Friday, August 20, 2010

Devotions on the Lectionary: Pentecost 13, Gospel

by Michael Schottey

Luke 12:51 Do you think I came to bring peace on Earth? No, I tell you, but division.(NIV)

Love, what is it?

In our postmodern world, love--both worldly love and the love of God--are under attack from a lot of different definitions.

God tells us, in his word, what love is. True love is something that radiates first from God and then is reflected off of his children. True love is something that binds us together under one Lord, one creed. True love faithfully clings to God and his promises and seeks out its brothers and sisters.

True love also divides.

True love wants nothing to do with sin but, like God, desperately wants all men to be saved. So, true love does not shudder at the thought of correcting an erring brother or sister. True love makes the statement, continually, that God comes first--then family, vocation, and friends. True love wants nothing to do with worldly wisdom or priorities.

The world confuses love with acceptance. But, true love does not accept sin, it rebukes it.

Thanks be to God, for loving us with a true love--correcting our wrongs and valuing our eternal salvation over our selfish worldly pride. Thanks be to God that he has taught his people this love--so much more valuable than mere acceptance, which confirms the sinner in unbelief.

Thanks be to God that Jesus came to bring peace between man and God, and not just between men. A peace which lasts forever.

Prayer: Lord God, teach me to love as you have loved me. Grant me patience to love my brothers and sisters unconditionally but courage to love them enough to correct their wrongs. Keep me humble, so that I do not crush those weaker in the faith. Help me lift up, sustain, and support my fellow Christians. Amen.

"As surely as I live," God said,
"I would not have the sinner dead
But that he turn from error's ways,
Repent and live through endless days."

To us therefore Christ gave command:
"Go forth and preach in every land;
Bestow on all my pard'ning grace
who will repent of sinful ways."
CW 308:1,2

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