2 Words in 1
Can We Love As He Loved
A thought came to me the other day, and I was hesitant to mention it. It was simply this: Are some people not going to Heaven, for not loving all of God’s children? Why would God want those kind of people there. Why would He have mansions waiting for those, who only pick and choose people they feel are deserving of their love?
Has it ever occurred to some of us, what if Jesus had felt that way; if He still did?
We can’t love everybody, in our own fleshly selves. The Spirit that resides in us, is the only thing that gives us that ability. We can talk all of the talk we want; it’s easy to say it, but another to actually act it out.
Years back, I used to tell people outside my fellowship circle, people in the world as we say it, that I loved them. I may have even been offended that they seemed not to believe that. It took a long time of my own faults and failures, before I clearly understood. They did not feel, or see, any love coming from me. It was only when people did not truly love me, that I experienced the truth.
Honestly, I don’t think many of us ever really knew what this comment was even about; how did Jesus love; and how does He love even now. Today, I don’t understand it. How could we claim so much, and not even see that, in reality, we were nothing like Jesus at all? If we ever knew, how were we not able to see that we had changed. There’s been a lot of good folk on here [on Facebook], in the past few years, talking about the church, that “left their first love.” If we did that, we could not possibly being loving the way He did.
The “Ole Time Religion,” was not just about do’s and don’ts. It was more about loving people; letting the joy of the Lord truly shine on our faces. It was a true fact, that people in the world and in our community, could see that kind of love in us. It radiated from our people like a ray of sunshine; they could tell, we had something they did not have; and they wanted it. I never thought there would be a time, when we would not love each other as we once did. People can argue that’s not true, all they want. There is that old adage we all can remember; “actions, speak louder than words.”
Jesus did not agree or condone what many people did in His time; and He still doesn’t. But it did not keep Him from fellowshipping with them; even going to their homes and spending time with them. He went where the hurting people were, and those who needed help the most; and He still does that. He went looking for people, others had not even bothered to look for. How did His actions, compare with the religious folk of that time, and those in our time. Love is one of the greatest possessions we have today. If I cannot feel that people love me, it could be, they don’t, or not as much as they profess.
I’m sorry, but you can tell, when someone loves you. Will I ever love as He did and does; likely not. But I won’t stop trying to.
Have We Been Contentious?
For many years, some of us saw things that were going on; in our heart, we knew they were not right. How did we know that? Because if we sought to live in the Spirit, and we studied for our own selves to be approved by God, certain issues did not fit with what the Spirit had been showing and teaching us. Once, in the early days of the church here, one could speak out about things, even humbly stand in the congregation and ask questions. It seems, we were all more humble then.
What is the definition of Contention? It means: (1) a struggling together in opposition; strife; conflict. (2) a striving in rivalry; competition; contest. and (3) strife in debate; dispute; controversy. Sometimes, I ask myself, why we did not hear more teaching and preaching on these issues? Why is it so hard for us to realize, that all of this debate about the things of God, is in reality, contention? Look back over these definitions; it appears, that much of what some of us saw in many of our churches, was unpure, contention.
Many of us have been around for awhile. Since some truths seem to get lost in two or three generations, God let us see and witness certain things.
I know, that many of those who are on this medium, remember well, that there were Teachers among us. They were not preachers; they were really anointed people that had been called to teach; one of the true five-fold ministries. We knew the difference. But when you phase out the office of the teacher, you suppress one of God’s information lines, to the church.
Do you know, how many times the word “contention,” is mentioned in the Bible? What about just in the New Testament? It is still hard for me to wrap my mind around something Paul wrote to the Philippian church. “Some preach even of envy and strife; the one preach Christ of contention; not sincerely” Philippians 1:15-16. Interpret that however you want, it says what it says. You see, many of us were taught to strive for perfection; and we did. However, this did not prevent us from making mistakes. There are numerous reasons, why Christ’s body, has not been perfected. Something, has prevented us.
Even the Apostles, had contention among them; and at one point, it was so sharp, they had to split up and go different ways. But I believe, they later ask one another for forgiveness, and kept going forward. Let’s remember, that “a brother offended, is harder to be won than a strong city; and their contentions, are like the bars of a castle.” James said, that confessing our faults to one another, and praying for one another, was healing. When we suppress the ministries that God put in the Church, without any doubt, we will see more and more contentions. We’re out of balance. Will we ever understand, that God had reasons, for putting certain things in the church.
~ Robert Blackburn