Friday, February 13, 2009

L.O.L. - Two Sides of the Same Coin

As we continue to learn how to “Love Out Loud” from First Corinthians 13, verse five teaches that love is not provoked . The word describes sudden outbursts (1 Corinthians 6:1-11; exemplified by Jesus in 1 Peter 2:21-24). This describes a person who is not always ready to argue or fight over the drop of a hat. I have found many Christians who seem to love a good fight or argument. In fact, I think we are often more guilty of this infraction than the world is. The Bible teaches just the opposite. We are to seek to live at peace with all men. Why is it that there are so many in the church who are always up for a good controversy?

The final characteristic of love as seen in verse five is a huge one. Love does not take into account a wrong suffered. This was a book-keeping term describing writing in a ledger and describes a person who will not keep a mental record of what you have done wrong to use against you as a weapon. That is such a problem. We tend to store away in the memory banks of our minds every infraction that has happened to us and then we bring it up at the most inappropriate times to use it as a weapon against the guilty party. When will we get past the little phrase we were taught growing up…“forgiveness is to forgive and forget.” Not only is that phrase not seen anywhere in Scripture, it is not even possible. I can remember every time someone wronged me…especially the big hurts. Forgiveness doesn’t mean I forget. Forgiveness means that even when I remember and feel like bringing the situation back up to use it as a weapon, I choose not to do so. That’s forgiveness. That is Biblical love. By the way, this same word describes how God forgives us (Romans 4:7-8).

Verse six brings us the next two characteristics of real, Biblical love. These two aspects are inseparable. These go together like peanut butter and jelly; Like Laurel and Hardy; Like the Lone Ranger and Tonto; Like Batman and Robin; Like Penn State Football and mediocrity (sorry, I know that wasn't very loving but I couldn’t resist). These are like the two sides of the same coin. On one side, love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. Unrighteousness refers to sin. Rejoicing in unrighteousness can happen in several ways. It happens when we enjoy our own sin (2 Thessalonians 2:12). It happens when we brag about our own sin (1 Corinthians 5:1-2). It happens when we laugh at the sin of others (Romans 1:32). True Biblical love does not want to see sin in your life.

Instead, love rejoices with the truth. This is the flip-side of love not rejoicing in unrighteousness. This is not rejoicing in any truth but in “the” truth which is the truth of God’s Word (2 John 6). If I love you, I want to see you obey God’s Word. If I love you, I want to see you become more like Jesus. If I love you, I want to see you grow spiritually. If I love you, your spiritual health is more important to me than any other aspect of your life. These two characteristics together show us that real, Biblical love is a love that cares about your spiritual condition. Answer this question, “Who has touched your life in way that has resulted in your being more like Jesus?” Whatever names you associate with the answer to that question are also people who really love you.


Anonymous said...

For as forgetful souls that we are; names, faces, birthdays, anniversaries, a spouses kiss, even GOD, but we can't forget sins /injustice toward us.

And shamefully, GOD, in his word, has to remind us to remember Him.(I Chorinthians 11:24, Psalm 103:2, Ecclesiastes 12:1)

But there is One who forgives sins AND forgets sins; GOD.

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34 & Hebrews 8:12

That's seems hard to believe when we consider the omniscient (all knowing and all seeing)eye and mind of GOD.

Trusting and believing in Jesus we have no need to continue to worry and fret over the embarrassment and shamefulness of our sin when we stand before GOD.

Consider that day when Satan smuggly tries to rub Pastor Scott's sin under Jesus' nose; "Hey, hey, what about Scott's sin, a Pastor, no less; what about his sin?" and Jesus will shrug his shoulders and reply, "I don't remember any." (and that's a period NOT a question mark)

But GOD will NOT forget the goodness we do or the blessing we bestow on our fellow mankind; and when we are fit to be tied, suffering, tired or feeling all alone, GOD does not forget us, he ALWAYS remembers his children; he remembered Jonah, in the whales belly, he remembered food for Elijah, he remembered Noah in the flood, and he remembers each one us. Praise the Lord!
Aren't we blessed to have such forgiving, forgetting, remembering, and loving God?
Hey, it's almost Feb. 14, listen carefully, don't here Jesus saying, "Won't you be my Valentine?"

A Nony Mous

Anonymous said...

Pastor Scott, You have touched my life in a way that- hopefully people
see me being more like Jesus. You do it by passionately teaching the word with no holds barred even though
sometimes it hurts to see how far there is to go to live how Jesus wants me to live. Also Dr. Young
did too because he too was a great teacher of the scripture. Another major influence has been a girl friend-that's why "Girlfriends at Grace" can be such a blessing. And the interesting way that she does it is through questions not condemning statements-just like
you-Pastor Scott reminded us Jesus did so many times- answered a question with a question. Thanks
Pastor Scott for getting up each day and making a commitment to teaching us the word of God. Don't ever give up. We love you!

Pastor Scott said...

WOW, Anonymous! Thank you so much for the wonderful and genuine encouragement. You have made my Monday!