Sunday, May 19

Illinois pastor urges amid today’s evils, ‘Make America love again’

Verses from the First Letter of John are believed to have been written by John the apostle.

They offer key lessons about love, the “remedy for evil,” Pastor James Ward of Illinois told Fox News Digital in remarks this week.

Ward is pastor of INSIGHT Church near Chicago and the author of the book “Zero Victim: Overcoming Injustice With a New Attitude.” 

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The purpose of John’s messaging is to “combat certain false ideas, especially about Jesus — and to deepen the spiritual and social awareness of the Christian community,” noted Biblegateway, a Christian website. 

Ward shared his reflections on three relevant Bible passages.

These three are from the First Letter of John:

“Evil is real,” Ward told Fox News Digital. 

“Whether you consider yourself to be religious or non-religious, the reports we hear every day concerning violence is disheartening to us all,” said Pastor Ward. “That’s because evil is not a religious problem, it’s a human problem.”

Evil has the power to both unify and divide people, said Ward, noting that “we can easily unify concerning the existence of evil, while remaining divided concerning how we should respond to it.” 

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He said, “I believe it’s time to call the American people back to individual responsibility to love, and to call our attention back to God’s Word,” he said. “The Bible clearly explains the origin and nature of evil, and the remedy for evil, which is love.” 

The verses found in the First Letter of John “reveal three actions we can all take to allow God to work through us to stop the force of evil and demonstrate His love,” he said. 

The first of these, he says, is to “believe in love.” 

“Just before a plane takes off, the flight attendants advise the passengers to secure their oxygen mask first before helping others in the event of an emergency,” said Ward.

Similarly, he said, a person “must first know that God is love and believe the love that God has for you.” 

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Only then, after believing in the love God has for someone, are people able to share this love with others. 

The next is a reminder to “be loved,” said Ward.

“It’s not enough to just know that God is love and believe God’s love. You must receive God’s love personally and permit yourself to be loved by God,” he said. 

Evil, Ward said, has the ability to make a person feel as though they are “unlovable and not worth loving.”

“We often struggle to receive God’s forgiveness and to forgive ourselves,” he said.

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It is important to remember that God sent His Son, Jesus, to the world “to die for our sins and permanently defeat evil as proof of His love for us,” said Ward.  

The third reminder from these verses, said Ward, is to “be a lover.” 

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“After you believe God’s love and allow yourself to be loved by God, you will be adequately equipped to be a lover of other people,” he said.

“Love,” he said, can be defined as “total giving.” 

“However, you cannot give what you don’t have. I believe that there is so little love in the world today because many people have not believed and received God’s love for themselves.”

With the amount of evil currently existing in the world, “I call upon the American people to do our part,” Ward told Fox News Digital. 

“Let’s make America love again,” he said. 

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