Sunday, October 8, 2017
Love deeply, from the heart.
That’s what Peter tells the early Christians in his first letter. It’s a common theme from the time Jesus first began His ministry. But the apostles reminded the same folks who knew Jesus first-hand… who had received the gift of the Holy Spirit…who were fairly mature in their faith to do the Christian thing and: love from the heart.
Here’s what Peter was trying to make clear:
1. There are “loves” that is NOT rooted in the heart. It’s more affection for someone or perhaps a sentimental appreciation for someone. But Peter here is talking about a deeper love that we must have for one another as new men and women in Jesus Christ——one that is bolder, sincere and everlasting.
2. There’s a need to be reminded to act in love. Why? Because Christians are always forgetting the important things like this!!! That’s one reason we should be a part of a church. Not to be “re-saved” or “re-redeemed” each week, but to be reminded and challenged about essential Christian living.
3. It’s not possible to follow through with this kind of love—to all people, on your own strength—-you’ve got to receive power from somewhere outside and greater than yourself. There are some people I am naturally at odds with and it is not easy for me to love them. That’s the sad truth. Sometimes I simply won’t “feel” like loving the ones He’s placed in my path to love. They’re annoying, immature, ungrateful, unsophisticated, bad-mannered, politically lost in space, irrational, and so forth. They’re not lovable in their present condition, and so I am not inclined to have a very deep love for them—-and I know it. But that’s the very time, the most important time!, to call upon the Holy Spirit to help me love him or her through “Him”! We are vessels for His love, and that love is to be communicated to the lovely and the unlovely. We’re not supposed to discriminate.
But why do hold back this love for each other—even to those we find no fault with? C.S. Lewis said that, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
He went on to say that, “Friendship (love) is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
For our churches and Christian camps to survive, thrive and be the proper bride of Jesus Christ, we must love one another—-from the heart—-especially those that are hard to love.
He will fill our cup to overflowing. Amen