Love Your Neighbor

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New Zealand’s worst massacre outside of wartime in more than 200 years happened on Friday March 15. During a prayer hour when the largest amount of Muslims were gathered to pray. Shooters attacked two Mosques killing at least 49 people and wounding dozens of others. One shooter was arrested who described himself as “anti- Immigrant”, and a white Australian. In times of such loss we must raise up in prayer the family members of those who were killed in this hate crime. We should also pray for the perpetrators of the crime who are clearly outside of the Kingdom of Heaven. For a Saul to Paul conversion that the sinners might become saints. In times like these we pray for the outside parties but how often do we pause and consider our own hearts?

The majority of us would never even consider opening fire on a group of people, but Jesus identifies anger as the gateway to murder and says whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of judgment (Matt 5:22). We should keep this in mind when we see events happening around us that are expressing hate. In order to stay in a place of loving our neighbor, we mustn't give room in our hearts to anger or hate. We want to also warn you, our readers, to be careful not to believe this false narrative that Christians 'hate' Muslims. When in fact, Christians are called to love, even when we are mistreated, critizied, and persecuted. We must guard our hearts from fear, anger and hate, which the media will attempt to use this event to sell this narrative to the world.

How can we breed love inside and not give into these false narratives? How can we contagiously distrubute the love of God in the midst of a hate-filled world? The answer to these questions can be seen in two ways, first let us look at what the Bible says love is.

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.
— 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

If we are to truly love our neighbor we must know what real love looks like, and this verse is a great place to see it clearly spelled out. Simply put love does not seek its own safety, or comfort, or protection. While this verse is a wonderful place to see what love is our ultimate example of love is God, as the Word says God is love. Therefore in order to fully understand love we must look to God who is love itself and in order to look at God we must see the life and teachings of Jesus, as He is God manifest. Looking at the life of Jesus in the Gospels we see that He loved us to the end, even to death on a cross.

If we love our Muslim neighbors how can we show them? How can we show the world that we are not scared of them, nor do we hate them, but that we in fact love them? One of the simplest ways is simply by being a friend. Bring them a dessert or meal (pork free) to say hello, invite them over for tea or coffee. Try to demonstrate to them the love of God through your actions and your generosity. At the end of the day you treat them the same you would treat any of your neighbors, you love them when the opportunity is present and you keep them in your prayers.

At GCM we want to encourage you to show God's love to Muslims in your life. Ask the Lord to show you Muslims in your neighborhood and workplace and to give you favor in their eyes. Begin looking for opportunities to share God's love today.

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