Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Love Everyone

            With all the political talk going on right now my heart was so encouraged and corrected by my Bible reading today!

Titus 3:1-7
"Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. 2 They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. 3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.[a] 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life."

            We as believers are called to show humility to everyone... even the politicians! It doesn't say we have to agree with them, but we need to remember that we ourselves were once foolish and disobedient. We were also misled and slaves to many lusts and pleasures... BUT GOD! God saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done but because of his mercy! Instead of joining the bashing sessions about politicians and non-believers we should be on our knees praying for them, ALL of them! We are called to show true humility to EVERYONE not just those that we like or those that believe the same that we do!

1 Peter 3:8-9
"Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters.[a] Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing."

Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[q] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[s] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."

            We are called to love everyone; we are to be “Christ Like” and follow his example! His example showed that while we were still sinners he loved us so much that he sent his son to die on the cross for us! Just as God loved you before you loved him, he also loves every non-believer in this world! Who are we to pick and choose who should be loved? We are not called to judge the world, we are called to preach the gospel and show the world God’s love! Our lives should bring honor to God.

            Before someone accepts Christ’s salvation the only Bible they generally read is YOU! Does your life reflect how loving and amazing our Father is or does it paint a picture of a hateful and slandering God?

            We are called to be gracious and humble! Often when we get fired up about a topic we get all “gung-ho” and we can tend to go overboard! We stand outside institutions that are contrary to the word and picket, with signs telling people how wrong they are… but I don’t recall being instructed by my Bible to yell at unbelievers. No, I see that I am to love them so that all glory and honor will be given to God. It’s like the old saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

            No one wants to spend time with someone that constantly points out their flaws! It is God’s job to burn away the dross in the lives of his people not ours! Yes, he may use people to speak truth, but only when it is done out of love can it be effective!

Ephesians 4:29-32
”Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,[e] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

            Let your words build others up! Remember what your mom taught you “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” If you don’t agree with someone’s life choices, check it with the scriptures. If you find it is contrary to the scriptures your first step to pray for them! Then listen to what God wants you to do! Does he want you to lovingly correct them or does he want you to just love on them? One of the hardest things to remember is that non-believers don’t have the same “standard” they are to live up to! They have not met their amazing savior yet, they are not Christ followers… so don’t expect them to be!

            One final thought; God didn’t ask you to change before he loved you, likewise don’t expect others to change before you show them God’s love!

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