Love of God
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Tonight as you turn to 1 Thessalonians 2:8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (NIV). Let’s contrast that love with the world it came into:
‘‘I am entering upon the history of a period rich in disaster, gloomy with wars, rent with seditions; nay savage in its very hours of peace. Four emperors perished by the sword; there were three civil wars; there were more with foreigners, and some had the character of both at once ... Rome wasted by fires; its oldest temples burned; the very capitol set in flames by Roman hands; the defilement of sacred rites; adultery in high places; the sea crowded with exiles; island rocks drenched with murder; yet wilder was the frenzy in Rome; nobility, wealth, h e refusal of office, its acceptance, everything was a crime, and virtue was the surest way to ruin. Nor were the rewards of the informers less odious than their deeds. One found his spoils in a priesthood or a consulate; another in a provincial governorship, another behind the throne. All was one delirium of hate and terror; slaves were bribed to betray their masters, freedmen their patrons; and he who had no foe was betrayed by his friend.’’ (Tacitus: Histories I, 2)
Why did Christianity conquer the pagan world? Because God is love. And those who love are born of God and know God !
Love bears all hurts, wounds, sins and disappointments; covers them with a blanket of silence and feels sympathetic, redemptive and even bears the pain. Love believes the best about people, is never cynical, is never suspicious -- in spite of the way it is being wounded. And when love’s believing is betrayed, love turns to hope because God is still God and He can do anything. And even when hope grows thin and all hope seems lost, love endures. It endures deep hurt that seems so final, never losing the triumphant confidence that ...
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