Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Truth Hurts

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Pro 27:6)

I just hate it when a friend tells me something I need to hear. Boy, sometimes the truth hurts. It’s much more fun to get a compliment. But sometimes when you love someone the most loving thing you can do is to speak the hard truth. Speaking the truth in love is an art few of us have mastered but all of us must practice. When I’m on the wrong track I need you to love me enough to set me straight. The world is full of insincere flatterers who will tell me what I want to hear just so they can manipulate me to their advantage. A faithful friend will wound me now to save me from greater trouble in the future.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Disputable Matters

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. (Rom 14:1)

With this statement Paul begins a long discourse on the importance of not letting disagreements interfere with our Christian unity. What are these disputable matters? Paul gives two examples. Some Christians in his day were evidently vegetarians because they thought it was morally wrong to eat meat. Others believed that Christians must keep the Jewish holy days. Contemporary examples might be drinking and going to R-rated movies. It is easy to see how such things can lead to disunity. If I see you doing something I think is wrong wouldn’t I be offended? Wouldn’t I try to convince you to stop? Before you know it we are consumed by the things that divide us and we have completely forgotten about the things that unite us. Paul warns us against that. If I have an opportunity to reason with you on these disputable matters I will. But it is far more important that I exhort you to lean in to God, to seek him with all your heart, to immerse yourself in his Word and in prayer. As we draw closer to God we automatically draw closer to each other. And, just maybe, God will one day nudge me toward the truth on a disputable matter where I have been mistaken. Lord, help us always to build each other up – to point each other to you. Remind me to keep the main thing the main thing and not let minor things sow discord among us. Amen.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

He's Just That Kind of God

I, even I am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Is 43:25)

God is under no obligation to forgive our sins. He does it because he wants to. It pleases him to do so because it is his nature to love. This thought gives me great comfort and assurance, but it also humbles me. There is nothing intrinsic in me to cause him to love me. He loves me for his sake, not mine. Lord, thank you that you do not just forgive those who earn it, or love those who deserve it. Then I would be lost for sure. You forgive the unworthy sinner who repents and love the unlovable. I praise you for your marvelous nature and character. Amen.