Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Loving the Individual

Some of you have not been able to grasp loving all of the people in whole nations, or races or religions. If not, let’s start at the other end. Instead of loving the whole, let’s start with an individual. This individual must be someone who is not a relative. He may be a brother in the Lord, a neighbor or an enemy.

Jesus had something to say about each.

Brothers: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34, 35

We are to love just like Jesus loved us, sacrificially.

Neighbors: “And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:39

This love is like we love ourselves, a lot. Jesus defined “neighbor” in a story in Luke 10:25-37. The neighbor was a despised member of another race and religion.

Enemies: “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” Luke 6:27

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:35, 36

We are to be kind like the Father.

You may think these are also impossible and therefore we cannot love these people these ways. Since we think we “cannot” than we “will not.” However, we have been given the fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, we can! If we do not, it is because we will not. That means either we are Christians who are deliberately disobedient or we are not saved and cannot love because we have not been born of the Spirit.

If it is the first, then immediate confession of this sin is the only choice.

Here are two examples of this kind of love.

Festo Kivengere of Uganda and Sa’eed Rasooli of Iran.

They are both in Heaven but you can still imitate them.

Read Revolutionary Love by Festo Kivengere and Dr. Sa’eed of Iran by Jay M. Rasooli.

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