By Pastor Stephen Hammond
Bethel Community Church

John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Our nation and our city need more love. There are so many ideologies, issues, and desires that divide us and set people at odds with one another that we forget the many points of commonality that we have to bring us together.

We get so caught up with what we want, or how we would do it, or who we want to do what that we tend to fight fiercely with other people instead of working together to make our city and our nation a better place.

Jesus knew this would be an issue inside and outside of the Church. So, He gave us a new command to love one another. This was not a suggestion or an idea up for discussion, it was a command.

There are several types of love mentioned in the Bible, this love is Agape. Jesus is referring to God’s unconditional and unending love. This is how God loves us and this is how we are expected to love one another.

What does that look like to us in our lives and in our world. It means we consider the needs of others above our own. We honor other people instead of tearing them down. We work together for the common good instead of maneuvering to get our way. We do not allow politics, whether national or local, to drive a wedge between us. We do not let the hatred or arrogance of others change who we are, we love anyway.

This is how Jesus loved us, and this is how He expects us to love one another. This kind of love will remove many of the issues we face today like bullying, abuse, racism, social media attacks, violence, a complete lack of respect for others, cancel culture, arrogance, narcissism and so much more.

The love of God can conquer all these issues in our society, but it must conquer us first. I must choose to love. We must choose to love. Together we can bring the change we all want if we have the courage to love one another like God loves us.

The Westside Express