They Are Precious!
In John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
The ultimate example of love is God giving his only son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. What love! What sacrifice for mankind! In John 13:34-35, we read Jesus calling to love one another. Listen to His words, “So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.” (TPT)
Jesus went on to say in John 15:12 “So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you.”
Enough said! We are to love one another. Period.
I grew up in church and heard these scriptures in Sunday School class and in sermons. I was taught at home by loving parents to love my brothers and sister as well as to love and respect others. I was also taught to respect adults older than me and to respect authority– meaning teachers, police officers, community leaders, and government officials. I was taught respect and appreciation for all races. We were taught to never see color and to always treat everyone equally no matter their color, ethnic background, or church affiliation. As children, we sang the song, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
The words to this song should remind us of a key value– that Jesus loves all the children of the world. Jesus loves every person, not as a color but as individuals who matter. As believers, we are to follow the admonitions and behavior of Jesus, and love one another.
- Jesus loves all the children
- All are precious in His sight
The enemy of love is hate and prejudice. Prejudice is defined as “an affective feeling towards a person based on their perceived group membership.” The word is often used to refer to a preconceived, usually unfavorable, evaluation of another person based on that person’s political affiliation, gender, beliefs, values, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality, appearance, occupation, education, sports team affiliation, or other personal characteristics.
As I read this list, I had to do some soul searching as to how I might view others based on some of these descriptive words.
In my global travels, I have become aware of cultural prejudices. In one culture there may be caste systems, while in others, a neighboring nation has prejudicial issues. History alone influences much of our beliefs and experiences, challenging the idea of loving everyone. However, Jesus did not just simply suggest that we love, He commanded it. That requires us to let go of some of our own feelings, history, or memories. Then, through true repentance and forgiveness, we take the next step toward letting go of any prejudice we hold.
I want to challenge you right now to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about any prejudice you hold in your heart. Allow time for the Holy Spirit to search your soul, then simply listen. Is there a person or group of persons you are prejudiced against for any reason? Ask God to forgive you, and ask Him to help you show love-in-action by standing up and speaking out. Don’t let your silence keep you from getting free of prejudice.
We cannot change our prejudice unless we face it. We must break the silence when there is injustice, stand for our values, and exercise our faith in love. In America there are so many issues surfacing from the injustices that have been taking place. We cannot place blame on only one or two who have been caught being totally intolerant, but we must all own our share in what may be happening.
We must speak up and we must speak out. We must lead in love, speak in love, and choose to love out loud. Silence can imply we agree with the actions of others. I empathize with those who have been harmed wrongfully and recognize this is a much deeper problem than what is conveyed on the news. The media spin seems to point the finger at a political party, at the police, or other groups to place blame for these acts of violence. This must stop. We must speak up and act in love to reach the lost and keep each other safe from any evil action.
The Global Teen Challenge family mourns with those who are mourning, pray for the suffering, and stand for human rights of all mankind – every culture, every race, every nation. I believe all injustices need to be named and confronted, but with love and Christ like action.
We must not grow tired of doing good for one another. We are promoters of faith, providers of hope, and committed to be people of love.
“Jesus loves the little children;
All the children in the world;
Red and yellow, black and white;
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world."
Jerry Nance, PhD
Global Teen Challenge