There’s a lot of bad happening in our world right now if you haven’t noticed, and I want to share some great news with you in light of this.
But, before I do. Do you ever notice that when you’re searching for good news, based on the circumstances surrounding you things can get a little sketchy? It seems pretty hard to find when you turn on the TV or get on your computer or read the newspaper.
And you’ve probably seen some of this: Europe’s refugee crisis, the bombing in Bangkok, national Islamic terrorism, explosive devices are being placed in flash lights, uncontrollable wildfires in the west, global warming, the harmful targeting against our police officers, the fight for civil rights, the fight for 2nd amendment rights, 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to eat today.
There is to say the least, horrendous suffering all around. It makes you wonder: Is there anything up?
Well, I’m glad you asked. The opportunity to serve people, that’s going up; we see that right now in our community with this magazine. The market for hope, that’s going up. The possibility of building a faith that will last, when the storms of life crash in on you, that’s going up.
This is possible because certain truths remain unchanged: God remains sovereign. The beauty in forgiveness is still greater than the stain of sin. The Bible is still God’s word breathed out to us. Prayer remains the most remarkable communication device given to the human race. Love still beats bigotry. Faith still trumps despair. The greatest scandal of this sorry dark world is still the scandal found in the cross; that an innocent God-man came to die for all of us. God’s mercies are new every single morning. The tomb is still empty. God’s church is still marching. The kingdom Jesus revealed is still expanding and it does not need to be bailed out or a stimulus package to hold it up. That’s the good news!
Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
I want you to know that love is always a choice. No matter who or what happens around you, love is ALWAYS a choice.
Love is not a matter of race, religion, creed, or mantra but it is a response that moves us to action. It’s where we are so internally driven by this force bigger than us that it inevitably and predictably causes a response.
At times it’s inconvenient. At times it’s awkward. At times it’s tiresome, but it’s always timely.
There is never an occasion you will come across where extending love to the people around you is the wrong answer.
Actually above, Ephesians mentions it as a mindset; that everywhere your left and right carry you should leave a footprint of love. This statement, “walk in love” comes from the apostle Paul, who penned those words to a church in Ephesus, (get this) WHILE HE WAS SITTING IN A JAIL CELL!
Please recognize that the circumstances around you affect you, but they do not control you. Because love is ALWAYS a choice.
My hope is that you would extend some friendship and adoration and affection this month, especially to those around you who don’t deserve it, because that in a nutshell is the gospel.
That a perfect sinless God came to this broken earth on a rescue mission to seek and save and love the lost. And He hopes that He might find and love you too.
Because He Lives, Pastor AB