God is Love, But Love is Not God

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photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mightyboybrian/4170882309/">MightyBoyBrian</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

The word love is thrown around to describe affection for so many things.  I often find myself telling someone I LOVE their outfit or hair, that workout, sports team, style of house or car, or maybe even a certain vacation spot.  When I transition to my affection toward my mom or dad, grandparents, friends, husband, children, or a close friend, my love reaches to a deeper place.

Jesus’ unconditional love took me still deeper.  An undiscovered love ignited my heart with different  fervor.  I wanted everyone to experience Jesus, but not everyone shared my passion and the internal conflict was frustrating.  I couldn’t understand their apathy, and my compassion transitioned into two unhealthy tendencies.  Maybe you will find these familiar.

1.    I believed their salvation was about me.

In this lie, we believe we have to convince people to know Jesus.  If we can’t SAVE them, we’ve failed. 

This is not true.  The truth is their salvation is all about what Jesus did for them, and continues to do in them.  Neither you nor I are their Savior.  We are called to live and speak about Jesus, but the responsibility of their salvation rests on His shoulders.  Jesus loves them more than you or I ever could.  If he loved us into His arms, he is capable of drawing our loved ones as well.

2.    Their Salvation is about Them.

Imagine with me that someone you love claims to be a Christ follower.  But in your time together you notice, they have a habit of getting drunk, or maybe they are in an adulterous relationship, or possibly they lie and slander everyone they come in contact with.  It would be tempting to change our beliefs about sin to make them feel more accepted by God.  In other words, because they claim to be a believer, and seem to be fine with their sin, we conceed that their behavior is okay with Jesus because they love claim to be a Christ follower. 

But, let me ask, “Does the fact that you love Jesus and you love them change the fact that they are in sin?  Does the fact that they love Jesus change the fact that they are disobedient to his commands?”

No.

We are tempted to change the way we see God’s law because it’s more comfortable to accept our loved ones’ behavior than love them as they live in conflict with our convictions.

It’s hard to love someone living in sin.  But, the fact that it tears us apart emotionally doesn’t make their sin no longer a sin. 

Sin is sin and God is God.  When we love our sin more than God, He doesn’t redefine righteousness, he redeems our unrighteousness.  He uncomfortably loved us to the point of torture and death.

While it’s become trendy to deny sin as sin in an effort to reach people far from Jesus, this is not biblical.  The gospel of Jesus defeats sin.  This new “trendy gospel” preaches love is god.  When love is god, a person’s desire to be loved and accepted is greater than their need of redemption and justification. 

This is heresy. 

God is not glorified when we steal power from the full gospel.  In this trendy culture of tolerance, we must determine to trust Jesus’ gospel, which conquers and does not condone sin.  May Jesus give us strength, wisdom and faith! 

 

Tangible Take-Away:

·       Read Mark 4:22-29.  What two actions does the man do in the parable?

·       Look at verses 28-29:  Did the man make the seed grow? How did it grow? 

·       Consider this, if we scatter and reap, who is responsible for making the seeds we scatter grow?

 

Offer It Up:

Jesus, we it’s hard not to be influenced by feelings of emotional acceptance.  We want those close to us to love us and feel loved by us.  But, sometimes the gospel is convicting and conflicting.  Help us to stay true to your word when our emotional response is to be frustrated or compromise.  We are your children.  Keep us on the narrow road. 

© 2014 by Sharie King.  All rights reserved.

Sweet Tweet:

·       In this trendy culture of tolerance, we must determine to trust Jesus’ gospel, which conquers and does not condone sin.

·       If Jesus loved us into His arms, he is capable of drawing our loved ones as well.

·       When we love our sin more than God, He doesn’t redefine righteousness, he redeems our unrighteousness.