September 12, 2008
TRUTH, LOVE, & NAPS
Yesterday, 1, 2, 3rd John and Jude spoke to me as I meditated on their wisdom. You can't help but read those letters and not be struck with the balance between truth and love.
The ultimate truth is love because God is love. The apex of our service for God is to lavishly love others in the same way that God has lavishly loved us. This love is not warm feelings or nice words, it is the gritty kind of love that gets under another person's burden and lightens the load.
It is love in tangible and visible ways that honor the ONE that is invisible. Our love for God is manifested most purely not when we sing our love songs to Him but when we sing His love songs to someone who is sick or stuck in sin.
Yet John is careful not to allow the paramount nature of love to be carelessly defined by our own imaginations of it. Not on your life! He calls us to an unequivocal commitment to doctrinal certainties which can never be diluted by appealing to our demonstrations of love. Love that is not structured by the love of the cross, the love of the person of Christ, the love of God's Word will usually degrade into some form of selfishness and ultimately it will fail the definition of saving love.
It is interesting that JUDE follows these love letters of John as it illustrates what happens when love without truth, and truth without love are allowed to fester and grow. Clouds without rain, love feasts without holiness, humility and sacrifice, these are the bitter end of divorcing love and truth.
Whoa...a little more theological than most posts....so anyway...took a LONG NAP on the boat...can you believe it? My last nap was in Kindergarten on one of those little mats. (not really) but they are few and far between and a sabbatical seemed like a great place for one. After 17 years of Sr. Pastoring it was time for a NAP.
NAPS are for KIDS silly Rabbit...but maybe not.
In my doctoral class with Richard Foster (amazing author and teacher) he said sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a NAP. I felt like that and woke up with TRUTH and LOVE filling my spirit. God was very near! So I went water-skiing and heard Him laugh....not at me but with LOVE over me!
Did tons more reading, spent time prepping for the SouthEast Atlantic Leadership Conference next weekend, talked with Lindsey and TJ on SKYPE VIDEO, watched a little "24", had some good talk time with Deb, and spent some time in prayer for the church.