Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

Loving the souls of others is costly. It is an endeavor of loving the unloveable, the unloved, and the loveless. Jesus’ purpose in His seeking of the lost is most assuredly the glory of God displayed in His fidelity to the Father, and His love for the souls of man. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke19:10

Phenomenal love, different from anything mankind knows, is the love of The Creator for His creation. What makes the love of God for His creation so special is that He loves the unloveable and loveless. Grace is extended to mankind when mankind not only rebelled, but lovelessly pursued their own glory apart from the Father. Even in mankind’s rebellion, God mercifully-graciously-longsufferingly pursues those whom He purposes to make His own. 

In His life lived upon the earth Jesus displayed a great love for the souls of man. John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus gave His life, for the unloveable according to the world’s standards. Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

This manner of love can only be expressed in the parables in Luke 15, verses 8–10 give a good indication of the diligence the Savior gives to those who are His, “…what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Christ’s love leads others to love like Christ. Where is your heart for the souls of mankind? Do you love the unloveable, unloved, and loveless in Christ Jesus?

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“A want of love to one another,” is a serious issue, it cannot be ignored. So many people want love, but do not have love. There are those who will do anything to get love, but fail to grasp Love. Few comprehend, it is in giving that we shall receive. The love sick masses line up for romantic tales, paltry images of feigned love-illdefined, or just lustful escapades that promise fulfillment, only to discover their love quest leaves them empty once again.

The past few blogs I have written concerning the problems that face the church. C.H. Spurgeon wrote that one of those things was a want of love to one another. Now, this is not love as the world would define it, but it is defined as God would command. It is something that our society wants with great urgency. There is a demand for love, but and unwillingness to truly seek genuine love.

Scripture communicates the necessity of love. We are to love at all times, we are to love the unlovely, we are to even love our enemy, all of which are not terribly romantic ideas. Apart from Christ these manners of love and charity are impossible.

Love is not only for those who affirm us, or whom we like, but it is also for those whom we have a mutual sharing in the things of Christ. If Christians hate each other they must question their profession of faith in Christ. In 1 John 3:14 we read, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.”

If a want of love for Christians is in a Christian’s heart, repentance is in order. A Christian’s response to this admonition is important. Some will respond with self-doubt & loathing, which is wounded pride; others are irritated with the teaching, while justifying their own actions; others fail to see their loveless hearts, denying their need, and the truth. Self-examination leading to repentance is necessary for all. Followers of Christ cannot reflect the world and its ignorance regarding love.

A quick look in the Word evidences love as a felt need of the Word. John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love…” Romans 12:10, “Love one another with brotherly affection.” Galatians 5:13, “…only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Natural man doesn’t love appropriately, if at all. Christians receive from God’s Word the call to love over and again. Leading to the maybe-not-so-obvious-need, for those whom are in Christ, to love one another.

It may be in vogue to slander the church, produce de-conversion stories, or simply blame the church for rejecting God. God’s Word beckons His children to love one another. If honesty prevails, people, all people, even Christian people, struggle to let love be genuine. A supernatural response of people is to love one another, thus in Christ, His people labor to figure love out.

Even though the natural man is constantly searching for somethings they may consider to be love. Apart from Christ this itch will never be satisfied.

Ephesians 4:15–16, “…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

Can You Be a Christian and Not Love Christians? To some the answer might be blazingly obvious. ‘No! A mark of a true believer is love for the brother, case closed.’ I mean, the epistles of the New Testament seem to continuously elevate the necessary importance of loving your brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t they?

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Can You Be a Christian and Not Love Christians? This question is more pertinent and worth a moment of your consideration than you might first assume.

In the pastoral ministry, I witness people struggle to love their brothers and sisters in Christ. Honestly, I struggle at times with loving my brothers and sisters in the Lord, as I am sure they struggle to love me. I am thankful that they struggle to love and don’t simply resign themselves to bitter distain. Nevertheless, I’m not referring to the struggle of loving our fellow Christian.

This question is for those who have no problem hating, or at least scorning, fellow followers of Christ, and yet still claim to follow Christ. Some justify their visceral reactions against the people of Christ, rather than repenting, as though their professed love for Christ is supposed to exist separately from the necessary love for his bride, the church, and her members. Please, don’t misunderstand—I’m aware that the church may hurt people or an individual Christian hurts them; heinous and awful things have been done by professing Christians, or in the name of Christ. However, not everyone crying wolf actually sees a wolf. And irrespective of crimes committed, one cannot hate his brother and love Christ at the same time. (1 John 3:10)

The gospel frees us from hate. It frees the true adherent of the gospel from harboring unforgiving-bitterness when hurt. By faith in Christ, we are free to love our brothers in Christ. The beauty of the gospel is not only that we are forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ, but also we are freed to forgive by faith in Jesus Christ. Now, mystical-magical forgiveness doesn’t pour forth from the Christian as a result of being in Christ, but the good fight of faith and striving to forgive and give, as we have been forgiven, is a badge of a true Christian.

If you love Jesus, you will love other Christians. If you love other Christians, you gather together with them. And if you gather with the church, a few things are guaranteed. First, the church is filled with sinners, which guarantees you will be sinned against. Second, you will have an opportunity to extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness to these sinners by faith in Christ. Third, if you are willing to receive grace, mercy, and forgiveness in some measure you will experience it in the body of Christ. Don’t be fooled to think you won’t sin against your brothers, as you do they will exercise grace toward you, by God’s grace if they are genuine. Fourth, you will see God in action in the midst of his bride bringing glory to his name. Fifth, none of this will be easy, but it will be worth it.

So, if you want to see God’s grace in action find a church where sinners are present, the gospel is preached, and they are imperfectly striving to attain the to the unity of faith. Entering a community like this will be hard, but it will bring you nearer to the Jesus you love.