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Tuesday, June 5, 2012



 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love.
(I John 4:7, 8 - The Message)

It's quite probable that I've already referenced this Scripture in this same translation somewhere in the book, in some previous chapter.

 If so, so be it.

If not, then it's about time I talked about it.

I think that this particular passage is so important...so central to what the Gospel of Christ is really all about...that if I had included it in every chapter of the book it would not have been too much.

Reading it every day...perhaps every hour...would be beneficial and worthwhile for all of us.

One of my favorite songs of all time is the Hal David/Burt Bacharach classic, 'What the World Needs Now', and, man, if the sentiment of that piece was appropriate in the 60's when they wrote it, it's certainly even more true and pertinent and appropriate NOW!

What the world needs now...more than anything else...is definitely LOVE.

Without a doubt.

The only thing I would add to the song in this day and age would be a verse that proclaimed, WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, SWEET LOVE!

I think that it's unfortunate...a travesty really...that these days it seems that Christians, in general, are known for just about anything but for their love (the one thing that Jesus said would prove discipleship!)

In the modern era, as it appears at least in this country, Christians are too often known for their judgmental intolerance, bigotry and prejudice...for being outspoken about all the things that Jesus never said anything about, and completely silent on the subjects on which He actually placed importance.

I know I've already said it, but I'll say it again without apology...

God is love.


End of story.

As I near the end of the book, I hope that this one thing will stand out and be remembered...I can't impress it upon my readers too much...if it isn't about love, it isn't about God!

I do want to thank you for taking the time to read my words.

I really appreciate it.

I only ask that you have read it with an open heart and an open mind.

Of course I realize that I can only make the request…and that’s exactly what it is…that’s all it is…a request.

It’s not a demand.

I know that I can’t force you to change your mind about anything concerning theology, particularly about certain hot button issues such as eternal punishment...and I can't force you to change your perception of people with same-sex attraction, especially if you've had a negative view of them (us).

But it is my hope and prayer that you will at least sufficiently lay aside any prejudices or preconceived ideas that you may have had to agree with me on this one point...that God is love, and that love is the most important thing.

If I can get your agreement on at least that point, then there is definitely value in this volume.

Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self]
which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be CONSTANTLY RENEWED in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual ATTITUDE]; and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. 
(Ephesians 4:22-24 AMP)

I love the way The Amplified Bible uses the term "CONSTANTLY RENEWED" in the spirit of your mind in this verse...

I think that love is the only thing that can enable you to be renewed in such a way.

Love causes your world-view to become “other-worldly”...

Love enables your attitude to transcend the accepted norm of the natural realm. 

Love gives you the strength and clarity to renounce all counterproductive allegiance to cultural tradition.

Love creates a mindset in which you may be born-again, so that your thinking is not of this cosmos (world system) any longer...so that you are not obliged to just go along with the crowd in your opinions and perspectives. 

Love gives you the power and authority to go against the tide and to swim upstream, if necessary.

Love will make you become willing to re-examine any and all belief(s) that you have in stereotypes, and will empower you to deal with each individual in your life, individually, so that you may give them the benefit of the doubt before pre-judging them in any way. 

Love will move your attitude in a direction that is predisposed to know people after the spirit and not after the flesh, in honor of Christ’s development of the New Creation Species.

Love will bring perspective to your thinking when it comes to your devotion to ancestry, enabling you to praise your parents (see last chapter), be faithful to your family and honor your heritage...but at the same time it will liberate you from feeling bound to be limited to their level of learning or to the laws leading their lifestyle.

Love will give you the courage to reject any latent fear of change that may be resident in your soul, and help you keep an open mind and an open heart...and that's very important, because as I've already discussed (see also last chapter), there is a new world coming, and only those who live by the law of love will be able to thrive in it.

If you don't agree with me on anything else, at least agree with me on that.

God is love.


And that's GOOD NEWS!

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