1-LRC 70 years celebration
1-LRC 70 years celebration

Nearer Than
When We First Believed

Dr. R. Clifford Jones, President.
Lake Region Conference.

A New Commandment
One of the figures I studied about in History class was a character named Hammurabi.   Among the things Hammurabi is known for is his infamous Code of Law, which called for retribution in kind.   I am sure you have heard the statement, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”   The statement captures what Hammurabi believed, and it greatly influenced the ancient world, including the world of Jesus’ day.   Back then people lived according to the philosophy that life was a matter of getting even and saving face.
In the Sermon on the Mount, which He delivered at the start of His public ministry, Jesus took direct aim at the “eye-for-an-eye” philosophy, saying, “You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.   But I say unto you, . . . If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Matt. 5:38, 39).  Later, as His ministry was coming to an end, Jesus told His feuding disciples in the Upper Room, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love another.    By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34, 35).  
Jesus Christ not only rejected the principle of retribution and retaliation championed by Hammurabi, but Christ inaugurated a new era of love and brotherhood.   Love would be the hallmark and cornerstone of the Christian
community.   The disciples of Jesus would show themselves to be genuine followers of Him to the extent that they demonstrated love for one another.
Centuries later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also rejected the “eye-for-an-eye” principle and practice, believing and contending that the practice would leave everybody blind.
The apostle John picks up the theme of love in 1 John 3:11-18, “For this is the message you heard from the beginning: we should love one another.   Do not be like
Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. . . . We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other.   Anyone who does not
love remains in death.”
So, the question is, “How’s your love life?”   For the Christian, the answer to the question is vitally important.   How Christians love people demonstrates whether or not they truly belong to God and determines whether or not they make it to heaven.   Love verifies the discipleship of the Christian.   Our love for each other confirms that we are a part of the new community Jesus came to establish.   Love proves that we have passed from death to life.   And the love we’re called to have for one another is to be like the love that Jesus has for us.  It must be a total, all-giving , self-sacrificing love.   It must be a love that sees each other as brother and sister.  

R. Clifford Jones
Related links
Calendar of Events
Lake Region Conference-SDA celebrates 70 Years Anniversary "Still Paving the Way" - Feb 28, Sat - (Michiana) - Highland Avenue - Benton Harbor, MI  
Children's Ministries Vacation Bible School Fun Day - Camp Wagner - Mar 1, Sun
Women's Ministries International Day of Prayer - Mar 7, Sat
Pathfinder Bible Experience - LRC Camp Wagner - Mar 7, Sat
Daylight Savings Time Begins - Mar 8, Sun
Remittance Reports Due - Mar 10, Tue
Hispanic Adventist Lay Seminar (SAL) - Camp Wagner - Mar 13, Fri
CFL Sweet 16 Tournament - Mar 13, Fri
Chicagoland Community Services Federation - Mar 13, Fri
LRC Board of Education - Mar 17, Tue
Peterson Warren School Board - Mar 19, Thu
Workers' Report Due - Mar 19, Thu
Pathfinder Bible Experience - Berrien Springs, MI - Mar 20, Fri
CFL Championship Weekend - Mar 27, Fri
Illiana East Community Services Federation - Mar 27, Fri
Lake Region Conference | 8517 South State Street | Chicago, IL 60619 | Phone: 773-846-2661 | Fax: (773) 846-5309 | lrc@lakeregionsda.org