"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Love Gives!

I am reading a book I purchased many months ago, What the Bible Is All About, a handbook by Dr. Henrietta C. Mears. I read parts of it a while back and just recently picked it up and hope to read it a bit most days so I can eventually finish it! What a goal! (It has over 700 pages.)

I was reading the chapter on Esther and came across this question:

"Why has God allowed me to live at this particular hour?"

I would like to further expand upon this and also wonder "out loud" why God has allowed me to live where I do and have the blessings and privileges that He has given me. I've been reading Children of Hope by Vernon Brewer and his daughter Noel. It's about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the many civil wars within Africa and how it has particularly affected the children. Did you realize in a span of just 100 days approximately 800,000 people were killed when two tribes clashed in Rwanda? That's nearly a million people gone in just over 3 months!

And suffering abounds elsewhere in the world from the Hmong people hiding in Laotian jungles to North Koreans persecuted by their government to Gazans starved by cruel Zionists and fellow Arabs, on and on and on. I'm not saying we don't suffer in America. We have much suffering with our families being destroyed by addictions and immorality and cultural decay and so forth. But at least most of us don't have to worry about not eating today. Or not having clean water. Or a basic education. A warm place to sleep. Electricity. We even have toys! Cars, computers, books, ipods, lots and lots and lots of stuff! We are a blessed nation!

So why did God have me be born now? And why here in America to this family that I did not choose for myself? Why am I blessed materially when many others are starving? And some are wearing home-made flipflops (see above) while we have choices of Adidas, Nike, Reebok, New Balance and the Wal-mart brand to name a few!

As my preacher challenges us often, I'll leave you with this Brian classic:

"How many of you know God doesn't pass us the gravy so we can drown in it?"

And this from Jesus . . .

Matthew 25

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Perhaps Jesus was serious when He told us to love one another. Love isn't a feeling.

Love gives!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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