This is My Commandment…

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by guest author Rita Patton

Love one another.  John 15:12

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. I Corinthians 13:4-8

Our pastor suggests to us each year that we might ask the Lord for a word for the year that we might follow Him more closely in word and deed. This year I prayed about my word and the Lord gave me LOVE.

Oh ok.  Uh, I think I do this, Lord, I really do love people. In fact I have certainly tried through the years to make loving the people a priority in the church families we have served in.  Love, really?

Then He added something – – LOVE WITHOUT JUDGMENT. What? Me? Well, I am not prejudiced? Partial? Arrogant? Petty? Phobic? Judgmental? ME?

I just read a book a few weeks ago by Bob Goff, Everybody, Always.  He is a lawyer that travels the word advocating for the persecuted and sharing the love of Jesus. As you can tell by the title of the book this is the way he describes HOW Jesus loved.

This caused me to really think about who does the Word tell us Jesus loved?

He loved his mother, his best friends, a circle of friends (men and women), a betrayer friend, a denier friend, the mentally ill and possessed, lepers, paralytics, tax collectors, widows, a centurion and his servant, adulterers, a bleeding woman, blind, ruler in the synagogue and his daughter, crowds, rich, poor, a thief, his enemies … believers in His Sonship and unbelievers. Supporters and scoffers.

Everybody.

Always.

LOVE is my word this year and I know I won’t be able to express love like my Lord did, but I truly am going to work on the WITHOUT JUDGMENT part each day and with each person I encounter.

GOD IS LOVE. (1 John 4:8)

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