Saturday, November 9, 2019
Truly He taught us........
Do you pay attention to lyrics when you listen to or sing a song? I do, and I love good lyrics. That is another reason I could never listen to the kinds of music that you can't hear or understand the words. O Holy Night doesn't just have a great tune. It has some great lyrics also. I am one of those people who listen to Christmas music early, so I have heard the song several times already, especially my favorite. (By the way, country singer Colin Raye's is most likely my second favorite. The music they put with it does a lot for his version).
Anyway, the words of the third verse have been really sticking out to me lately:
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim
And especially the first part of that verse: Truly He taught us to love one another. His law is love and His gospel is peace. "Truly He taught us to love one another......" He may have taught us that, but have we learned it and do we practice it?
I was already thinking a lot along these lines, and then my best friend did a post on Facebook that caught my attention. Well, anything he posts catches my attention. He posts once to my 1000 posts. That may not be an exaggeration.... He posted this:
"Referring to 1 Cor. 13, Charles Spurgeon says: "This love both covers and bears all things. It never proclaims the errors of others. It refuses to see faults unless it may kindly help in their removal. It stands in the presence of a fault with a finger on its lips." I sarcastically commented: "That's in the Bible?!"
Myself included, Christians as a whole need to do better with loving everyone, and especially each other. If we truly learned what Jesus taught - to love one another - we would do a better job of it. And I am sure there are those who do it better than others.
If we truly loved each other, we wouldn't be so quick to argue with each other and put each other and our views and opinions down. If we truly loved each other, we wouldn't make accusations that aren't true. If we truly loved each other, we wouldn't let politics get in the way of doing that. If we truly loved each other, we would always think the best of each other and never the worst.
His law is love....
When asked by the religious hypocrites of His day what the greatest commandment is, He gave this reply:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)
There are a lot of modern day Christians who claim you don't have to keep the 10 commandments. I even had a Baptist barber tell me once you cannot even keep them all. I watched my wallet around him just in case the one about stealing was the one he couldn't keep......
But here Jesus is commanding us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That covers about half of the commandments, plus a whole lot more.
In 1 John chapter 4, it says if we don't love, we don't know God, because God is love.
" 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (ESV)
It would seem that it is pretty important to God that we love each other. It isn't just a line in a well-loved Christmas song that has been around since 1847. (That is even older than my friend Shirley Dye at my church....) It should be something we daily practice, work at, pray for help to love people....praying harder regarding some people.....
Christmas is about love. God loved us measly humans so much, that He sent His only son in the form of a helpless baby that would live in a human body for 33 years, and then be cruelly put to death so that we could have eternal life and be saved from our sins. We need to love others and show that love 365 days a year, but Christmas is a great time to work at it if we are slacking in that department.....and I am sure I am not the only one who needs help and work in that area. I have social media. I know I am not the only one.....
Make sure you spend time being thankful for what you have, because this is the season to be thankful....but work on loving people as you practice being thankful. Don't wait til Christmas, the season of love. Love now.
Outside on a cold and lonely street
A homeless woman sleeps this Christmas
Tonight, there's a child that dreams of home
In an orphanage alone
For all they really need is a helping hand from
You and me
The season of love
I really believe that this would be much better
And people would come together
If we share the reason for the season of love
The spirit of Christmas will change
This world forever
If we all play our part
Just by giving from the heart I know
Christmas will really become
The season of love
Somewhere, underneath a Christmas tree
Is a simple manger scene this Christmas
And there lying on a bed of straw
Is the greatest gift of all
This Christmas let's let the world know
For all they really need is the love of God
To set them free
Though the holiday passes away
And the lights begin to fade
The spirit of Christmas will remain
Mark Harris & Don Koch