Jackie DeShannon set a prayer to music in her 1965 hit “What the World Needs Now is Love.” It may have seemed presumptuous for Jackie to lecture God on the world’s great need; however, she did turn to the best source to find true love — God. “God is love.”
Love is needed now as much as ever. More love is needed in marriages and families, in schools and workplaces, in race relations and foreign relations. We could all use a little more love.
Evangelist Cecil Todd puts it this way, “The heart of the problem is a problem of the heart.” Hearts filled with anger, bitterness, hatred and greed need to be changed.
In Christ, we are changed. We are made new. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” When we experience God’s love and forgiveness, we become more loving and forgiving.
John puts it this way, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
A change of heart is manifest by a change of talk and walk. Jesus said, “The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart.” His teaching reminds us to love one another and to treat others the way we want to be treated. If our hearts are right, we will follow our Lord’s example and consider others more important than ourselves. We will be more loving.
Jesus taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.” We have been reconciled and have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Peacemakers know a thing or two about love and forgiveness. Peacemakers watch their words. Their words build up and edify. They do not use unwholesome words that tear down or devour others. They’re peacemakers, not piece-makers. They build bridges and not walls. They demonstrate the love of Christ and lead others into the kingdom of God. Peacemakers know what the world needs now is love ... and they know who He is!
Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.