Shonebarger

We live in a nation of plenty. With a heart of gratitude, we count our blessings for the tremendous goodness Almighty God has rendered upon our land.

We are blessed with bountiful harvests of fruit, vegetables and meat that not only feed our nation, but people around the globe. We are blessed with the greatest institutions of higher learning, where people may acquire the best education in their field of study. We are blessed with tremendous health care and medicine. We are blessed with the latest in technology, inventions and discoveries. We are blessed with the greatest republic in the history of the world. The list of our bounty is simply too lengthy to innumerate. Truly, God has blessed the United States of America!

While we humbly acknowledge the bountiful material blessings upon our great country, there is something we need more of. There is something in which we have become impoverished! We must be alarmed at the poverty of love for our brothers and sisters in America!

Tragically, there is not enough love for our neighbor. The love for our fellow man has rapidly grown cold. We are eyewitnesses to violence in several cities in our nation. There is rioting and bloodshed. There is civil unrest. The cry for social justice is dividing neighbor against neighbor. Our political parties are deeply divided. Incivility has become woven into the fabric of our discourse. There is hatred. Our greatest fear must be the continued, expansion of violence. God forbid we would EVER be a witness to a second Civil War.

The Holy Bible has plenty to say about loving our neighbor. Of course, God’s Second Great Commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Furthermore, the word of God declares, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1 John 4: 20-21). This provocative, crystal clear and poignant teaching from the Apostle John reveals God’s litmus test of a man’s faith.

It is not spiritually possible to love God and hate your brother, period. It is incongruous. Thus sayeth the Lord!

For those who testify they are a disciple of Jesus, but hates their brother, is pronounced a liar, and the love of God does not reside in him. We conclude that a man may have a “head knowledge” of God, but an artificial faith. Genuine faith resides in the heart of man, who loves God because He first loved us, coupled with a sincere love for his neighbor. The Good Samaritan is the example. The man with love in his heart has been born again by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Simply put, his heart has been changed by the Holy Spirit of God. He now possesses love, the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The tide must be turned in our nation reeling in division. As stated above, we give thanks to Almighty God for the blessings, the bounty and provision bestowed upon this great nation. As we transition in our prayer of thanksgiving, let is petition for a spiritual revival in our land. We need a mighty move of the Holy Spirit upon our people as we repent of our sin and humbly ask for forgiveness.

Would we ask for another visitation of God upon this land in this latter day of history? Another Great Awakening? People need to experience the love of Christ, forgiveness of sins, redemption and His great salvation. It will be then and only then when we see the transformation we hope for in the hearts of people. Then we will witness man’s love for His neighbor. Our hope alone abides in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let us go to our prayer closet and humble ourselves. May our hearts be genuine, sincere and passionate for loving God and man. May we demonstrate that love as a Good Samaritan, every day of our lives. May we exhort our brothers and sisters at church to join us in prayer for a revival in our place of worship. May we put feet to our prayers and endeavor to make a difference for God in our society.

Have a blessed week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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