Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We’re Called To Love One Another

1 John 4:11

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

IMG_0301Years and years ago – when I was growing up in Seat Pleasant – we lived across the street from a family that wasn’t the type of family we grew up knowing.  They let their home go without needed repairs (front door was broken – yard was a mess – toys and trash everywhere – people coming and going all the time – and I mean all hours of the day and night).  The only time that home looked normal was one winter when it snowed so hard it covered everything in the yard!  Looking back on it – there was probably some great dysfunction in that family that needed someone’s love and care.  Enter my dad (more on this later).

All I knew as a child was to avoid that home across the street.  It was not a safe place.  I could go down the street to my friend’s home (a few doors down).  I could go up the street to my sister’s friend’s home.  But the home across from us – I avoided.  There was a little girl about our age that lived in that house.  She came over once-in-awhile to our yard.  She smelled.  She wasn’t very orderly in behavior or in her appearance.  She wasn’t like the children we were around in church or our friends in the neighborhood.

My dad – the loving man that he was – actually had the audacity to invite this girl over to our home – to share meals with us – to play with us – to sit and talk with him.  I was appalled – and didn’t want her taking up my dad’s time – after all he was very busy and when he was home – we wanted him to ourselves (I know – pretty selfish – right?).

As I grew – not only in years but also as a Christian – I better understood today’s passage – Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  I’m sure to God I stink – don’t always do all the right things – even have some major dysfunctions in my life – but God reached out to me and continues to reach out to me with His love.  When I think of Jesus – I think of His birth and how He sacrificed to leave heaven – to come to earth – to live and die – to become the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.  He came to earth at Christmas and died on Good Friday to show us the full extent of His love for us.

Dear friends – we may all have people in our lives that repulse our senses – which we would not pick as friends.  But if we love only those who love us – or look like us – or fit into some preconceived picture in our world – we will not truly experience the kind of love that Jesus came to give us.  Jesus left heaven to come to earth for me long before I even knew Him.  Jesus died for me long before I accepted His Lordship in my life.  The song says love came down at Christmas time and it is this love – shared at Christmas and more fully revealed on the Cross of Calvary that should be within us.  It is this love we are called to show to others – even the ones we don’t find acceptable – maybe even more so to them!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


March 16, 2015 - Posted by | Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , ,

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