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Where is the love?
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Has anyone seen the Love???

Where is the love in the Christian church today?
Are we truly loving those around us, those outside?
It's absoutlely astounding the way that we treat those that are in the world!!
From the way we "look down" on them, to the way that we "shun" others!
And the world wants "little" to do with us. Afterall, when we fight and "bicker" with each other, treat each other "awfully", and those outside, why would they?
And we "wonder" why our message seems so "irrelevant" to them?
Its really heart breaking the way that we do not love others as we should!
We are NO different than the pharisees when we "cast out" others, just because we do not like the way they look, or live, or the "way they talk". We look at the "outside" appearance, and their acts, rather than seeing that their personal sins are just a "symptom" of the human condition! That condition being, the "sin nature"!! They need salavation!!!
We forget that we cannot hold them up to "biblical standards", when in fact they are not believers! Its not their "each and every individual" sin that needs to be addressed, its their "sin nature"!!
Afterall individual sins being addressed, will not make a person righteous! "Works" never can (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 4:2)!! Only Jesus can!!!
 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast."
                             (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
Once of course they accept the Lord as Savior, then God can work on the rest! Then, of course, we can encourage, and help them!!
You see we today, look "down" on the little man, while "envying" the rich, and those with money! Or the one we "think", "has it all together". Or the one that is "higher class".
But who are we to behave this way?
Is that showing the love of God that He has called us to share:
  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
                               (John 13:34 NKJV)
Absolutely NOT!!
We once walked alone, apart from God! We tend to forget this!!
Then someone shared the gospel to us. We repented, asked for forgiveness. Accepted Jesus into our hearts. Put our trust in Him. And made Jesus "Lord" of our lives! But somewhere "along the way", we forget where we come from!! We become "self-righteous" like the pharisees and the sadducees. We think we are "above" others. We then shun them, and we "lock" ourselves in our own little "happy worlds".
Truly, the Lord must cry tears over the way we treat others outside the church!
We often think the gospel message isnt "quite enough" when we are rejected. So we stop sharing, or share very little. When it's usually not the message, but the WAY it's being delivered!
Afterall, its one thing to "tell" about God's love, but its another to share it in love! Actions do speak louder than words!! Do they not? Which would make you take notice? Someone who shares it and lives it? Or someone who just "talks" about it, no real "love" behind the message, then they take off? They are no different than the rest of the world!
Afterall, John the apostle said:
  "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."
                                  (1 John 3:18 NKJV)
If we truly "live out" what we believe, then people will take notice!
We have to truly examine our own hearts, and look and see where we are (2 Cor. 13:5)!!
Afterall, remember scripture tells us that a "tree" is known by its fruit:
  “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
                                      (Luke 6:43-45 NKJV)
And those around us, will know if we are His disciple:
 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
                                         (John 13:35 NKJV)
And what are we doing for those around us? Are we really loving them? Do we go to them?
You see Jesus went and associated with the "lowly", the "down trodden". He went to them! And what happened? They responded!
In fact the self-righteous pharisses and sadducees scorned Him for it:
 "And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
                                     (Matthew 9:11 NKJV)
And how many do that today? They scorn others for ministering to those in need! There are those that do that!!
Just for going "beyond" religious boundaries to reach those in need!! Now, I'm not talking about compromising scripture to win others. But just for leaving their "comfort ground" to win others!
And thses same people will not lift one little "finger" to help anyone in need!! But yet they stand by and "judge" those around them!!!
It's time for us corporately, as believers, to get off our seats and go to a dying world that needs Jesus!
To REALLY start loving others (as God has called us to)!!
We are called to go to them, not them come to us:
  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen
                                    (Matthew 28:19 NKJV)
And as we are called to love our neighbor:
And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

                                     (Mark 12:31 NKJV)
Its time we started doing JUST that!
You see we can be like those who make "excuses":
  "But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
                                       (Luke 10:29 NKJV)
And what did Jesus say?
  "Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”  And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
                              (Luke 10:30-37 NKJV)
You see there are NO "excuses" for NOT loving those around us! Can you imagine what would happened if believers everywhere started to really love those around them?
Can you imagine the impact this would have on the world? we know already that Christianity has surived for over a thousand years. It has survived because the gospel message of God's love is true!
But its up to us to really let our "light" shine before all people!
Aterall, we are called to:
  “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
                              (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV)
So, if this is you today? You are having trouble loving those outside. Remember this! You were there yourself at one time, and someone loved you enough to share the gospel with you!! And chances are they did it in love!?!
Afterall, who would respond to words devoid of love, sincerity, and action? ....Personally, not me.
And Im sure you would not either! I know what it's like to have someone share the truth without love, and it only drives a person "further way"!
What we need to do is this, we need to put "our love in action"!
Afterall, "love without action" is just that!

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
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POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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