Posts Tagged ‘Love


Forgive Who?

On what we know as Good Friday, Jesus was crucified for the sin of the world. Luke records the scene in this way. He wrote:

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:33-34 (NIV)

While we don’t know their names or their crimes, we know that it should have been us. We could have been either the criminal on His right or His left. We should have felt the nails. We should have been left there to die for our own sins and transgressions. Yet, there is the perfect Son of God with thorns on His head and nails in His hands and feet praying to His Father, “Forgive them…” Forgive who? Forgive those who were killing Him? What love! Forgive those who were insulting Him and spitting on Him? What mercy! Forgive us who were the true source of His suffering? What grace! Jesus took our punishment when He took our place and that is what Good Friday is all about.

Keep Working

We cannot add anything to the work of Christ on the cross. Jesus truly paid it all. Peter said that we are to continually grow in our faith. He wrote:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)

These virtues are not a staircase that one climbs until they reach the top. Rather, they are characteristics of Christians that must be developed throughout a Christ-follower’s journey. It begins and ends with faith and love. Because of God’s power and His promises, we are filled with the Spirit and are to work at these virtues. This does not mean that we are saved by our efforts. Rather, it is because we are saved that we keep working at these virtues. As we grow in faith, we grow in virtue and we look more and more like Jesus.

Jesus Frees Us To Love

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Galatians 5:1-15.


Affection Toward One Another

Peter closes his first letter with two greetings, an exhortation and a blessing. He wrote:

She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ. – 1 Peter 5:13-14 (NIV)

Our relationships in the church should be rooted in love. It’s not always easy to get along with one another and sometimes we don’t feel like loving each other. Our personalities may clash and we bump into one another causing disagreements and hurt feelings. We may have times when conflict arises and we don’t feel like much of a church family. Then Peter comes along and says to greet one another with a kiss of love. Scholars aren’t exactly sure what kind of kiss it was, but they say that by the 2nd century, it was a regular part of church gatherings. If you think that the meet and greet time at church is uncomfortable now, imagine what it would be like if everyone started kissing each other! The point is that we need to love each other, even when it is hard and even when there is conflict. We’re all on the same team. We all are serving the same Master. Let’s love each other well because sometimes, we’re all we’ve got.

Continue To Do Good

In 1 Peter 4, the Apostle Peter talks about those who suffer persecution for following Jesus. Persecution is inevitable. God, Peter says, will have the final say when He judges the world. God is able to use our suffering for good. He grows our faith in Christ through participation in His sufferings. Instead of retaliating, we should do something else. Peter wrote:

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. – 1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)

We should continue to do good. If you suffer for your faith, don’t throw in the towel. If you suffer persecution for Jesus, don’t give up. Keep your eyes on Him and continue to do good. Let God have the final say as you continue to do good. Continue to love your neighbor and your enemy. Continue to serve the poor and needy. Continue to pray for those who persecute you and forgive them. This is how we continue to do good and look more like our Leader, Jesus.

Above All…Love

Being a follower of Jesus Christ means that we are to do one thing really, really well. Peter wrote:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

We are to love well. Notice that Peter doesn’t say that we hate deeply. He doesn’t say that are to protest everything we disagree with. He doesn’t say that we are to be divided against other believers because they believe a little differently or take a different political stance. He doesn’t say that we should hold a grudge well. He doesn’t say that we need to be more right than anyone else. He doesn’t say to go to church well. He doesn’t even say that we are to believe deeply. It’s a good thing to go to church and to have deep convictions about our faith in Jesus Christ. But the hallmark of EVERY believer in Christ is love. We must LOVE one another. That means that we serve one another in love and forgive one another in love. The love of Jesus covers our sins and our love for one another should do the same. So whatever you think, say or do as a Christian, above all…love.

Talking About Jesus

Do you know your story? What has Christ saved you from? Peter says that we should ALWAYS be prepared to talk about our hope in Jesus. He wrote:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV)
The key to talking about Jesus is to do it with gentleness and respect. Sometimes we forget this. We’ll never ever hate someone into Heaven. But we can lovingly, gently and respectfully tell them about our hope we have in Jesus. Love goes a lot further than hate. Love changes lives while hate just pushes people further away from the God who gave up His Son to demonstrate His love for the world. God doesn’t hate anyone and neither should we.

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