Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
No, we didn’t have a fight at Stonepoint today! But we did talk about being Fit to Fight and about what love really is. It was a pretty amazing Sunday morning for me as they all seem to be.
Just to recap a few things, the key verse of the day was Deuteronomy 6:5–You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.
Then Pastor Brandon talked about what love was not. there were three points:
1. Love is developed from chance.
2. Love is sensual.
3. Love is an uncontrollable force.
These three myths are not true of Biblical love. Love is not something that happens by chance. It happens as a matter of the will. More on that later. Also, if love is based just on just sensuality, there is little hope for a couple to survive over the long haul. Yes, Biblical love is both sensual and emotional, but these are not the starting point. Finally, if love is an uncontrollable force, then if one person in the marriage no longer feels they love their spouse, they can just leave. None of these three myths are what God has in mind when He talks about love.
There are also three truths about love:
1. Love is a choice–it is a matter of our will. We first make a choice to love and feelings will follow. A long time ago I read a book entitled, The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life by Hannah Whithall Smith. If my mind serves me right Hannah Whithall Smith was a Quaker and she wrote the book in the 1800’s. The premise of the book was that the Christian life is lived in the will. Think about that. We all make choices in life. Since we have NEW LIFE IN CHRIST we have the capacity to make decisions that will please God or please ourselves. That is where the will comes in and determines which way we will choose.
2. Love doesn’t wane–1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love bears all things. This means that when things are good or bad, love remains consistent.
3. Love is eternal–Again from 1 Corinthians 13:7, it says that love endures all things. Again, whether things are going well, or going bad, love love goes on.
I know these last three truths smack against the culture of the world we live in. One thing I have learned over the past few years is this. If I am going to be a true Christian and be a Christ follower, I am going to go against the stream of our society. We might as well face this and decide now who we are going to follow, our society or God. We cannot afford to live on both sides of the fence. Sadly, I must confess to you I did that for years.
I started going through the Bible again, as I usually do, at the beginning of 2016. Today I happen to be reading in John chapter 13. This chapter and the two after, are a discussion Jesus had with his disciples just before his crucifixion. A good part of the dialog is about love. Here are a few things I learned today about God’s love for us.
The first thing that struck me was that the chapter starts out by saying that Jesus, knowing that His time had come, that He would leave the world and go back to the Father, that He loved His own that were in the world, and that He loved them until the end (See John 13:1). He then went on to demonstrate His love for them by taking the place of a servant and washing the disciples feet. Chapter 13 ends with Jesus giving the disciples a commandment in verses 34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as i have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Now, here’s the point. How can we love the Body of Christ if we can’t even love our own spouses and children? There are plenty of evidences of the Body biting and devouring each other today, both in our homes and in the church. Sadly, it gives the world more reason to laugh at us and even to hate us and call us hypocrites. What is it going to take for the us to overcome this? I think as Pastor Brandon has mentioned, it must begin in our homes with our spouses and children.
I pray that this series will spur us on to fight. Not fight with each other but for each other. May we fall at our Lord’s feet in humility and confession and come up renewed in our spirits and Fit to Fight!!! I hope we come back next week for the next segment.