See not Say (what is our witness)
In my teaching and preaching over the years, one of the most consistent messages I have taught is that our life is our witness. In other words, what people see is extremely important. The way we treat one another matters. The words we speak to one another can change one’s entire day.
The care shown for one another is vital to the life cycle and the joy found there within. Our relationship with God is the key to finding the ability to love others. This truth is why Jesus, when pressed for an answer to the question, “Which is the greatest command?” responded, “Love God and love one another.”
Was He trying to make them go away by giving them a short answer? No, He gave them THE answer, the solvation to all our issues. Someone is most likely thinking, “Is it that simple, Pastor? Do you believe this is the answer to everything going on right now? My answer is a resounding YES!
The formula is quite simple if we understand the principle. When one loves God, it changes the heart; it opens the eyes and clears the mind. Does it right the wrongs in the world? Of course not, but it allows us to see things from a much different perspective.
The human race is still dealing with the effects of the fall of Adam. The lust of the flesh, the desire for power, greed, hate, and corruption all find a way into life, and it is much like cancer: when untreated, it ends living; in other words, it kills.
When Jesus answered in the manner He did, the purpose was to key in on what is essential. It is not about our differences. We all have things that are not the same as others. That is what makes the world a better place. Take a look in the mirror and imagine another seven billion of you. Would you want that? I know I sure wouldn’t.
Variety, we hear, is the spice of life. However, that very thing separates us when it is allowed to become the focus. A divide exists somewhere, whether the issue is race, color, beliefs, customs, food likes, clothing preferences, hairstyles, etc. What we must return to is looking at things through God’s eyes. What does He see when He looks at you?
The main concern in your life today should be your relationship with God. When God sees you, He sees His son or daughter. He sees you with love, care, compassion, and great joy. Do you, at times, grieve Him? Of course, you did to your parents, and your kids will grieve you if you live long enough.
However, does this stop God’s love for us at any time? It never has, and it never will. We must also consider this same thing when God looks at your neighbor; He sees them as He sees you. The question is: do you? Can they see your witness? I speak not of always agreeing; I speak not of liking what you see, but rather is their soul important to you? Do you pray for them, or will you at least consider that they need prayer? What does your witness tell others?
We have come to an unhealthy place in our nation, in fact, across the world. We have allowed our differences to create a divide instead of a celebration. I am not saying that everything we see is worthy of being celebrated. The horrors of violence and hurting others is not something to applaud. However, we must consider the heart issues that create these matters. Excuses, I have learned, are merely asking permission to lie, so I am not talking about making excuses but rather looking deeper.
The absence of light only leaves dark. The systematic removal of God from our society has placed us in a terrible place. While we cannot remove God, He can certainly get the message to leave, and He, being a gentleman, will do so. However, what few have considered is the consequence of such.
The result is what we see right now on television every single day. People are hurting people, hate dividing people, and violence is raging because a voice demands someone to listen. All of this happens when the command from Jesus gets ignored. When the concept of “love God” is placed at the forefront of our lives, loving one another becomes easier and, in turn, becomes a natural response.
I am not saying we will love everything everyone does because we are still human, and yes, we get on each other’s nerves. However, differences should have no bearing on love. If we look at Scripture, we see this concept put into play. Loving God pleases Him and grows the desired relationship.
At the same time, if we allow His love to be displayed outwardly, in other words, letting others see it (live and in public, if you will), it will show something beautiful and something real. Our world needs something real right now, and there is nothing more sincere than the Love of God, and when that love penetrates the human heart and pierces the soul, our eyes for the souls of others have a much more unobstructed view. Friends, our witness matters. Let Him shine in you and through you.
Have a blessed rest of your day and week.
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