Love Your Neighbor

 Romans 15:7

Can you recall what your life was like before you found Jesus? Were you caught up in a web of shameful habits, weighed down with guilt by wrong deeds?

Did you search for love only to attract pain or rejection? Where you one of the plain good people who realized there had to be more to life? How excited were you when you found Christ, or when He found you?

I am sure just like me, you were thankful He did not count your sins against you or refuse to accept you because your heart wasn’t right by His standard. The love He showed us (and still shows us) was unconditional.

How Do You See Others Who are Not Like You

So how is it that we who were once lost but were saved by grace look down on those who are yet to come to know our savior? The verse above tells us to receive each other just as Christ received us- without judgment or condemnation.

When we gather in church and we see someone whose physical appearance relays a message of some form of lifestyle that is contrary to our lives as a Christians, do we begin to despise them for desecrating the “holy gathering” or do we rejoice that perhaps, these individuals for whom our Lord died for may be searching for the truth? 

Do you realize that they need brothers and sisters who will accept them in their state of “yet to believe and behave”, creating an environment that lets the Holy Spirit work freely to convict them of their sins and their need for a savior?

Don’t Judge Unbelievers, Love them Instead

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to rebuke wrongdoing; we rebuke wrongdoing by people who already identify themselves as Christians. Paul explains this in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:9-11).

Paul tells us to hold one another (believers) accountable. We are not to judge the unbeliever, we are to show them love, so that just as Christ’s love for us compelled us to Him, our love for them will compel them to seek the transforming power in the blood of Jesus. Let us make an effort not to be the reason a sinner walks away from seeking God.

Jesus tells us that it is for the unsaved that He came to die and we have been given the mandate to make disciples of every nation (that includes EVERYONE). Let us not be concerned about what people may say when they see us accept unchurched people into our midst. 

Remember, if they criticized Jesus for hanging out with sinners, they will do the same to us. May our focus be the salvation of all for whom our savior died for.

You Can Still Experience the Love of God

Have you looked down on the ungodly? There is repentance in Christ. He can use you to reach the very same people you once despised. Have you been rejected by Christians you expected to receive you with love?

The Lord is asking you to forgive; there is power in His name to heal every wounded heart. Wherever you are now, Jesus is calling on you to receive everyone with love just like He accepted you and showed you His love.

Decision Box

Heavenly Father,

I know that I am a sinner and that I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life.

I acknowledge that You are the only way to God. Help me to stop disobeying You and start living for You.

Please forgive me, change my life and help me to know You more. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen.