Mid-Service Comments - Who do you love?
Please find below Adam's notes from the Mid-service comments this past Sunday. Think through these comments and read the scriptures we have been drawn to. Meditate on the word and examine your heart and pray for us to insight into our true love.
A couple of Sundays ago, I was capturing some parental guidance from a couple of men who have experience. What one of them said to me just before the service started I took to heart. He said, “it’s amazing to me what you can learn from them”. It’s amazing to me what they will teach you as you are teaching them.
I thought that was novel. And he’s right: there’s something to be gained in every experience. Something new to be learned of ourselves and of the Holy through every encounter…
Last Sunday night, I had my sons piled into our rocking chair, reading to them before going to bed, Brogan and Gillen. We’d just finished reading “Daniel and the Lion’s Den”. Of course, at the end of the story the bad guys are thrown into the lion’s den, and they are eaten up by the lions themselves. And the book is illustrated with the bad guys, and lions, and even bones. And Brogan at the end of the story asked, “why were the bad guys thrown into the lion’s den?” My very theological answer to my 2 year old son was that, “those men hated God, and God must judge sin - sin and hatred and those that do not love God cannot exist in the presence of God, so they were cast into the lion’s den”.
Now I thought was a good time to apply some spiritual truth to his own life, so I asked him, “Brogan, do you love God or hate God?” And to my surprise and to my horror, he sheepishly answered, “I hate God”. I thought perhaps he didn’t understand my question, so I asked him again, “Well Brogan, do you love God?” He again timidly said, “No daddy, I don’t love God”. So I thought I’d ask him in a different way still, “Brogan, do you love Jesus?” He said, “No daddy, I don’t love Jesus. Jesus is God”. Well he had his theology correct, but I was exasperated with his answer!
Wanting to explore this more with him, I asked Brogan, “Why don’t you love God?” His answer was what struck me, “I don’t love God because I don’t love Gillen”. And then, as though to give me further evidence that he didn’t love Gillen, and that he didn’t love God, he bent over, he grabbed Gillen’s arm, and he bit him. He bit him on the arm.
My line of questions were now over for the night. I consoled Gillen and put him to bed. There was some institution of discipline for Brogan for biting his brother. But I replayed what Brogan had said to me over and over again in my head… Brogan doesn’t love Gillen, He can’t love Gillen. Because Brogan doesn’t love God. He can't love God! Until Brogan is regenerated, until Brogan has a new heart graciously given to him by God, Brogan can’t love at all! And this is how we pray for our sons, that God would be gracious to them by granting them salvation early in life. And that He would be merciful to each of them, protecting them from the influence of the world, protecting them from sin, and from judgement.
But the question remains… “Who do you love?” Do you love God or do you hate God? If you are a believer, the Bible says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. Anyone that does not love, does not know God because God is love.”
Love is the evidence that you are “born of God”. Love is the evidence that you are a member of the body of Christ. Love for believers. Christ-like love for unbelievers as well. One who is born of God lives in love for others!
Love is caring for other members of the body. Bringing them a meal, a card of encouragement, praying for them… Love is also discipleship, biblically based confrontation - privately and publically. And biblically based discipline - privately and publically. And the motivation for our love for others is a love for God. Our motivation for love is God’s glory, and the purification of His body! And of His members. Because God is Holy.
Who do you love? You aren’t just a “group”, a “crowd”, a mere “congregation”. Sure, you are those things, but you are much more than that. You are body parts. You are members of Jesus’ body. And when we gather together as we do regularly, we are the very functioning manifestation of Christ’s body on earth.
Do you love God? Who do you love? Do you desire to see Him glorified and His body here purified? Then love Christ’s body. Love the members of His body. Encourage them, care for them, pray for themq. Confront them, discipline them, maintain a uniqueness and a purity of Christ’s body parts, and of His members.