"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Love, For Christ’s Sake!

I get tired of … no, irritated with … no, disgusted with … okay, let’s face it, loveless religion infuriates me!

Not that I practice perfect love; hardly! That’s Christ’s bailiwick. What I can do is just what He told me to do. In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
So, what if we don’t, or won’t love Jesus? 1Corinthians 16:22 says, “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather not be accursed.
And what about the few people who say they don’t believe in God at all? That’s an easy one. Israel’s King David wrote, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” (Psalm 14:1) Trouble is, the folks King David is talking about don’t even know they’re fools, but that’s pretty common for fools.
“Okay,” some will say, “I love Jesus, but there’s a bunch of people I won’t love.” The trouble with that attitude is Jesus told us what He thinks of hatred, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1John 4:20) “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” (Luke 6:27)

Godly Love is Weird

At least, that’s what it seems like for those who don’t know God. That’s because Godly love isn’t a feeling at all, and you can’t just fall in it. But even though warm feelings have nothing to do with it, loving God’s way makes you feel really good.
So, what is this thing called God’s love?
Once upon a time, there was a guy who hated Christ-followers (yes, really), and he travelled all over trying to arrest them and send them to prison. But then he met Jesus, and everything changed. He was the guy who wrote, of all things, The Love Chapter of the New Testament. So here’s God’s description of True Love:
1Corinthians 13:4-7  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  (6)  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (7)  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
It’s as simple as that; if your love is impatient or envious, arrogant or rude, it fails the test of Godly love. If you throw tantrums when you don’t get your own way, or giggle when a rival gets in trouble, you aren’t loving God’s way. In fact, God’s love puts up with a lot, trusts a lot, hopes a lot, and keeps on going even through the rough times.

Not Rocket Science

James 5:9  “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” Though it’s that simple, without Christ’s Spirit living inside, it’s completely impossible! So, first things first; let God take over, and the rest is just hard, but not impossible.

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