Recently, a judge in the South sentenced three young white men to life in prison. They had randomly picked and killed a 49-year-old Black man. Before sentencing them, the judge told them that the state was trying to end lynching that started in 1880. Some lynching was even committed or approved by people professing to be Christians. Yet genuine Christians know that Jesus taught us to love one another and to promote justice and righteousness. His apostle John was very emphatic in insisting that love and justice are evidence that we are in relationship with God. Otherwise, John says, we are “liars.” Here are his words in 1 John 4, “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world… We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a fellow brother and sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” The Apostle Paul adds this in Romans 13:10, “Love does no wrong to others.” Whoever said it was right—“What the world needs is love.” And God’s people must be the best examples.
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