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Summary: A reminder of Jesus' words that we would be known by our love one for another.

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MALICE IN WONDERLAND

I found a bizarre article in the newspaper not to long ago. It read…

“Jimmy Bivins, a heavyweight title contender during the 1940s, underwent surgery after police found him wasting away in a dark, filthy attic. Bivins, 78 years old, was discovered by police who were investigating a neglected-child complaint in a residential neighborhood.”

“Police found the 110-pound Bivins wrapped in a urine-soaked blanket stained with excrement. His body was covered with bedsores and his middle finger had a deep cut in it, apparently from trying to open a can with a fillet knife. Bivins did not know the day of the week but remembered his birth date and social security number. Bivins’ daughter and son-in-law live at the house.”

Q - Isn’t that pathetic?!!

Q - How many know that that’s not the way we’re supposed to treat family?

Anyone!! Let alone family!!

I read things like that and it makes me so mad that people could be that heartless and cold. And yet many times even in the body of Christ we’re no better!! We see people around us that are struggling… maybe spiritually sick… sometimes even spiritually dying… and we look the other way… we ignore them… and we go on with the things that are of a more immediate concern to us personally… things that we don’t have to go out of our way to take care of… and just let them slip away!! (Expound) (Good Samaritan)

Good morning.

(TEXT: 1 John 4:7 - 21)

All throughout the word of God we’re exhorted to love others. To love our neighbor… to love the brethren… even to love our enemies.

Love is the foundation stone of all that Jesus came to accomplish in the earth.

Love was the only thing strong enough to draw the Son of God from the glory of Heaven. Love was the message of the glorious gospel He preached!! And it was love that led Him to suffer and die at the hands of thankless sinners like you and I!! (Expound - all He endured)

And most of us value and appreciate the love of God… but when it comes to turning around and showing others that same kind of love unfortunately many times the body of Christ seems a far cry from what Jesus intended it to be doesn’t it?!!

I heard a story on time about a church in Kansas. It seems that in this church the piano was situated on the eastern side of the sanctuary. For some unknown reason, a group of church members were convinced that the piano would be more strategically placed if it were on the western side of the sanctuary.

After several months of debate within the church, the western party decided to take matters into it’s own hands. So late one Saturday night, several of them entered the church and moved the piano. The next morning those who wanted the piano on the eastern side were understandably upset, but could not do anything without making a scene.

The next week several members showed up early Saturday evening to move the piano back to the east. Each week after that the piano was moved several times on Saturday and early Sunday morning. Eventually, the stress of wondering who was going to move it and when became too great and the church split. Still to this day, it is told, the members of the east and west sides refuse to even speak to each other.

Another story reads… A church in the southern United States no longer exists, due in part to an incident that took place in the church kitchen one Sunday afternoon.

A new family had arrived to take part in their first pot-luck luncheon. The aroma of tuna casseroles, baked beans, and Tater-Tot dishes wafted through the building. The unsuspecting wife cheerfully brought her red gelatin salad to the kitchen, then headed back to the fellowship hall to join her family.

The moment the pastor said “Amen,” hungry parishioners politely charged for the serving line. There were dozens of dishes to sample. “Where’s our salad?” The woman’s husband asked innocently.

“There must be some mistake,” She said. “I’ll find out what happened.” She reached the kitchen door in time to witness the queen of the kitchen ladling the last of her salad into the disposal.

“What are you doing?” The newcomer shrieked. “That’s my salad!”

Without batting an eye, the woman looked up and said, “You’re new to this church. You’ll soon learn we use only real whipped cream around here, not Cool Whip.” She hit the switch. The garbage disposal rumbled and gurgled and sucked the salad down the drain.

That one incident started a significant church battle that escalated into all-out war.

God help us this morning to reflect the love of God in our church as well as out of it!!

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