We can love family as our own, or lead
them to regret our lack of loving deeds.
If we neglect our fam’, we will hear moans;
If we betray their trust, then we will groan
in fatal loss of love. Commitments must
be kept if we will keep the sacred trust
that’s borne from cradle to the grave.
Our mothers, brothers, sisters also save
our own necks many times. Above, the Father
offers us a home, a hope. We bother
not our Lord in humble prayer, thanking
Him for many gifts. He only spanks
us when we fail to share love given us
or when we fail to turn to Him in trust.
Posts Tagged With: Family
Divided Loves: Family vs. Idle Idolatry
We can love family as our own, or lead
Last week we looked at how human relationships should always have a measure of what might be called relative “hate” when compared to the Love we should have for the Lord Jesus. That is, our love for Jesus should be so strong that we are willing to strive with others for the truth. This is a loving thing to do, but some will interpret it as hateful.
There is no need to be contentious, but we should contend for the Good News of Jesus Christ.
So, then what about love, is there no such thing as love? Or, are all relationships marred by “hatred”?
Love is an attractive thing and forms when there is some kind of agreement. We should love God 100%.
This means we should always say God is right and sin is wrong. If we sin, we should love God more than our sin, and confess the truth about our sin. It is a high standard. We all fall short.
To Love God is to hate evil and to delight in wisdom that is pure. It is to do good and pursue peace.
So then, what does love look like in our human relations:
1. It is natural to agree with oneself. If we discover we have made a mistake, we should love ourselves enough to repent and turn from the evil of our hearts. It is assumed that those who are wise will love themselves in this sense. Those who are wise will not prefer themselves over all others. Indeed, the most loving thing is to put others ahead of oneself.
2. We should love our families. While family members may not always agree on everything, we should do the best we can to ensure their well-being. We should share the Good News with our families. To hide the Truth of Jesus from our families is an unloving thing. To let a family member do evil without seeking to speak to them directly about the wrong is to do them a great disservice. They may think you are hating on them when you kindly tell them that they have sinned. But in fact, correction and rebukes are signs of love. So is teaching your children to live godly lives. Training your children how to live in today’s world in a way that pleases the Lord God Almighty and yet is sustainable is a good thing. Providing for family members is a good thing and a sign of love. Those who do not love their family members are worse than unbelievers.
3. We should love one another. That is, we should love other Christians as Christ loved us. If someone identifies as belonging to Jesus, then we should come alongside them and support them and prioritize their wellbeing. In a day and age when the family of Jesus is growing rapidly as new believers are born again all around the globe every day, this could keep us busy all the time. If you find you are “witnessing” to a Christian, the goal must always be to build them up in the most holy faith and to help them draw closer to Jesus and not to be a stumbling block to any Christian unnecessarily. This is done mostly through getting acquainted with saints in your church/congregation or small group. But it should also extend to supporting the persecuted church or training believers in ministry around the world. We must not stop there though.
4. We are to love our neighbor. Jesus made it clear who our neighbor is: anyone we encounter in need, even if we do not know them or necessarily have any ethnic or national or political reason to agree with them. Loving our neighbor means breaking out of the mold and showing kindness to strangers. We must not only greet one another, we must also go to places where there are people who have yet to be greeted in the Lord’s Name. In today’s world where our neighbor may be discovered through a broadcast or website about tragedy in a distant land, the heart is called to expand to a greater degree. Whenever we learn of someone hurting, we should be sensitive enough to feel their pain. Wisdom teaches us not to focus on the problems of the world lest we become insensitized and numb in spirit. PRAY when you watch the news. Pray when you are in public, only in your heart and not for show. Pray wherever you walk. Pray while you study and read. Pray while you watch. God will lead you to your neighbors.
5. We are to love our enemies. You say, this is a tall order … HOW? Does someone offend you? Forgive them immediately and do not hold any grudge. If someone attacks you, pray for them. Do good to them. Show kindness to those who are cruel. May God’s kindness lead them to repentance. It is not enough to restrain from evil, we must bless. Do not return insult for insult. When cursed, blessed. When struck, shake hands. You do not have to invite ruin by aggravating an offended person, simply show kindness and be joyful. You cannot make everyone happy. Do not worry about that. Love anyways. If they hate you and seek to do you harm, that is their business. Bless and do not curse. Encourage them when they are down. This will not be easy. When people see you treat your enemies like this, they will call you a fool. They will say that you have lost your mind. They will say you are mindless. Keep loving. Love is foolish only to fools. Better to be an idiot in the world’s eyes and beloved of the Lord than to be rich in the world’s eyes and destitute of mercy on the last day.
Now you see why loving can seem like hating. If you love your enemies, you will seem to be hating yourself. You may end up dying as you proclaim the Good News of Jesus to the nations.
You may be rejected and poor as you apply the teachings of Jesus.
You will lose all and gain all if you follow Jesus.
In this world, you will count all as loss. In the world to come, you will lack nothing if you lack no love here. To have love, you must give love. God’s love is available to all. It is holy, pure, undefiled by sensual, sexual lust. It is innocent of evil. It is clean and enduring forever. It blazes away evil and shines in the night of wickedness. Stand, and shine the light of God’s love to the world, even the nations at the world’s ends.
