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No Fear in Love

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No Fear in Love

Here’s the challenge of missions. God doesn’t call us to reach only the people who are like us. He calls us to go to people we don’t like. He calls us to people we’d prefer would go away, permanently. The Biblical mandate to love the unlovely, to care about those whose lives may be repulsive to us, is very clear.

We love our neighbors, the Canadians. We’ve never been at war with the. We keep peace with those closest to us.  But Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”[1]

The overarching message of John the disciple of love was, “They will know we are Christians by our love.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” If we truly love our enemies with the love of Christ, we won’t fear them more than we love them. We won’t be driven by a desire to see them destroyed but by a desire to see them come to Jesus.

Here’s where the story of Jonah gets real for us who are trying to serve God. The ancient city of Nineveh was located in what is today Mosul, Iraq. How appropriate.

When you think of Mosul, Iraq you probably think of Islam, Sunni, radical jihadism, and worst of all. ISIS. In June 2014, ISIS took control of the city and Mosul is now one of the most dangerous places on the face of the earth. ISIS training camps are literally located right over the ruins of Nineveh, and that is a point not missed by them. They identify with the brutal Assyrians and have adopted their terroristic plan of attack!

Can you imagine God speaking to your heart today and sending you into that darkness to declare to the members of ISIS that if they don’t change their ways and turn to the true God His wrath will fall on them?

How many of us would take that assignment? We would be like Jonah and jump on a Mediterranean cruise ship and head to Spain instead!

Jonah discovered God wanted all people to receive salvation. Much like Jonah, God wants to use you and met to show others the way.

[1] Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV

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About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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