SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Scripture: 1 John 4:7,8
In 1 John 4:7,8 we are told that God is love and if we do not love, we do not know God. The problem with that statement for the church is how love has been defined out of human emotion and by selective Scriptures like Matthew 5:38. The biblical love we have been taught means we “turn-the-other-cheek” and pray for the enemy. But that is a small piece of the panorama of heart-actions defining love! When we selectively choose snapshots of Jesus’ actions that fit our preference, while neglecting all the others, we craft a false narrative. The concept of God’s love has been falsely crafted. What Jesus did in John 2, where He wove together a whip to remove money-changers who were in the temple, has never been presented as God’s love. What Jesus did in John 2 is every bit as much love as “turn-the-other-cheek” and pray for your enemy. But this reality is not accepted in the church. In the Bible, it is clear both sets of actions are manifestations of God’s love. For decades, church leadership has only defined God’s love as kindness to the enemy. We have made nothing but feeble attempts to show people that Jesus’ cleaning house in the temple was every bit as much the love of God as what He told the Twelve to do when they went out to evangelize. If church leaders had set these two manifestations of God’s love in their context and allowed them to speak, the church would be in a different place today. Because of our limited and sanitized understanding of God’s love, we are in a position of great loss. By emphasizing one layer of God’s love in preference to another, we have categorically neutered the church and made it a bastion of retreat and silence in the midst of advancing evil!