone. We will be doing it with the creator of the universe and in the power of His Holy Spirit.
Father I am sorry when I love myself more than I love what You love. Help me Father to not only love when a tragedy occurs in those you have put in my path, but to love everyone daily with the love that You have for them. Help me to show Your love so that Your name may be glorified. Amen