Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:8-14 NIV
What are those desires of the flesh that keep us from loving? Jealousy and hatred–once the seed is planted and nurtured by failure to accept responsibility for self–leads to actions ignited by our fleshly desires to avenge perceived (even if the perception is wrong) injustices.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is–there is liberty and love. Where there is no love, there is no perceptible presence of Christ. For when the heart of a person is filled with love, there is no room for hatred and bigotry and racism doesn’t stand a chance. When we acknowledge that none of us are perfect and are all in need of a perfect Savior, we open the door and prepare the soil of our hearts to receive His love and allow it to be nurtured by continuing our lives, loving others. This is how we ought to treat one another. For if we know we love one another, we will not plot to do harm to one another. We will not set traps in hopes that others will fall into them for we realize the traps we set–we’re liable to fall into ourselves–realizing the Hamanesque effect.
How can we claim to be Christians–followers of Christ–if we don’t know Him for ourselves? To know Christ is to know His Word and to know how He lived among men and to do likewise. Jesus was not silent when He saw injustice, but rose up mightily to condemn it and so should we. He was the ultimate rebel in tearing down religion and religious leaders who only wanted to control others, not live for God. All that He did, He did with love at the forefront of His life so we might understand that we can do all things and should do all things in love for Love–for He is Love.
Again, I say, where there is love, there is no room for hate and where we find hate, we must drive it out with love, not more hatred. Those who think they are superior to others do not know Christ for we are told in His Word that we ought not to think more highly of ourselves than warranted. God is not mocked nor fooled by superficial acknowledgment of who He is. He looks upon the hearts of all and sees the discernible difference between the light of love and the darkness of hate. He knows! We cannot fool Him with mocking rhetoric that sounds like being a Christian.
Unfortunately, for those who think they are mocking God, He will have the last word when we stand before Him and He tells some, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Those are not the words I want to hear from God when I stand before Him, so I’ll keep promoting truth, integrity, honor and love and where there is opportunity to rise up against hate and bigotry, I will rise to the occasion and never back down.
I’m Mary Hall-Rayford and I approve this message of love and hope you will, too!