God has called us to love everyone. Those just like us and those totally different than us.
As I turned on the news last night, there was another sad story about someone being treated unjustly. As I travel our streets and step into our stores, I see people in need get ignored and made fun of. I opened my phone and on every social media platform, I saw more people abusing their power, people putting their desires over the lives of others, people ignoring the basic needs of others. I could go on and on. I think we’ve all been shocked and maybe even scared by some of the news stories that have come out over the past few years. “What has this world come to?” we ask. But, let’s not lose hope.
There are many words that we can use to describe God. He is kind, loving and compassionate. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is faithful, good and just. He is the ultimate judge. Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” That verse comforts my broken heart every time I see a new headline or a post on social media about a terrible injustice. It’s also a sobering verse when I think of the ways I have been unjust in my actions and desires. God sees what is happening in the world and He is going to take care of it.
However, that does not give us a pass to ignore these things. God has called us to love everyone. Those just like us and those totally different than us. If you continue reading in Romans, Paul says “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” How do we do that? “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far, as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Revelation 15 and 16 tell of the wrath of God that will come on those who have chosen evil over good. God’s wrath will come. So, let’s take heart as we trust in our God who will repay all evil and as we live in the grace of the gospel. May we join in the song found in Revelation 15, “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”