September 22, 2013


Matthew 5:43-48

“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends

rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
—Matthew 5:45


God’s love falls like rain on all people, even evil ones. “God so loved the world,” says Jesus in John 3:16. God loves wayward children. He loves wounded and despised people. And if God loves in that way, Christians must love in that way too.

We can churn up a lot of unhappiness for ourselves and for others by trying to control, manipulate, or condemn other people. We can burn a lot of energy getting angry with secular people and shouting at them. But God’s love rains down on all people—good and evil alike.

Jesus does not give me permission to hate and despise any other human being. If you’re a human being, I am supposed to love you in word and deed, whether you are a Christian or not.

A soup kitchen in an inner city is a great place to practice this, because you don’t have to ask anyone any complicated questions like “How did you get this way?” or “Are you ever going to change?” You just have to scoop some chili into a bowl and smile at another human being and say, “God bless you.”

That’s a good way to start. But somehow I think Jesus would do more than that.

Love. This is so difficult for us. But it is a happier way to live.

Lord, I know I need to be an agent of your love, but I have so many barriers and attitudes that hem me in. Father, show me how to love. Help me to love as you have loved. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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