Love Your Neighbor

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New Zealand’s worst massacre outside of wartime in more than 200 years happened on Friday March 15. During a prayer hour when the largest amount of Muslims were gathered to pray. Shooters attacked two Mosques killing at least 49 people and wounding dozens of others. One shooter was arrested who described himself as “anti- Immigrant”, and a white Australian. In times of such loss we must raise up in prayer the family members of those who were killed in this hate crime. We should also pray for the perpetrators of the crime who are clearly outside of the Kingdom of Heaven. For a Saul to Paul conversion that the sinners might become saints. In times like these we pray for the outside parties but how often do we pause and consider our own hearts?

The majority of us would never even consider opening fire on a group of people, but Jesus identifies anger as the gateway to murder and says whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of judgment (Matt 5:22).
We should keep this in mind when we see events happening around us that are expressing hate. In order to stay in a place of loving our neighbor, we mustn’t give room in our hearts to anger or hate. We want to also warn you, our readers, to be careful not to believe this false narrative that Christians ‘hate’ Muslims. When in fact, Christians are called to love, even when we are mistreated, critizied, and persecuted. We must guard our hearts from fear, anger and hate, which the media will attempt to use this event to sell this narrative to the world.

How can we breed love inside and not give into these false narratives? How can we contagiously distrubute the love of God in the midst of a hate-filled world? The answer to these questions can be seen in two ways, first let us look at what the Bible says love is.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.”

— 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

If we are to truly love our neighbor we must know what real love looks like, and this verse is a great place to see it clearly spelled out. Simply put love does not seek its own safety, or comfort, or protection. While this verse is a wonderful place to see what love is our ultimate example of love is God, as the Word says God is love.
Therefore in order to fully understand love we must look to God who is love itself and in order to look at God we must see the life and teachings of Jesus, as He is God manifest. Looking at the life of Jesus in the Gospels we see that He loved us to the end, even to death on a cross.

If we love our Muslim neighbors how can we show them? How can we show the world that we are not scared of them, nor do we hate them, but that we in fact love them? One of the simplest ways is simply by being a friend. Bring them a dessert or meal (pork free) to say hello, invite them over for tea or coffee. Try to demonstrate to them the love of God through your actions and your generosity. At the end of the day you treat them the same you would treat any of your neighbors, you love them when the opportunity is present and you keep them in your prayers.

At GCM we want to encourage you to show God’s love to Muslims in your life. Ask the Lord to show you Muslims in your neighborhood and workplace and to give you favor in their eyes. Begin looking for opportunities to share God’s love today.

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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”