St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church

Live In Love

Podcast Version

1 John 4:7-8,19—Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love…We love because he first loved us.

This world is filled with people who are different than us. People who have different physical characteristics, speak different languages, have different customs. The list can go on and on. This creates all kinds of tension, because naturally, we are wary even fearful at times of that which is unfamiliar. But we all have in common that which is most important. We are all sinners who are in desperate need of a Savior. And, we all have the same Savior who lived, died, and rose for us all. This is the love of God—the love we all need.

We need God’s love for ourselves personally in order to set us free from sin and selfishness so that we can live the life God created us to live—a life of love. You know the love of God. Every filthy thought, every hateful word, every terrible action—these have all been forgiven and washed away in the blood of Jesus.

We see blood being spilled on the soil of our land, anger boiling over, fires raging. Our nation is in desperate need of you to be the child of God you are. As we see protests make their way into our community, continue to live in the love you have received from God. I believe that overall, we have a very blessed and loving community. I also believe that we have good and faithful law enforcement officers in our community who work hard to serve and protect every person, no matter who they are.

Considering this, do not let the devil have his way with your heart when you see people who do not have or know God’s love. Let go of the disgust and anger you may have for them. Instead, love them and pray for them. Anger over any violence is good as long as it stays in the boarders of righteousness. As David writes:
In your anger do not sin (Ps. 4:4). Show your love for God and your fellow human being by setting the example of love and righteousness. Consider how you can flavor your speech with love and peace. Consider how you can reach across the proverbial “aisle” to those different from yourself so that they may see the love and peace of God in you.

And then, when you have shown them love, and they wonder how you live in that love and peace, you get to tell them that you can only love in this way because of God who first loved you.