For God So Loved
This is absolutely one of the most loved and well-known texts. Love. What a word, what a thought, and I might add - what a misunderstood concept. The word love is used in so many different situations today that its meaning has become somewhat diluted and even compromised. Today's most popular concept seems to be described by these two terms: empower and affirm. We are to empower those we love to do 'whatever they want' and whatever they do, we are to 'affirm' them.
Allow me a personal story. When I became your pastor, our precious daughter had been through several years of rebellion and sickness. Her actions led her to the place where she was unmarried and pregnant. God used that pregnancy to awaken her to the direction her life had taken which were driven by the bad and unholy decisions she had made. Because of our years together, Christy knew that her mom and I love her deeply. She knew that our love would never stop. But she also knew, that we would NOT, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, empower her to continue this lifestyle. This was a critical issue. Love doesn't affirm sin, it doesn't empower to sin, and it doesn't turn a blind eye to sin. Love wants the best. Love sometimes demand a change. Love is sometimes hard because love sometimes has to walk away. James Dobson calls this 'tough love.' When I think back to those days when as mom and dad, we had to stand firm - we had already charted the course by doing our best to be consistent in our lives, our training, and our principles. Today, we both regularly thank God for the godly woman/mother/wife our daughter has turned to be. She is not perfect, but because of God's application of love - firm, yet compassionate, when she was faced with life's hard decision, she knew she could count on us. We would help her do better, but out of our love for her, we could not and would not support her self-destruction.
In my heart, this perfectly describes God's love for us. We are ...
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