Theme: Love People
One of my structures is to read the verse of the day from Bible Gateway. There are so many days when the verse confirms or affirms me in my walk with God. This morning was no exception. The verse of the day was 1 John 4:18. I read it, wrote it in my journal, began to meditate on it, but I couldn't get it. I mean I got what it was saying, but there is a difference between mentally understanding something and receiving the revelation of the meaning. So I did what I usually do when the revelation is not happening, I click to read the verses around it. Just a couple verses later I read this, "Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." And again, there it was, the confirmation of what we have been talking about the last six weeks and how inseparable loving God and loving people are. Now God gives us revelation to be relevant in the times we live. This month has been Black History Month in in our nation. I have been wanting to share something this month that spoke to me a few weeks ago. They are simply the contrasting words that have rung throughout our history, showing the great difference between people who love and people who fear.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King (At the Civil Rights March of March 20, 1967 in Washington D.C.)
"And I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever." - George Wallace (Governor of Alabama 1963-1967)
"And what we have foremost in common is that enemy - the white man. He’s an enemy to all of us. I know some of you all think that some of them aren’t enemies. Time will tell." - Malcolm X (In the early 1960 s a "Black militant" who believed in complete separation of the races)
"I have a dream." - Martin Luther King
"I have very sad news for all of you. Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis Tennessee." (News Broadcast, March 20, 1967)
"Anyone who loves God must also love their brother brother and sister." - Jesus of Nazareth
Scripture: 1 John 4:21 (NIV)
"Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister."
Prayer: Love People
"Father, in our nation at this time, it is Black History Month. It is a time to reflect on the black community's contributions, culture, and impact on America. Martin Luther King was a minister and civil rights leader. He saw the strong opposition to loving brothers and sisters. He saw the strong opposition to loving people different than us. He saw the evils of our society and the depths of human depravity. Yet he loved anyways. Father, we thank you for the men and women who have lived out loving God and loving people. And so we pray a prayer that our brother Martin Luther King prayed...
God, we thank you for the inspiration of Jesus. Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even our enemy neighbors. And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, to be with us in our going out and our coming in, in our rising up and in our lying down, in our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow, until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn. Amen."