A major worldwide concern in our day is terrorism.  Given the fact that there is so much fear about this issue, you could say that terrorists have succeeded in their objective of creating terror.  This is indeed a sad state of affairs.  What we are in desperate need of, is lovists.

As far as I know, I am creating the word lovists.  Lovists are people who demonstrate and engender love.  This kind of love can only come from God who is love and fills people with love.  Love is more powerful than fear.  Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).  This is the best way to defeat and overcome terrorism.  Romans 12:20-21 tells us, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Saul of Tarsus was a violent and feared terrorist. God transformed Saul into one of the greatest missionaries of all time, the Apostle Paul. God is similarly redeeming some terrorists in our day and calling them to serve as His ambassadors. Many of the same characteristics the enemy intends for evil can be turned to advance the Kingdom of God. Those who are forgiven much, love much (Luke 7:47), therefore such people serve the Lord with great fervor.

We should look for opportunities to turn remarkably evil people to the Lord. Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:13). We should also look for people who have similar characteristics to people who are notable terrorists and consider if they could be equipped to be fruitful servants of the Kingdom of God. There are several characteristics of successful terrorists that are also helpful for those who want to multiply fruit in the Kingdom.

  • They tend to be quiet personalities. This helps them develop rather than overshadow others whom they are mentoring. This leads to a multiplication of leaders and laborers.
  • They keep their word. This gives them greater authority because people come to trust them.
  • They control their anger. This helps them act with intentionality rather than blindly lashing out.
  • They are people of self-discipline. This causes people to respect them.
  • They seek out mentors. They are learners.
  • They are daring risk-takers. This demonstrates their commitment to the cause.
  • They are driven and have a constant and strong sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo.
  • They are willing to “go it alone” if necessary, but seek out others who are similarly committed.

“The people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” (Luke 16:8b) We could learn a lot from how terrorists spread their ideology. Their use of the internet, social media, training materials, video, ideological writings, personal recruitment, training camps, focus on equipping, and calls to action and sacrifice are all wonderful models for citizens of the Kingdom of God. We should be creatively using those same tactics to advance the message of love in service of the God of love.

Lovists have a manifesto in the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapters 5-7.  If you don’t have that memorized, read it again. That is truly a revolutionary message. That is a creed deserving our full commitment. Living in that way is a challenge worthy of our full devotion. Jesus is a King who is worthy of everything we have and everything we are: heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Let’s be lovists who effectively advance an agenda of loving God completely and loving others as we love ourselves. Let’s spread that message. Let’s multiply lovists by equipping others to do the same.

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