For Americans, remember, to love not only America, love those who are assaulting her freedoms and love those who are attacking her people. Love your enemies and be perfect. Go to the nations. Preach the good news of the Lordship of Jesus. Stand against evil and for freedom, even if you must lose your life in the process, but there is no need to take their lives to share the sacrifice of Christ. Love is about giving life, not taking it. Celebrate the victory that is yours in Christ Jesus rather than the wars fought on domestic and foreign soil. Love your enemies.
These days everybody wants to talk about love. People act as though it is a sin to talk about hating anything or anyone.
Go to most churches on a Sunday, and you will hear the word “love” at least once. That is the way it should be.
Go to many movies, and you will hear about love, often in a more vulgar sense or almost always in a selfish sense. Sometimes you will get to see hate acted out.
Go to a stadium, and you will see love demonstrated vigorously (sometimes for no reason). But you will also see some hate (for the opposing team).
Go to a psychologist, and they will encourage you to love yourself and your family and your community. But they will put the censor on any reference to that “h” word like it is a four letter word. Well it is, but so is love … and lust. (These two “L” words are often confused by a psychologist, but we will talk about that at another time.)
If you love someone, you hate others, at least in a relative sense. If you love someone, you are drawn to him and repelled from all others. At least this is true if we are talking about the highest, deepest, and most extensive of loves.
The Love of God should fill our lives. But, we cannot love God properly, unless there is also some relative hate for all others. Jesus taught this.
Where in the Word did Jesus get the idea that we should hate?
The Psalmist says, “I hate them with a perfect hatred.”
Wait a minute, Jesus said love your enemies? There is no room for hatred if there is love, right?
The more proper question is, “Who is our first love?”
It must not be for ourselves.
It must not be for the church.
It must not be for our family.
It must not be for our spouses.
It must not be for our wealth or status.
It must not be for anyone … other than God.
The Lord is our first Love.
Shema Yisrael …
All who do not love the Lord are anathema, accursed.
Whoa, buddy! What are you doing!! Calling down curses on people?
I am simply referring to the same Holy Bible that says, “Jacob have I love, but Esau have I hated.” The Holy Spirit inspired it, and He will help us understand it, as He teaches us.
So often, you will hear people mixing up the love commands (not love command, singular, but plural.)
Our first love is for God and God alone.
NOBODY shares in the full glory of God except the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One Lord.
Muslims call such replacing the Love for God with lesser loves shirk. It is a great evil.
However, the Love of God is such that God is willing to pour out His love into our hearts. As we hate sin and even the garment stained with sin, we will be drawn to love the Lord with pure devotion.
We will humble ourselves so deeply that it will appear to be a kind of hatred. We will appeal to the God of Heaven for His mercy moment by moment, because we will know that without Him we can do nothing. This is what it is to despise oneself: to delight utterly in God.
But if we so humble ourselves, he will lift us up in due time.
To hate your wife is to put intimacy with God ahead of intimacy with your wife. This will sound weird to some, but we must kiss the Son lest He be angry in His wrath and we perish in our way.
But if we are intimate first with God and most intimate with God, then we will enjoy the times we spend with our families all the more.
Perhaps you are by now eager to hate your mother and father and sister and brother that you may get them back. I think you get the picture, your family must be formed around your identity as a child of God the Father. And if you love God, you will certainly seek to repay your debt of love to your parents and the rest of your family by sharing the Gospel with them and all that they need if you have it at all in your power to help.
However, there is more, perhaps you will be like those who only get to see their family occasionally, if at all, because they have chosen to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth to reach the nations.
Ah, you will say, the nations must be hated because they do not love the Lord, and so they must. We must never love any ethnic or pagan so much that we hide the truth from them out of a counterfeit sensitivity that leans more toward those you have gone to reach that towards the God who sent you. Yes, we must love God more than the lost.
But if you love God, you will certainly want to see His name honored among the nations. A love for God will most supremely mean that if it is your first love, you will seek to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all nations. If one group will not hear, you will go to those who will, till some from all have heeded the Hope of Heaven’s Reward: Life in Christ.
Perhaps you harbor a little hatred for your enemy, pure hatred rather than perfect hatred. I would urge you to repent and love your enemy as you know you should. You may receive no reward in this life. Don’t worry about that. Look to the joy you will have on the last day when you will have a clear conscious when you cared nothing for honor in their eyes, but cared more for the Honor of God among the wicked.
How do you honor God? Truth in love. Think, act, speak with all integrity and compassion, patiently and kindly fixing your eyes on God, the Author and Finisher of your faith, the Foundation and Goal of your hope, the one who loves you enough to send His Son to die for you and is worthy of supreme love to the end.
Prayers for Henry Beaudine
Written June 15, 2013
“I was not there today;
But, God, give grace that’s gain.
His valve should have no hole
so that his heart is full.
That wounds would heal and mend;
His blood should flow again.
That pains would go. Amen.”
June 25, 2013
I received a report last night that my nephew is eating much better. He may eventually catch up with his weight. God is clearly at work. All praise to His name.