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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love and hate. It seems in many ways lately we have far more examples of hate than love. Love seems to be defined in some circles as a weak emotion, or as measured by what the object of our love can do for us. “How can you fill my desires?” “What will you do for me?” Far too often ‘love’ ends when needs aren’t met; opinions aren’t valued; desires fall short; dreams are shattered.

Especially for us who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, love must always be defined by the perfect example of love, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is John 3:16, ““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

But we often overlook the very next verse, and to me this verse sets the stage for the previous verse and life in general. “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John‬ ‭3:17‬) Imagine that! NO condemnation! Paul writes the same thing in Romans, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans‬ ‭8:1‬)

That’s love! Being passionate about a relationship with someone who is, in every way, shape and form different than you with absolutely no chance to measure up to your standards.

Jesus calls us to love! Especially to love those who are brothers and sisters in the faith. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John‬ ‭13:34‬)‭

So how can we, as believers in Jesus do anything other than love? Recently I’ve seen so much hatred expressed on social media. Some has been by non-believers and that’s to be expected. But much Seems to be directed towards professing Christians who may read a different version of the Bible, attend a different denomination, or hold to different opinions on doctrine or theology.

Brothers and sisters. Let us not forget we are to shine the light and love of Jesus wherever we go! John puts it bluntly. If you don’t love, question who your God is.


I hear it every once in awhile. The attitude is definitely more and more common. When sin is called…well..sin, the response is often some version of “Don’t judge me!” The argument is pulled from an erroneous idea that we are told not to judge others. The reality is, judgement is appropriate, but only by the standards God ordains.

The world judges by interpreting external factors. God judges based on divine knowledge of your heart. Judgement of others can’t come without intimate knowledge of circumstances, environmental factors, their past and intention. Don’t judge as the world judges, judge as God judges. Get to know and love people before making a judgement regarding their actions. This is done over time, through prayer and based on Godly wisdom and grace.

God’s judgement is sure. God’s judgement is right and just. But God’s judgement is also done with divine knowledge, patience, unconditional love and grace. It is never done to destroy, but to try to bring those sheep he loves into the fold. The father of the prodigal didn’t spend his time judging, he spent it looking down the road.


When we think of meeting God do we do so in fear over what we have done and how we have failed him, ourselves and others? This should not be! Yes, as the psalmist says, we should examine ourselves to be sure there is no unconfessed sin, but meeting God as a believer in Jesus Christ should be a time of celebration for all he has done for us and what we have in store for us in the future! Your sin is washed in the blood! He has thrown them as far as the east is from the west! There. Is. No. Condemnation. NOTHING can separate you from his love. Rejoice in his presence. You are a new creation. The joy of the Lord is your strength!


Thieves take for their own benefit. Jesus gives for the benefit of others. His joy is in giving, not getting. Some thieves steal goods and property but the worst thieves are those who steal or destroy your heart. Physical property can be replaced. Physical wounds can heal. But the wounds of the soul are unseen and can take years, if ever, to heal. Love Jesus. Be a giver, not a taker.


It was the battle cry William Wallace Used to spur his makeshift warriors into action against the oppressive rule of England over Scotland.  Freedom, in fact, has been the battle cry since the beginning of time. It’s the search for freedom that has driven nations to war. The search for freedom has been the reasons millions of men and women have given their lives. It’s the desire for freedom that has been the motivation for young people to get their driver’s license and a car!

There are three major things to know about freedom (in my mind at least, maybe you can think of more). First of all, freedom is hard to come by, as is evidenced by the many who have fought bravely to acquire it. Some have given their entire lives to gain the goal of freedom and have never seen it happen.

Secondly, freedom is hard, if not impossible, to hold on to. Holding on to freedom has been a problem since the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, lived in the perfect environment God created for them. We don’t know for sure where the Garden of Eden was, or how large it was, we ascertain from Scripture that is was a perfect environment that was perhaps global in its size. Vast as it was, the perfect couple had complete freedom to enjoy its beauty and a perfect, face-to-face relationship with the creator. There was only one rule, don’t eat from one particular tree. They had one job to do, but the desire for ‘freedom’ caused them to eat of the forbidden tree. Ironically, their quest for freedom (the fruit of the tree) became the one thing that would keep mankind in bondage for the rest of time!

It’s the quest for freedom that keeps the addict tied to their addiction. It’s the quest for freedom that keeps people bound to debt. It’s the quest for freedom that drives people from one relationship to another. It’s the quest for freedom that keeps people from finding peace. It’s the quest for freedom that is manifested in hate and anger.

Why is that? Why is freedom so hard to find and so hard to hold on to? The third thing about freedom is that freedom begins with the heart, not with things. It works from the inside out, not the outside in. That’s why some who are bound by what we consider poverty can have joy. That’s why some who struggle with many things in life have a great disposition. They don’t let the outside control the peace of the inside.

As we’ve seen through human history, this is impossible to do without divine intervention. That’s the beauty of faith in Jesus Christ. That’s why the Apostle Paul can write in Galatians, “So Christ has truly set us free (It’s a heart thing). Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law”. (the external things)

Once your heart with right with Jesus, you’ll find it much easier (not easy, easier) to work towards freedom. Let him change you through the power of his Holy Spirit. You might want to begin by visiting a house of worship where Jesus is lord.

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