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Love One Another

Dear friend,

Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. Acts 8:5 NLT

Let me provide a back story for this verse. First, this is not the apostle Philip, but a Greek-speaking Jew, “full of the Spirit and wisdom” who was one of the seven deacons chosen to help with the food distribution program in the church. Second, Israel had been divided into three main regions—Galilee in the north, Samaria in the middle, and Judea in the south. The city of Samaria (in the region of Samaria) had been capital of the northern kingdom of Israel in the days of the divided kingdom, before it was conquered by Assyria in 722 B.C. During that war, the Assyrian king took many captives, leaving only the poorest people in the land and resetting it with foreigners. Third, these foreigners intermarried with the Jews who were left, and the mixed people group became known as Samaritans. The Samaritans were considered half-breeds by the “pure” Jews in the southern kingdom of Judah and there was intense hatred between the two groups.

But Jesus himself went into Samaria (John 4), and he commanded his followers to spread the gospel there (1:8).

I give you all this information to set up the point. Jesus loved to break down walls then and he still loves doing so today. He stepped across the man-made cultural taboo sleeping comfortably (John 4:1-26) and fully accepted as normal. Yet, our God is amazing. He rolled out the welcome mat then and is still rolling it out. Bias isn’t anything new. However, here is a prime example that God accepts all people. And so, if He does, why do we think we have a “right” to not. OUCH! Let any doubt about it be gone. We are, in part, in the mess we’re in here in the US because some people decided to not follow God’s lead and perpetrate a “Samaritan mindset” early in the settling of the US between European and African people groups instead of ethnic reconciliation.

May we be encouraged to not be our worst enemy. Let’s not allow foolishness nor foolish choices bring us problems that ultimately will cause us further trouble. Let’s set the tone for our household and our church community—time to build one another up instead of choosing to tear one another down. Love one another.

God’s Got It… so we can know the TRUTH—34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:34-35 NLT

Called to serve and encouraging others to thrive,

DEA: Embracing a Just Be Joyful Life 2020: Laughing, Loving, and Living

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