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Closer to Christ

May 22, 2019
By Pastor ROGER LEMKE , Pine Island Eagle

Do you remember those good old days when an attendant filled up your car with gas, checked the oil, put free air in the tires and washed the windows, and you would go inside and grab a coke and a free road map. Now when you enter the "sip and gas" store, you pump your own gas, check your own oil, hunt for enough quarters to activate the air hose and if you are lucky enough to find a map, you have to pay for it. Of course, many people have forgotten how to read maps because of the GPS mounted on their dashboard.

John 13:34 reads like a spiritual Map Quest outlining the direction in which God wanted His disciples, and therefore us, to travel. Jesus tells His disciples: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you."

God never intended His boundaries to be less than the whole world. Therefore, none of us have a monopoly on God's love. We may feel like we do when we look down on someone different than we are, or when we say: "Thank You, Lord, that I am not like them." We are judged by our actions, not our intentions. We may have a heart of gold, but then, so does a hard-boiled egg. Therefore we should remember that the standard and measurement of our love, comes from the clause: "As I have loved You!"

The love of Jesus reached out to all kinds of people and especially to those whom the rest of the world would shun: Women, children, those of other races and creeds. The love of Jesus knew no limit. He loved the world so much that He was willing to die for it. Christ's love is our GPS for obedience.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin may have said it best: "It is impossible to love Christ without loving others, and it is impossible to love others without moving closer to Christ."

Roger Lemke is pastor of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church. The church is at 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170 for service times and/or additional information about programs offered.



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