The Power of Love

posted Jan 23, 2011, 2:26 PM by Oxford Second   [ updated Feb 5, 2011, 9:30 AM ]
With all the recent attention on bullying and the nastiness of today's culture, loving one another has never been needed more. But how do we do it -- especially when it comes to our enemies? Is that kind of love even possible in the "real world?" And does it even make any difference?

After reading the scripture below, watch this surprising video featuring former national Ku Klux Klan Leader, Johnny Lee Clary, who once headed up one of the most vicious and dangerous divisions of the KKK. You'll be amazed by his story of what changed him forever.

Then listen to the message to hear more about where Johnny's new path has led him, and learn how we, too, can use the power of love to change the difficult people in our lives.*

The message is based on Luke 6:27-38 (The Message):

 27-30"To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

 31-34"Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

 35-36"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

 37-38"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

*Important note: this message is not meant to suggest that anyone in abusive and/or physically threatening relationships should remain. In these situations, the loving thing is to leave. If you are in danger, please do not put yourself at risk, but seek help immediately. Unfortunately, research indicates that abusers rarely change while in the relationship, but only when forced to seek outside help afterward. For more information, click here. For help in Warren County, NJ click here.