“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV). It’s not enough that some people want to sin and ignore the love of God, but many, it seems, want to condemn any who express concern for their souls. Jesus said, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7 NKJV). Christians should follow Jesus’ example and show compassion on sinners, to “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 23 NKJV). Concern is not condemnation.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
What kind of love does God have toward us?
On one occasion, Paul described God’s love like this:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,” (Ephesians 2:4)
According to the context, even before we were saved God had (and by default still does) a great love for us – a love too large to express in words alone.
Read Ephesians 2 and you will see that this great love, expressed through Jesus, was great enough to cover the multitude of our sins against God, to cover the vast distance between us and a right relationship with God, and to cover us all in the same household and family of God.
And that’s why Paul considered the love of God to be huge news for the world!
God loves you, regardless. His commands are conditions to enjoy his presence, for he is holy and whoever approaches him must be purified through obedient faith in the blood of Christ. His commands are not requirements for love. He loved you before you sinned, and after. It is his love that reaches out to you and invites you to obedience. His love comes before your obedience, not after.
Humans make behavior a condition of love. To earn love you must do this or that, or be perfect in some way. God does not do this. His commands put us in a position to receive forgiveness. His commands are themselves an expression of his love. Continue reading
Years ago, an elderly couple in a congregation whom we barely knew were often heard to say, “We just want to love everybody.” Their phrase has stuck with me across the decades.
I don’t know what they meant by it. Did they want to ignore the doctrine of Christ and be, back in that day, all-inclusive? Had they been hurt seeing some harsh attitudes in the body of Christ?
They were not prominent people in the congregation. Even their attendance may not have been as regular as one might expect. Back then, their phrase didn’t impress me much. It seemed to leave too much out. Maybe they meant to cut away beliefs or actions important to others. Maybe not.
Whatever they meant by it, they struck the right note. The Way is the path of love, if it is anything. One thing for certain, God just wants to love everybody. And not only wants, but seeks it.
God sent his Son for salvation. He sent his Spirit for transformation. He sent his Word for sanctification. All in the name of love.
Maybe that couple was on to more than I knew. Continue reading
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics that you will find:
- His Great Holiness (Mike Vestal)
- Our Great God (Cody Westbrook)
- His Great Love (Dave Rogers)
- His Great Power (John W. Moore)
- His Great Mercy (Jason Rollo)
- His Great Justice (Stephen Wiggins)
- His Great Blessings (Kris Groda)
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.
Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.
This issue is so central to the gospel and the truth, that I made a post out of it, on my personal website, and used it for a devotional today.
On the Reddit site, I linked to the prayer, “Hate the things you hate.” A person objected to the idea of God’s hate. God is love, she stated, and hate is the opposite of love. Here’s how I replied: If God is love, he cannot hate, right? Wrong!.
Why not add your reply as well, on the Reddit site? (A link to the actual conversation is in the first paragraph of the link above.) It might be helpful to clear up the lady’s confusion.
===== Thursday’s Thought For The Day (Apr. 17, 2014) =====
THINGS CHANGE — GOD DOESN’T
A family went to one of those restaurants where the walls are plastered with movie memorabilia. The grandmother went to see the hostess about reserving a table. When she returned, she found her 10-year-old granddaughter staring at a poster of Superman standing in a phone booth. She looked puzzled.
“She doesn’t know who Superman is?” she asked her husband.
“Worse,” he replied. “She doesn’t know what a phone booth is.” Continue reading