- Violent crime is on the rise in major cities across the U.S. and around the world.
- Chicago (a U.S. major city) has reported a 48% increase in homicides for the first half of 2016.
- During the first half of 2016, there were 1,429 terrorist attacks in 50 countries, in which 12,840 people were killed and 15,631 injured.
Are we a world divided? Crime and terrorism statistics certainly indicate that. But, the 2016 Olympic Games paint a different, far more optimistic picture, where more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries have come together in friendly, sportsmanlike competition.
In a world that seems to have gone mad, it has been quite inspirational for many this week to watch the unity, professionalism, courtesy, and respect that these athletes have demonstrated towards one another and for their host country, Brazil.
This cohesiveness has left many wondering, “If they can all get along, why can’t the rest of us?”
The answer is – WE CAN – if we will simply endeavor to do what God commanded.
The Lord Jesus commanded us to love one another and do good unto all men, including our enemies:
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Love is the greatest commandment in the Bible, because love unifies, while hatred destroys.
When the disciples asked Jesus what the first commandment was, this is how He replied:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Beloved, Jesus’ Words aren’t merely good suggestions, they are the key to victory in this life. Imagine how life would be if we all would do this one thing:
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise (Luke 6:31, NKJV).
So, if before every word and every action, we paused to consider how we would want others to speak to and treat us, imagine the outcome. There could be no hatred, no evil, because all people, whether they know it or not, desire love. This is true because we are all made in the image of God and God is love.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
I John 4:7
Beloved, it is my hope that we all employ this Word from God, and attempt to emulate our greatest athletes in the courtesy, respect, and love that they have exhibited towards one another. Peace is a possibility; let’s endeavor to find it.
Say this faith declaration out loud: Father God, thank you for the opportunity for the world to unite during these amazing Olympic Games. I will take the Words of Jesus, and the example set by all of these young competitors, and attempt daily to treat others as I would want to be treated. I will help make the world a better place. Thank you for your love and mercy on us all. Amen.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails …
I Corinthians 13:3-8
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
For more information about God’s blessings, and how to be a blessing to others, please click here to order my book, Marked for God’s Commanded Blessing!