After seeing the title of this post, you’re probably singing “is love, sweet love” in your head. Or, maybe you’re not keeping it inside and you’re belting out the 1965 Jackie DeShannon hit to either the delight or severe dismay of those around you. Perhaps you’re by yourself, in which case I say go ahead and belt it out. I’ve convinced myself that God loves the sound of my voice, even if no one else does. I’m sure the same is true for you.
Love, sweet love is synonymous with how I would finish that sentence with or without the song. After all, God is love. And, we’re not seeing enough love these days, are we? The culture seems to be in a state of chaos. It seems like there’s another school shooting every other week, another terrorist attack just as often, and we’re in danger of adding more wars every day. Yesterday it was with North Korea, the day before that it was Russia, and this morning it’s Syria. Dare I even mention that the current political climate has the United States of America more divided than ever?
So, what is the answer? Border Walls? Gun control? Mental health mandates? How about our spiritual health? Let’s take it back to love. Let’s take it back to the cross. Why? Because I whole-heartedly agree with both William Barclay who said, “Jesus’ coming is the final and unanswerable proof that God cares” and the late, great Billy Graham who said “God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
I look to the cross and there is nothing that anyone can say or do to make me believe that God does not care about the chaos in our culture or that He does not love me in a very personal and direct way. He’s already proven it.
So, why don’t more people see it that way? Well, quite simply, we’ve pushed him out of our lives. We’ve put ourselves on the throne where He rightfully belongs. We see it all around us every day. Sadly, even often at church. Therefore, I would argue that it is our spiritual health that is in crisis and if we can fix that, everything else will fall into place.
Obviously, we can’t remove sin from the world. The world will be restored but it will be God that does it. Which is all the more reason to look to Him now. We need a revival. We need repentance. We need to make holiness and righteousness our primary goal. We need to put God back on the throne of our lives and, by extension, our culture.
I am convinced that with true, Christian revival would come a drastic reduction in murder, terrorism, war, racism and the indiscriminate shouts of hatred toward others that we see on the news every day and night.
Respect for God means we respect what God respects and love what God loves. God is love and He loves each and every one of us. That means that if we would wholeheartedly turn to God and changed our lives to reflect our love and respect for Him, we would almost automatically love and respect each other. If we respected each other, we would stop breeding hatred and, ultimately, stop killing one another.
In other words, passing all the laws in the world can’t do what turning to God can do. You might say, what the world needs now is Jesus, sweet Jesus. Perhaps now more than ever before.