Recent Sermon post on Sermonaudio

Monday, July 16, 2007

Love is Hard

"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."
John 13:34-35

Sitting at the heart of the Christian faith is a command to love! We love Him because He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19); and we love each other because He is in us (1 Jn 4:7-8). Loving, in fact, begins within the fellowship of the church! One way to think of it is to see that both our families and our church are meant to be “nurseries of love.” That is, these are the places where we must learn how to give and receive real love!

There are differences between them, of course. Love comes quite naturally within a family – at least at first. And love tends to remain in a family unless something terrible happens to rip it apart (which is tragically all too common today). But within the church it’s different. When you first enter a new church fellowship, there is an attraction, certainly. All Christians share a common bond that draws us together in Christ. But no matter how strong that bond may be, there are other factors that tend to work against it: Different temperaments and backgrounds; different ways of thinking and doing things; different likes and dislikes. All these conspire to make loving each other hard, especially when any kind of conflict develops.

One thing I’ve come to see over the years, is that God allows believers to experience a certain amount of conflict in their relationships for a very simple reason. When there is perfect agreement between us, love doesn’t have to work very hard. It’s easy to love you when we see eye to eye on everything. But it’s when we have struggle to understand each other and have to fight to hear what the other is saying and why, that love’s muscles get their needed exercise. It’s when we begin to irritate one another just a bit, that love must be consciously practiced. That's true in your natural family, it's true in your church family as well.

I think one of the biggest mistakes believers make today is assuming, like a very foolish young husband once told me he assumed, that "Love should be easy. We shouldn't have to work at it so hard." How foolish indeed. All human love involves work -- usually hard work. It involves patience and tears and prayers, and saying "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you". It requires walking with Christ by faith, and continuing to walk with Him until something of His power to love "rubs off" on us and can be seen in us as we relate to one another. Without that real love cannot exist.

May God help us learn the practice of this Christ-like love as we continue to walk with Him.

Learning to love and be loved in Jesus!

Pastor Scott

1 comment:

Terry Delaney said...

I am afraid what the world (and many in the church) does not understand is that we are not even capable of loving one another unless we realize that God loved us first and sent His Son to die in our place so that His wrath be satisfied. Then, and only then, can we begin to show the love we thought we were showing in the first place. If we love God because He first loved us, then it seems logical that we only able to show love because He first showed us love through Jesus Christ.