We use the word “love” in many different ways—from the trivial to the profound. I “love” Taco Bell, and I “love” my wife. One of those is a trivial love and the other is a profound love...and it better be clear which one is which! The real test of your love for any given person or thing is what it takes to lose that love. I love Taco Bell, but if they start using dog meat in their tacos or replace all their tortillas with lettuce wraps, I won’t love Taco Bell anymore. Why? Because I love Taco Bell for what they give me. If their food goes bad, I won’t love Taco Bell anymore—it’s a trivial love. My love for my wife should be much more profound than that. It should be deeper than any disagreement or obstacle that might come between us. In fact, my profound love for my wife should motivate me to resolve any disagreement or remove any obstacle that might hurt our relationship. If my love for my wife was like my love for Taco Bell, it wouldn’t take much to lose that love.
“Should I?” or “Should I not?”
We’ve all faced situations in which we’ve pondered both of these questions. Should I take the job offer and relocate myself and my family? Should I pursue THAT young lady? …or that other one? Should the church shelter illegal immigrants from the government? Should I vote for one of those candidates? Should I study Bible at college, or should I study business just to “play it safe?” Should I have that procedure done? These episodes, and others like them, vary from person to person, but they all prompt us to consider the will of God for our lives.
Have you ever read your Bible and come across something that bothered you? Something that made you uncomfortable? Something you disagreed with? I hope you have.
Many people mistakenly assume that everything they read in their Bibles should line up with how they see the world. God should behave the way they expect him to, and in ways that make them comfortable. But God is a person with a mind and a will, just like you and I. And since no two humans see the world the same way, and no two humans come to the same conclusions, why would we expect to agree with God on everything he has said or done?
Back in 1978, Jim Jones brought the members of his People’s Temple to Guiana, South America and instructed them to commit suicide. 780 of them drank poison kool-aid following a false prophet. I pastor in Indiana and recognize that Jones’s roots actually travel back to my state. Jones was actually born in Indiana and started his cult there before moving it to California. Such tragedies make national headlines, but unfortunately it is unlikely that many who are following false prophets and false teachers today will be warned by the headlines.
Knock. Knock. Knock. “Hi, my name is Ben and we’re out in the community inviting people to church.”
“Well, thanks but I already go to ______ Baptist Church.”
“Oh! Hey, is it alright if I ask you a question, too? If you were to die tonight, and God asked you, why should I let you into heaven, what would you say?”
“Well, I try to live right and obey the Bible.”
A few doors later…
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