Let Brotherly Love Continue
by Jerry Ousley
We talk a lot about love in this world. I can't think of anyone in their right mind who doesn't want to be loved by someone. Even most psycho-maniacs who have become serial killers justify what they have done, some even claiming that they were committing their horrible crimes because God told them too (which is absolutely ludicrous).
The radical Muslims claim that they hate Christians and want to wipe them from the face of the earth because of their zeal for God. Other groups who hate different races of people will generally claim that their hatred is based on what they think God has told them.
It seems to me that the God of Love is getting blamed for a lot of hate. I know that in the Old Testament a lot of people lost their lives at the direction of God. There are reasons for that and in the time we have we couldn't possibly explain them all. In a nutshell, the Old Testament, because of the Law of Moses and other things, records that God spent a lot of time showing His justice and righteousness. Basically we hard-headed human beings needed it proven to us that we couldn't save ourselves and needed a Savior.
The gears shifted in the New Testament. God sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place and pay for our sin. Once done, He was able to refocus on His love, grace and mercy. In the New Testament we have been given a new commandment of love which promotes forgiveness of those who have wronged us. You won't read one instruction in the New Testament where God told His Church to conquer other nations, or punish other people by death. In fact Jesus told us to love our enemies. He told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and He told us that the world would know that we are Christians, not by withstanding authority; not by protesting wrong-doers, and not by demanding and accusing, but by our love for each other.
One Saturday, after we had finished a work day at our church, all the men had left but me. Deb had worked that day and so I had our two children with me and we were getting ready to lock the doors and go home ourselves. All of a sudden in walked a long-haired, raggedly dressed man. It was hot summertime but he was wearing what appeared to be a military jacket of some sort. His eyes were wild with desperation. He began ranting and raving and frankly I was a bit scared for the safety of our children (I was a bit worried about myself too to be honest). It seemed that this man had been all over town looking for someone to help him. He said that he had been to nearly every church in town and had been turned away. I knew most of the pastors in town and couldn't imagine them turning down someone in need. Probably, on a Saturday afternoon most of the buildings were locked and no one was around.
I tried to calm the man and got him to tell me a little more about his needs. I can't remember where he was going or where he had come from but I do remember that he hadn't eaten or slept in three days. That would make anyone act erratically! Just to be on the safe side I told him to wait for me outside the building, that I was going to take my kids home and that I would be back and help him. I didn't want to take a chance of anything happening to our kids.
When I returned he was waiting for me and in short I was able to get him a motel room for the night and give him enough money to get a good dinner and breakfast the next morning. I know he went to eat because he was making a bee-line for a nearby restaurant after I left him. The man thanked me and was grateful and we were able to give the glory to God. Now I didn't do anything special; it was only my reasonable service.
The point is that if we really want brotherly love to continue we've got to be willing to do our part and extend it. Sometimes it means putting our necks on the line. It often will require a sacrifice of us. But if we want this world to really see who Jesus Christ is there comes a time when we've got to quit preaching and let our actions speak of Jesus for us.
Jerry D. Ousley is the author of ‚Soul Challenge‚, ‚Soul Journey‚, ‚Ordeal‚, ‚The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional and his first novel ‚The Shoe Tree.‚ Visit our website at spiritbread.com to download these and more completely free of charge.
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