“These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” John 15:17 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 In both of these verses, and in fact throughout the whole Bible, we see that God’s Word is meant to result in us loving one another. The Commandments teach us how we should express that love. The Gospel of forgiveness in Jesus brings the Holy Spirit into our hearts to create that love in us as fruit of His presence. If this World lived according to the Word of God; if It had its intended effect in all of our hearts, there would be no cause for the demonstrations or rioting in the streets there are today. There would be no racial inequality because we would love each other as brothers and treat each other with kindness, no matter what our race or nationality. But of course, that hasn’t happened and it never will, and we are seeing the results. The World will never change. There will always be bad people who do terrible things. Any excuse will do, whether it’s racism or just plain cruelty and abuse of power; whether it’s anger over past offenses, or just the opportunity to steal and destroy under cover of a legitimate protest. But for those who know Jesus, who abide in Christ, who walk according to His Word in repentance and faith, life is different. Race is irrelevant; we are brothers. We are able to forgive sins and cruel treatment that have been perpetrated against us or our ancestors, not because they don’t matter but because the Holy Spirit is renewing our hearts with His grace. The “Dream” that a Christian Pastor, Martin Luther King, spoke about decades ago, that people would be seen according to the content of their character and not the color of their skin is fulfilled only in hearts that are converted. The World isn’t going to change. Evil will continue and get worse until the end. But hearts can and do change when Jesus is allowed to reign in them. His Kingdom is established one heart at a time. Lord Jesus, be my Lord; reign in my heart. Give me eyes to see the world as You see it, to see other people as You see them, and to see myself as You see me; forgiven and cleansed by your blood and renewed by your Holy Spirit. Fulfill this “dream,” this vision, in me. Fulfill your Word in my heart. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles