As I think about the times we are living in, and the obstacles that we face, I am reminded of a Scripture in 1st John 4:18 that says “perfect love casts out all fear.” What we need in this world more than ever is love for God and for our neighbor as Jesus tells us in response to the question of what the two greatest commandments were.

So many are living in fear and as Christians we should extend that love to them to help them find that peace that only Jesus can give. This week I wanted to share with you a poem I wrote many years ago, and I pray that you will be blessed as your remember the love of the Father is an everlasting love that will never fade:

“As I open my eyes and I look outside, I see the beauty that lies in every sunrise, I see the lightning strike, I feel the wind and the rain, I think of why you came, I want to praise your name. A love so deep, so hard to understand, can only be explained through the blood of the Lamb.

And at the end of each day, I think of all of your grace, knowing we will be together forever in that wonderful place. When I grow weary, you always come near me, I call on your name and see things much more clearly. But often I fall short and lose sight of the plan, but you take me back to where it began. The nail-scarred hand, I have so little to give, I struggle with how I should live, but you always find it in your heart to forgive.

Take me as I am, forgive me where I fail you, I love Jesus though I seldom tell you. Cover me, wash me white as snow, help me be a beacon of light to a world that doesn’t know. The pain you felt, cuts just like a knife, Jesus, your blood frees us, I owe you my life.”

In those words, I remember the ultimate love and sacrifice that Jesus gave us on the cross to forgive us of all of our sins. I remember a message I preached a few years back, and while I was preaching my son Blaze - who is now 14 - jumps up on the drums and starts playing the cymbals real loud. I kept on preaching and he kept on playing, and then finally the drums were overpowering anything that I was saying.

It was an interesting illustration proving the scripture that tells us no matter what knowledge we have, or sacrifice we give, without love it is as a clanging cymbal. In other words, if we don’t lead with love, no one will even be able to hear what we are saying to them.

We do not water down the Gospel, as we speak the truth in love, but we realize we are all sinners saved by grace, so we love each other and try to love God with everything we have.

I remember the story of a little girl that walked to school on her own, but one day it was storming outside, so the mom followed close by to make sure she was ok. Every time there would be a flash of lightning, she would stop, look up and smile. Finally after a few minutes of this, the mom asked her why she did that. She turned to her mom and simply said, “God is taking my picture.” What a powerful thought that her love for God and God’s love for her made her think he was taking her picture.

If we could really grasp this concept of love for God and each other no matter the situation, or the person, we could really make a huge difference in this world.

For more messages from Pastor Rocky Thomas please visit our Facebook page Botkinburg Foursquare and to learn more about their family ministry visit www.rapidfireministries.com

Rocky Thomas is Senior Pastor, Botkinburg Foursquare Church.