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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.

John 3:16

Let’s read that promise from God again.

This time, I would like for you to place

your name

whenever you see a blank

line. Ready?

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).

John 3:16

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

your love.

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


—Ephesians 3:17-19

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

remaining families.

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.

Revelation 2:4-5

In part 2, we will take some time and see

what Jesus meant, when He said,







hang all the law and the prophets.

—Matthew 22:40

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

who is

my neighbor? —Luke 10:29

—written by Joe Keim


Loving thy neighbor...continued

from previous page