I’m not particularly fond of many of the current television shows offered
by the major broadcast networks. There’s simply too much senseless
violence, profanity, and immorality. And don’t even get me started on
those reality and “talent” shows! Lately, I’ve been delighted to discover
that some classic T.V. series are now available through cable and the
internet. The other day, I watched part of a “Kojak” episode. That show
was a few years before my time but I’m sure many of you remember the
series. The title character was a bald New York police detective with a
fondness for lollipops. Like many T.V. characters of that era, Kojak had
a “catch phrase” that he said in almost every episode. His catch phrase
was a simple, four-word question … “who loves ya, baby?”
As I reminisced about that catch phrase, I realized that there are
probably many people in our world who wonder if anybody loves them.
Certainly we can think about those who live under oppression in countries
like North Korea, Iran, and Cuba. Our minds may also turn to orphans or
victims of abuse and violent crimes. But there are people in our own
communities and neighborhoods who wonder if anybody loves them. They may
seem to have everything under control. They have jobs, nice homes and food
to eat. They drive cars, wear nice clothes and have money in the bank.
They even take vacations, enjoy shopping and dining out in restaurants.
But those things can’t take the place of love and they wonder if anybody
really loves them.
We know that God loves them. He tells us so in the Bible. We know that
Jesus loves them and demonstrated that love when He died on the cross. But
there’s another group of people who should love them … all of us. Eight
times in God’s Word we are told to love our neighbor. It’s one of the
Bible’s most repeated commands. Loving your neighbor is the opposite of
selfishness. Whether they appreciate you, or respond to your love, Jesus’s
command is still valid: You must show love to your neighbor in a practical
way. When Jesus was asked by someone who His neighbor was (Luke 10:29), He
responded by telling the story of the good Samaritan — who helped a
stranger in need by the roadside. Then, in verse 37, Jesus told the man to
go and do like the good Samaritan.
A neighbor is someone who is near-by wherever you are. When is the last
time you reached out in love to someone in your community? When is the last
time you made a point to let a neighbor know that you love them? If we
were to ask them, “who loves you, baby?” would they know that we love them
and more importantly that God loves them enough to offer salvation through
His son Jesus!
God Bless You,