As a pastor, I get emails and letters every so often from people telling me what I need to be preaching on or what I’m doing wrong. I find this especially strange when it’s from someone who doesn’t even attend our church.
I received one of those letters this past week. I’m guessing I wasn’t the only pastor in my city that received this letter because they seemed to be addressing churches in a broad spectrum. In the letter were these words, “The church has allowed the devil to take over your pulpit and dictate that you only preach the ‘love verses’ because, God forbid you should offend anyone.”
I find this statement so odd and ironic because the last thing the devil wants is for us to be preaching about the love of Jesus. We’re told in 1 John 4:8 that God is love. So if all we ever do between now and eternity is preach the “love verses”, I think it would be wonderful and pleasing to the Lord.
In his book The Signature of Jesus Brennan Manning writes, “Jesus, as the revealer of the Godhead, defines God as love. In light of this revelation, we have to abandon the cankerous, worm-eaten structure of legalism, moralism, and perfectionism that corrupts the Good News into an ethical code rather than a love affair.”
1 John 4:7-8 tells us: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I honestly think that love is what is lacking more than anything in our world today. We need to better understand and receive the love of God so that we can live out the two greatest commandments: LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and LOVE your neighbor as yourself. Let’s continue to preach, speak and demonstrate the love of Jesus.