With a fresh mind and rested body, I’ve been enjoying this Saturday morning and getting some much needed refreshment for my soul. Eventually, I found some time to visit some of my favorite blogs and on one, a friend was highlighting the quote
“Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
He then found a fuller poem by C.T. Studd and that name took me back to thinking about some sobering thoughts I’ve sat with previously.
I’m trying to better understand what ‘love’ is and what it looks like. I’m referring to the ‘genuine love’ Paul speaks of in Romans 12 and the ‘genuine love’ Paul shows toward Barnabas and John-Mark in Acts 15. I’m considering the ‘genuine love’ with which Paul routinely delivers strong rebuke in his letters to the churches and the same ‘genuine love’ that he communicates in 1 Thessalonians 2:7, “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.”
A pastor-friend, seeing my struggle, recently directed me to hear God’s word in 1 Peter 4, which speaks of being stewards of God’s grace… v7-8, ” The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” Above all…. Love one another deeply… this love leads to ready forgiveness and abundant grace.
I am left with the impression that the saints who have gone before us weren’t as ‘soft’ and ‘sensitive’ as we seem to be in the church today… maybe some were… but when I hear the words of a C. T. Studd, and many others, this picture of genuine love… biblical love seems much different than what is being preached and demanded today.
One one hand, some of us do seem too quick to judge or too impatient to get where we think we need to be and so we mistreat our brothers; and on the other hand, the namby-pamby conscientious-objectors to the normal Christian life demand that we simply must all agree to get along… and I would add, at the cost of the Gospel. It is just another version of ‘cheap grace’.
This is one of many struggles I need to trust God with, even as I also take encouragement from godly brothers today and from the past. May these two video messages with bolstering words from C. T. Studd challenge and encourage you as well.