This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16
WOW!!! Are you ready to lay down your life for a “brother and/or sister” like Jesus did? And, by the way, that’s not as in a “blood” brother or sister. That’s in a complete stranger who should be treated like a blood brother or sister—or, for some of us, how a blood brother or sister should be treated!
The problem is, forget about giving up a life. If we could only show some kindness and respect to others—our “brothers and sisters.” Jesus not only showed us the way to love but He commanded us to love. In fact, it is the one and only thing He commanded us to do, and is the root of everything He did and said on this earth.
Love all comes down to putting others before ourselves. It’s really as simple as that. I know, trust me—simple to talk and preach about but tough to do. But, then again, we have the model in earthly love in Jesus.
Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 8:20
This verse in the Christian Bible and Hebrew Torah haunt me lately. Why? Because God gave us what should be 2 very simple commands: Love Him and love others.
As I look from Capitol Hill in DC, where I was most of this week, to my personal life, I see people clashing with one another, not loving one another. Can it really be that hard to come together as one people, not warring factions? What are we if we are not listening to God and following His very simple commands?
The common thinking is that the idiom about “giving the shirt off your back” originated in the 18th Century. It may have gained popularity back then but it was eighteen centuries before when Jesus said “from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold your shirt” (Luke 6:29). Translation: give to anyone in need, even if that literally includes giving the shirt off your back. And Jesus didn’t just talk the talk as so many so-called “Christians” do today. He walked the walk in going way past giving His shirt. He gave His life.
There’s not much more to say about this. It’s all pretty clear. Someone asks you (or begs) for something, give it to them. No questions asked. And if you ignore that person just think what Jesus did and asks us to do. Are you listening to that dark voice inside or Jesus?
The outside world cannot take away your peace. And, yes, unless you don’t know it, you have natural peace within you. That’s simply because God created you and God is peace to the core. Only you can take away your peace. Not someone else.
Not at peace? Events and/or people around you “stealing” your peace? Well, they can’t “steal” your peace unless you let them. Your peace is your’s. Only you can let events and/or others take your peace away. You own it.
Not at peace? Lost your peace? Find a quiet place like a church, library, mountaintop, etc. and tune out the world. Dig down deep inside of you looking for your peace. You will find it if you really try. And, if you don’t realize it already, that peace is God inside of you.
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11