you owe someone

August 2, 2016

Treasure after

A Roman nobleman died, leaving enormous debts that he had successfully concealed during his lifetime. When the estate was put up for auction, Caesar Augustus instructed his agent to buy the man’s pillow. When some expressed surprise at the order, he explained, “That pillow must be particularly conducive to sleep, if its late owner, in spite of all his debts, could sleep on it.” (The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, ed. by Clifton Fadiman [Little, Brown and Company, p. 28)

 

 

Debt creates pressure and no one likes pressure. But there is one debt that you will always owe and never be able to pay off fully: The debt of love to others. You’ll never reach the place where you can say, “Now I love others as much as I ought to.” And so, no matter how long you’ve been a Christian and how much you have grown as a Christian, you still have room to grow in love.

 

The biblical emphasis on love is not exactly minor or infrequent! Jesus said that love is the distinguishing mark of His followers (John 13:34-35): “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.” In case they missed it, in the same discourse He added (John 15:12), “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” Then, in case they missed it again, five verses later He repeated (John 15:17), “This I command you, that you love one another.”

 

The apostle Paul frequently hammered on the same note. He said (Rom. 12:9, 10), “Let love be without hypocrisy…. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” Again (1 Cor. 16:14), “Let all that you do be done in love.” In the same vein as our text, he wrote (Gal. 5:14), “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” He told the Ephesians (5:2), “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us ….” He wrote to the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 4:9), “Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another ….” And, of course, he wrote the great love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. In addition, in Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 & 2 John there are repeated commands to love one another (Heb. 10:24; 13:1; James 2:8; 1 Pet. 1:22; 4:8; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7-21; 2 John 5).

 

The revival preacher, Jonathan Edwards, in trying to determine the reality of the many professions of faith that were made during the First Great Awakening, put love at the top of the list for determining whether someone’s faith was genuine. He believed “that evidences of love (or their absence) were the best test by which ‘Christians may try their experience whether it be real Christian experience’” (George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life [Yale University Press], p. 190).

 

Would you pass the test? Or, more importantly, would your family or those you live with say, “Yes, he (or she) is a loving person”? Granted, it’s a lifelong growth process and we all often fail to love as we ought. But love should be your diligent focus and over time there should be progress.

 

so have you ever thought of love as a debt? that you actually owe someone your love?

 

you better pay up!

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for Paul and that God would heal him, otherwise the circumstances are bleak

Pray for Paul C, out of sight but not out from God’s watchful eye

Pray for Steve B. 87 and going on his first date this Friday after 41 years a bachelor. Vonnie is a young 84 and is just excited. She’s says “she going all out for this date”.

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