Message for September 15 - True Love is Tough

Hello loved ones.  I hope you know that you are.  God loves you and so do we.  It was great to see everyone for our homecoming celebration last Sunday!  It was a special time.  Some have moved on to other things and some just haven’t been around in a while.  To the old friends we pray God’s blessing on you and thank you for coming back to see us.  The rest of you, get back here!  We love you and want to see more of you.

Priscilla taught the Sunday School and urged us to overcome sin in our lives by the grace of God.  Pastor Jay gave us a thorough lesson on humility from Philippians, chapter two.  We wrapped up the day with fun and good food.  I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year and reporting on all the good things God shows us in the year ahead.

It seems the third Sunday really came up fast this month.  It’s been a busy week at work and we have commitments to keep, but God gave me this message a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing takes Him by surprise.  Our society teaches us to tolerate just about anything.  Not only are we to tolerate it, but we are to embrace it.  This attitude has crept into our churches.  In the genuine desire to show love and acceptance to all, we look the other way in the presence of sinful behavior.

Is that what Jesus meant by not judging?  What do we think of parents who do that with their children?  What kind of children do they usually turn out to be?  We are supposed to love the sinner.  We were all sinners saved by His blood and we still fight the battles.  Church should be a place where the sinner is welcome, but it should never be a place where sin is condoned.  That is going to make sinners uncomfortable at times.  They may respond by repenting or they may run away.  We must not be afraid to speak the truth.

When we look the other way in the presence of sin, we are not acting in love.  It’s possible for our hearts to be in the right place, but our actions are out of step with our motivation.  If you saw a child about to go into traffic, would you turn away because you don’t want to judge him for his choices?  Sometimes our motives are not so pure.  We don’t want to get involved.  We don’t want to make trouble or put ourselves at risk.  We’d never admit it, but our actions suggest we’d rather the child get run over than risk getting run over ourselves.  We can’t claim to be a loving church unless we’re willing to do the tough things that love sometimes requires.

11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work? (Prov 24:11-12 NASB)

I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday.  Linda will have the Sunday School lesson and we’ll enjoy the word and fellowship together.  Be loved, be blessed, and be a blessing.

 


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