Tag Archives: Joshua

Love.

9 Sep

As Christians, aren’t we supposed to be a city on a hill? A light in the darkness?

Then why do people view the church as Hateful? Judgmental? Unaccepting?

Shouldn’t church be the place that anyone should feel welcome? The place where anyone can go without being judged? So WHY do so many people hate going to church?

The truth remains: Christians aren’t perfect. No one is but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We do judge.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I, for the most part, agree with this. But what does the Bible have to say on this?

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? ~Matthew 7:3

Who are we to judge others’ sins, when truth is, we all have struggles, temptations, sins that we have to deal with. It’s between us and God.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. ~1 Peter 4:8

That verse is pretty self-explanatory. No matter what someone else’s personal struggle is, we are supposed to love them despite it.

In order to deal with any struggle, you first have to acknowledge that it exists. And you have to acknowledge that the struggle does not define the person in question.

We’re not perfect. It can be hard to accept people who, in our eyes, are doing something horribly wrong. But you’ve got to remember that God does not see any one sin as worse than another.  Why are we, as humans, so inclined to rank everything?

“I may have lied to my mom, but at least I didn’t commit adultery like so-and-so.”

“Sure, I’ve cheated on tests, but I haven’t shoplifted like some other people that I know.”

The truth is, God doesn’t care. A sin is a sin, no matter how “big” or “small” in our imperfect human eyes. And you know what?

Everyone sins.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ~1 John 4:10

The entire reason God sent His Son to earth was because He loves us. Sins, flaws, imperfections, and all. In fact, He loves us so much that he was willing to sacrifice His only Son so that we can live forever. God has already dealt with those sins. It is between each individual and God.

Back to John 3:16 🙂

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Think about that for a while. I know, I know. It’s that simple verse that every little Christian kid knows. But it is one of the most profound verses in the Bible.

If God loves us that much, and he died for each and every one of us, then who are we to hate one another? To judge or criticize?

Take the example of Rahab.

Joshua son of Nun secretly sent out from Shittim two men as spies: “Go. Look over the land. Check out Jericho.” They left and arrived at the house of a harlot named Rahab and stayed there.

 The king of Jericho was told, “We’ve just learned that men arrived tonight to spy out the land. They’re from the People of Israel.”

The king of Jericho sent word to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you to stay the night in your house. They’re spies; they’ve come to spy out the whole country.”

The woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, two men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they’d come from. At dark, when the gate was about to be shut, the men left. But I have no idea where they went. Hurry up! Chase them—you can still catch them!” (She had actually taken them up on the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax that were spread out for her on the roof.) So the men set chase down the Jordan road toward the fords. As soon as they were gone, the gate was shut.

 Before the spies were down for the night, the woman came up to them on the roof and said, “I know that God has given you the land. We’re all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. We heard how God dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under a holy curse and destroyed. We heard it and our hearts sank. We all had the wind knocked out of us. And all because of you, you and God, your God, God of the heavens above and God of the earth below.

“Now promise me by God. I showed you mercy; now show my family mercy. And give me some tangible proof, a guarantee of life for my father and mother, my brothers and sisters—everyone connected with my family. Save our souls from death!”

“Our lives for yours!” said the men. “But don’t tell anyone our business. When God turns this land over to us, we’ll do right by you in loyal mercy.”

She lowered them down out a window with a rope because her house was on the city wall to the outside. She told them, “Run for the hills so your pursuers won’t find you. Hide out for three days and give your pursuers time to return. Then get on your way.”

The men told her, “In order to keep this oath you made us swear, here is what you must do: Hang this red rope out the window through which you let us down and gather your entire family with you in your house—father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Anyone who goes out the doors of your house into the street and is killed, it’s his own fault—we aren’t responsible. But for everyone within the house we take full responsibility. If anyone lays a hand on one of them, it’s our fault. But if you tell anyone of our business here, the oath you made us swear is canceled—we’re no longer responsible.”

She said, “If that’s what you say, that’s the way it is,” and sent them off. They left and she hung the red rope out the window.

~Joshua 2:1-21 (The Message)

Rahab, a prostitute, the lowest of the low, was spared because of her faith in God. Jesus died for everyone. Thieves. Adulterers. Prostitutes. Homosexuals. Murderers. The porn addicts. Meth addicts. Alcoholics. Rapists. Those who are self-destructive. Suicidal. Broken. Afraid. Alone. Anyone who has ever, ever sinned. And he died for YOU.

Why? Why would He lay down His Son’s life for US? Because he knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. Everyone is unique. Created in God’s own image. He looks past the sin. Sees the wonderful creation that we are.

Who are we not to love those on Earth?

One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: “Which is most important of all the commandments?”

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

~Mark 12:28-31 (The Message)

The most important commandments: Love the Lord your God. And love others.

Does that say anything about love at all? I think yes.

1 John 4:19 says,

We love because he first loved us.

Are you getting this? Love is pretty important. We’ve got to love each other. Just as God loves all of us. Each and every one.

I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve been through. The point is, God loves you. And so I.

Just a thought, Church. Let’s show the Love of God.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is Love. ~1 Corinthians 13:13

 Peace,