Archive for the tag “Love your neighbor as yourself”

It’s about the spirit of anarchy, not statues

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Jacques Ellul, looking back in 1948 at Adolf Hitler’s incarnation of spiritual evil, wrote: “Confronted by spiritual danger, Christians [ignored the power of prayer,] called men to arms and fought with material weapons. We have conquered on the material level, but we have been spiritually defeated.”

Today, we face the same danger: a society in thrall to death spiritually but Christians obsessed with the physical manifestations of anarchy. Perhaps many will rally to fight for “law and order” — but we will suffer defeat nonetheless, because we refuse to wage the spiritual battle and live in sacrificial neighborly love for the (spiritually and materially) suffering, weak, and oppressed all around us.

It’s not about the statues. It’s about the spirit of anarchy that compels people to tear down an unjust system when they have no idea how to replace it with justice. Only God, through his people, can establish #truejustice.

An opportunity to love your neighbor as yourself

pipesCarol Pipes writes at The Exchange:

I met Mr. Balentine in the summer of 1993. A group of 10 high school students and their leaders had been sent to Mr. Balentine’s to make much-needed repairs to his house, which sat in a secluded cove of the Appalachian foothills. What started as a simple project turned into a major rebuild. The only thing keeping the front wall attached the house was a thin layer of shingles overhead. The entire house had to be razed and rebuilt.

At the end of the project, Mr. Balentine walked into his “new” home. Tears in his eyes, he remarked that his family could finally return and all live together. His words are forever etched in my memory: “You’ve not only restored my house, you’ve restored my dignity.”

“You’ve not only restored my house, you’ve restored my dignity.”

That summer and many mission trips later have opened my eyes to the hurting and neglected neighbors who live near and far. We live in a broken world. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, creation and humanity were scarred. Enter broken relationships. Deceit. Hunger. Corruption. Poverty. Disease. Envy. War. These are only a few of the manifestations of our broken world. But God is in the restoration business.

… There are many more people like Mr. Balentine who need a love they can see—a love that can provide a new home and a new heart. They need to know about a Savior whose healing goes way beyond a fresh coat of paint, a roof over their heads, or a sack full of groceries.

I can promise that not far from you is a field rife with hurt but white unto harvest. This truly is the land of opportunity. An opportunity to love your neighbor as yourself.

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More than verbal witness, more than spiritual rebirth

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Mark Kelly writes at kainos:

Presenting the Gospel is more than a verbal witness. People who know nothing of Jesus will understand when, in the power of God’s Spirit,  we do three things: tell the message, live like God’s children, and allow God to work through us to do his miraculous work in their lives. …

[You have] “fully presented the Good News of Jesus Christ” [when you are] living the Gospel before lost souls and cooperating with God’s desire to perform miraculous works of healing and restoration in their lives. You are called to live before others in a way that demonstrates both that you love God with “all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and that you love your neighbor the way you love yourself. (Mark 12:28-34) You are called to demonstrate how to live in a way that honors God, in every aspect of daily life — to teach God’s ways to sinners, so they can turn to him and be saved. (Psalm 51:13) You are called to bring the power of God to bear on their brokenness so they can be healed and be made whole.

The Bible does more than tell us how to be born again; it also is full of teaching about how God intends us to live our lives. From the law of Moses, to the books of wisdom, to the teaching of Jesus, to the letters of the apostles, God’s Word speaks to us about many practical issues of daily life: how we work, use our money, raise our children, help people in need, stay healthy, and so on. The Scripture tells us story after story about God’s love for people that is so strong it can heal the sick, give sight to the bind, make the lame walk, set free captives held by the devil himself, even bring the dead back to life.

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