The Amish Voice 9
For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.
Let’s read that promise from God again.
This time, I would like for you to place
whenever you see a blank
For God so loved _________, that
he gave his only begotten Son, that if
_____________ believeth in him,
___________ should not perish, but
have everlasting life (go to heaven).
This is what the Bible calls being "born-
again" or "born from above." In this new
birth experience, God reveals His
amazing love to you. This miracle will
produce in you a new nature that will
allow you to love others like never
before—regardless of their response to
This new birth is an event that takes
place in the moment of time and eternity.
It is also the start of understanding and
fully receiving God’s love. Consider the
apostle Paul's prayer for the Christians in
…that ye, being rooted and grounded
in love, May be able to comprehend
with all saints what is the breadth,
and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ,
which passeth knowledge, that ye
might be filled with all the fulness of
As we experience God's love and
respond in love, we will be transformed
into His image. We will also be fulfilling
His greatest command, and that is:
love God and our neighbor as our self.
I would like to end this first part of “love
thy neighbor as thyself” by sharing a
A particular Amish community was
experiencing a lot of problems within.
Church people were arguing over this
and arguing over that. Months turned
into years, and small problems turned in
big problems. Eventually, some of the
families had enough and moved
elsewhere. And then more families
moved...and then more. At some point,
it was said that about 200 families had
moved out of this particular community.
Of course, this greatly saddened the
remaining families and led them to reach
beyond themselves for help. They
communities to come and meet with their
The big meeting day finally arrived. As
family after family arrived and parked
their buggies, they walked to an open
area where the meeting was to take
place. When everyone had found their
place, the meeting was brought to order.
Next, the wise men asked for members
of the community to share the arguments
and problems that brought so much
heartache and pain to this once active
community of Amish families.
One after the other, folks shared from
their heart. Sometimes, folks shared in
anger, other times in frustration and
confusion. Finally, the last member had
his say. For a moment, everything
became silent as they waited for the wise
men to get up and tell them where they
had failed as a community.
Jonas, one of the wise men, stood to his
feet and cleared his throat. He said,
“Friends, now listen closely; your
problem is not whether one should or
shouldn’t wear bright orange when
hunting deer, neither does having or not
having bulk milk tanks have anything to
do with all the division and anger that
has come from this community.” Jonas
waited a moment, and than continued.
“All this confusion, anger, bitterness, and
division could have easily been avoided
if you had heeded God’s command,
when He said:
Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself.”
You see, dear reader; most of our church
problems are not what they seem.
Neither are family and work problems.
In many cases, our bitterness and
divisions come from a lack of love for
God, then self, and lastly others.
In the book of Revelation, the apostle
John begins the book by writing to the
seven churches. To the Church of
Ephesus, the Lord asked John to write:
Nevertheless I have somewhat
against thee, because thou hast left
thy first love
. Remember therefore
from whence thou art fallen, and
repent, and do the first works; or
else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out
of his place, except thou repent.
In part 2, we will take some time and see
what Jesus meant, when He said,
hang all the law and the prophets.
There is none other commandment
greater than these. —Mark 12:31
more than all whole burnt
offerings and sacrifices. —Mark
But the lawyer, willing to justify
himself, said unto Jesus, And
my neighbor? —Luke 10:29
—written by Joe Keim
Loving thy neighbor...continued
from previous page