“Let brotherly love continue” (Hebrews 13:1). An old song said, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love….” Oh how true, but it is nothing new. The Bible is chock full of advice telling us to love. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (1 John 3:14). Before Christ, there were people I didn’t love, and to be frank some still are hard to embrace, but I am compelled by the love of God to love them. If I yield myself to the Spirit, I can love anyone. Someone once told me that I was not prejudiced, because I hated everyone (until Jesus got ahold of my wretched heart)! Some folk would be easy to hate, but our Lord did not hate any of us when we walked amongst the dregs. Would any be so foolish to think we are loved by everyone?
As Christ is our example, we should spread the love of God throughout our land. And what is that love? “…God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus loved us even in our unlovable state and died on the Cross to prove His love. The Bible says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). If one dies without Christ, they have left for eternity without the best friend they ever had. Moreover they will have left, offending God for never having opened His greatest gift to them.
Years ago at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, I preached a message about an unopened present.” My wife wrapped a good size box with a big, pretty bow. We carried it in and placed it on the stage where I was to wax ‘elephant’. I made reference to opening it, when the message was concluded. The subject was about the gift of God and what happens when we die without accepting Him (leaving His gift unopened). I mentioned the box several more times (I worried that too much attention was being paid to the box instead of the message). At the conclusion, I started off the stage to greet them. Somebody said, “You forgot to open the present!” This led to another five minutes of preaching and afterward we opened it. Inside were Christmas ditties for everyone; along with, tracts and a personal invitation from our church to each person. Present were some that received God’s gift; whilst others left it unopened. I know how I would feel if someone didn’t open a gift from me. Can you imagine how God feels?