1 John 4:19-21
Unconditional love solves problems; in fact, it can solve all our problems, if we want it to, because we would always be on the side of solving problems.
This is because, as children of God, we would be living in the heavenly will of God where there is no violence, nor bloodshed, nor pain, nor suffering, nor death.
All of these problem-solving attributes of unconditional love begin with loving God with every part of our being, which must also include loving the whole of Godís creation.
Letís think about all the family strife that goes on in the world around us, and what John told us in 1 John 4:19-21Ö
19. We love, because He first loved us.
This all comes about because we love God with every aspect of our being, and what happens when we are truly born again and allow the Holy Spirit to indwell us.
Then John explains how this unconditional love solves problems within a family.
20. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
In the context of this passage, we can include sisters and parents, and even a brother or sister in our church congregation.
If we hate anyone, it is proof that we donít fully love God and do not have the unconditional love of the Lord within us, for if we have that unconditional love within us, and care about our family and do everything we can to resolve our differences, we will bring peace to our families.
Now this doesnít mean that the other person in going to love us, but if we truly love them and are always willing to forgive them and let them know it, then the problem is with them.
21. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
If anyone has a problem understanding this, consider the fact that this all begins with fully loving God and the whole of His creation; therefore, nothing or no one will be left out.
It all begins with unconditionally loving God, and when we do, everything else naturally falls into place.
Now letís expand our thinking a little furtherÖ
Are not we and our families affected by global warming and extreme weather patterns?
Of course, we are.
Thus, if we contribute to global warming, or just do nothing about it, are not we showing a lack of love for God, our family, and the rest of the world?
Of course, we are.
Everything we do and donít do affects someone else.
We are charged by God with protecting the whole of His creation, thus doing nothing is almost as bad as directly contributing to the problem.
Even speaking out against a problem is doing something.
A former cabinet secretary said to be against fossil fuel production is against American policy.
Of course it is, because the policy was against Godís heavenly will, and it was contributing to the problem and not helping to solve it.
This problem is on a big scale, but it still affects our families the same way our attitude does.
Everything and everyone in Godís creation are connected in one way or another.
Everyone of us, and what we do, has an effect on everyone else even if it is only in a very tiny way, for if the bad is not checked and stopped it will grow until it affects nearly, if not, all of us.
The case in point is what wasnít done to stop the evil being done to billions of animals every year, and the result is that they suffer horribly, and because humans are eating them against the creation intent and heavenly will of God, humans have all kinds of chronic illnesses, and because of the unsanitary conditions in which the animals are raised, we catch many viruses.
In addition to the illnesses, our societal hardness of heart is causing animal agriculture to be the largest contributor of greenhouse gases and the subsequent global warming.
We are really killing ourselves!
Letís now turn our attention to another passage of Scripture that most people seem to have trouble with, Matthew 5:43-48, but this is important to both understand and practice if we hope to see how unconditional love solves problems.
43. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.'
This is unfortunately the way that most people think and act, but hate can never have a part in unconditional love, which in turn separates us from the Lord our God, for without perfect heavenly love, we can never truly be children of God.
Jesus goes on and tells usÖ
44. "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
We have heard another expression that may help us understand how to love our enemiesÖ
ďHate the sin but love the sinner.Ē
We need to think about the evil that our enemies do and separate that from the person that God created them to be.
God never made anyone to be evil.
Then Jesus goes on and explains why this understanding is so important.
45. in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
God is not withholding the sun or the rain from anyone.
Both good and evil people experience them both, and God certainly doesnít like any of the evil in the world, but He does want us all to freely live in His heavenly will.
Then Jesus goes on and gives us some worldly examples so we can learn to do better than them.
46. "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
Today in this country we donít have tax-gatherers like they did in those days, when the tax-gatherers only got paid from what they extorted from the people.
However, we do have a lot of other dishonest people in the world, most likely that we all know to use as examples.
Then Jesus uses another example that is closer to home.
47. "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Think about the Gentiles as being non-believers, for we are to be different; we are to love the Lord and love in His heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven, and where there is not hatred, and no violence, and no pain or suffering or death.
So, what are we to do?
48. "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The fact that we may not be able to live up to this ideal in this imperfect world is no reason not to strive for it, and who knows, by the grace of God, we actually may be able to live this way.
And He has shown us some of the ways we can indeed live this way; the imperfect being made perfect.
Paul has a complimentary approach to what Jesus is saying in Romans 12:19-21, and it does address the fact that unconditional love solves problemsÖ
20. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
Part of loving our enemy is giving them what they need, and if we do it in a nice way, it will hopefully convict them in their heart and soul that their actions and thoughts about us are not correct, and they will wonder why we are so nice.
This is what we believe it means to heap burning coals upon their heads.
21. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Which is exactly what God wants us to do.
Unconditional love solves problems.
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