For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)
Our world is so full of turmoil these days. Maybe it has always been that way, but it seems louder now. Social media has become a megaphone. Everyone has an opinion about most anything and people seem to enjoy expressing themselves. We pick sides, only to find that the people whose side we thought we were on are picking sides within that group. There seems to be a never ending cycle of conflict in our world.
In the midst of all of the different voices, groups, and persuasions, we have to stop and remember that God loves those who differ with us just as much as He loves us. He loves ____________(you fill in the blanks) just as much as He loves _________________.
I recall hearing Michael W. Smith tell about his awakening to this truth at one of his concerts. In the early days when he also sang secular songs, he found himself at a venue where the people all around him were intoxicated or high. Disturbed by the sight, he had gone outside to get away. Then, deep in his heart he heard God speak to him saying,—I love these people and I want you to love them too. That incident forever changed his perspective.
We don’t have to agree with everyone or compromise our own standards. When we meet new people at work or in our neighborhoods, we don’t necessarily know their political or religious viewpoints. We don’t have to know. All we really need to know is that God loves them as much as He loves us and, as Christians—He wants us to love them too.
In Matthew 5:44-46, Jesus tells us, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”