Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Whoever covers an offense seeks love,

But he who repeats a matter separates close friends. 

– Proverbs 17:9

What are the 2 greatest commands in Scripture? The first would be to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it; to love you neighbor as yourself. Now we are really good at loving ourselves right? I mean, everything we do, we do to make ourselves happy. Whether we eat or drink, we do all to bring ourselves joy. We need not work at loving ourselves. Daily though we struggle to live up to God’s command to love others just as we love ourselves. It’s hard right? It’s hard to love others, especially other sinners.

Our call here today in this Proverb is once again to love, and the way we love others is by covering one’s offense. So what is an offense? Simply put, an offense is any wrong done unto us. It’s something that causes a person to be hurt, angry, or upset. We often say, “I am offended that you would say such a thing”. Now obviously I think it’s safe to say that we have all been offended. And when you are offended, what is your natural tendency? What do you tend to do? Do you just cover it up? Doyou pretend that nothing happened? No, probably not. Not if you are like me. My natural tendency when someone wrongs me is to get even. To make sure justice prevails. “They will pay for this!” is my cry.

If I’m driving down the road and someone cuts in front of me, before I even know what I’m doing, I lay on the horn, speed up on their tail, and make some type of hand motion (hopefully without using any fingers). What naturally happens is that I seek revenge. Now what if this happens with one of our friends or family? Maybe one who is close to us offends us by some silly comment. We get offended and say something snarky back. What happens is that the offense is separating us, as sins of anger and bitterness creep in and take root. Before we know it the offense has separated us, fellowship is broken and God’s law is transgressed.

So the question is, “How do we cover an offense when we are full of rage?” I don’t know about you but I don’t have the magic button that I can push that just let’s me release all feeling. Well, we must look to God. We must look to Jesus Christ who became sin for us that we might become righteous in Him. We must look to the Gospel. God created us. We rebelled sinning against Him. We offended Him, yet He covered us with grace and forgiveness, with the blood of the perfect Lamb of God. If you think that the offense committed against you was big, and it very well might have been big, think again at how many miserable filthy sins you have committed against the Holy Creator God. Yet He still covers you. He still showers mercy and grace upon you! Meditate on the good news when you are filled with wrath; when you feel powerless to forgive your offender. God’s love will empower you to cover the offense and restore your relationship. “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”

I close with an exhortation from 1 Peter where the Lord’s people are surrounded by difficulty. Know that in times of trial it seems that our patience grows thin, and offenses are always on the rise.  In this situation Peter says “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” –1 Peter 4:8. Remember that it was Christ our Lord, our Savior who covered the multitude of our sins by taking the due wrath of God upon Himself. May we be filled with this love today, and may we cover those who offend us.

-J.C. Hahne

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There is nothing in which men resemble God more truly than in doing good to others.”

– John Calvin

It isn’t faithfully reading the Bible, praying, going to church, etc. No, it’s doing good to others. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39. This is the very way Jesus lived.

If Jesus Christ told us, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), then when we love, doing good to others, as Christ did, we thus resemble God and bring glory to His name. Jesus continued saying, “The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:10) The Father living in Jesus did His work, namely laying down His life for sinners, through serving, healing, and dying. Thi is what it means to be Godlike… Loving others, doing good to others, for He is love. He is Good!

Earlier this evening I was reading from John Piper’s book of devotions “A Godward Life II” and I came across an article that he wrote about the dark side of missions… He told the story of a former Muslim Christian that returned to Northern Africa and was arrested for smuggling in Bibles… He stood on trial and if convicted would be sentenced to death. Piper went on to quote Matthew 24:9 which says “You will be hated by all the nations because of My name.” This hatred of which Jesus spoke of is the “dark side of missions.” If they hated Jesus they will hate you too. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light…” John 3:20.  Yes, we are called to make disciples of all nations, but at the same time be prepared to be hated… not appreciated. I was touched by Piper’s words. He says,

In the face of [this] reality, may the Lord raise up real, radical Christians who are willing not only to love the nations, but also to be hated by the nations… Pray with me that thousands would embrace the call to be hated for the sake of loving others. If your driving motive in life is to be liked and loved, you will find it almost impossible to be a Christian, especially a Christian missionary. Missionaries are people who have decided that being loved by God is enough to enable love. We don’t need to be loved by others. Yes it feels good. But it is not essential. Loving, not being loved, is essential… Oh Lord, put your Spirit of love in the hearts of thousands for the sake of the nations.” (page 271-272)

Reading these words I found myself convicted. I admit that i often seek the praise of man. I expect to be loved in return. May the Gospel empower us to love when persecutions will be the sure outcome. May we have our eyes opened to the beauty of Christs redeeming sacrifice for the ones that hated Him. May God’s love be Enough!!!!

J. C. Hahne