Posted in encouragement, theology

Let’s love each other

By Elizabeth Prata

I found this online. It’s a list that is sourced. Recently I’ve been a bit downcast by the in-fighting on social media. I guess after 24 years online going from BBS forums to CompuServe to commenting online newspapers to Disqus to blogs to Facebook to Twitter … I’m finally social media world-weary with the lack of grace and patience. Let’s love each other.

love verse 4

The 59 “One Anothers” of the New Testament

1. …Be at peace with each other. (Mark 9:50)

2. …Wash one another’s feet. (John 13:14)

3. …Love one another… (John 13:34a)

4. …Love one another… (John 13:34b)

5. …Love one another… (John 13:35)

6. …Love one another… (John 15:12)

7. …Love one another (John 15:17)

8. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love… (Romans 12:10)

9. …Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)

10. Live in harmony with one another… (Romans 12:16)

11. …Love one another… (Romans 13:8)

12. …Stop passing judgment on one another. (Romans 14:13)

13. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you… (Romans 15:7)

14. …Instruct one another. (Romans 15:14)

15. Greet one another with a holy kiss… (Romans 16:16)

16. …When you come together to eat, wait for each other. (I Cor. 11:33)

17. …Have equal concern for each other. (I Corinthians 12:25)

18. …Greet one another with a holy kiss. (I Corinthians 16:20)

19. Greet one another with a holy kiss. (II Corinthians 13:12)

20. …Serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

21. If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.

(Galatians 5:15)

22. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:26)

23. Carry each other’s burdens… (Galatians 6:2)

24. …Be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

25. Be kind and compassionate to one another… (Ephesians 4:32)

26. …Forgiving each other… (Ephesians 4:32)

27. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. (Ephesians 5:19)

28. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

29. …In humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

30. Do not lie to each other… (Colossians 3:9)

31. Bear with each other… (Colossians 3:13)

32. …Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. (Colossians 3:13)

33. Teach…[one another] (Colossians 3:16)

34. …Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)

35. …Make your love increase and overflow for each other. (I Thessalonians 3:12)

36. …Love each other. (I Thessalonians 4:9)

37. …Encourage each other…(I Thessalonians 4:18)

38. …Encourage each other… I Thessalonians 5:11)

39. …Build each other up… (I Thessalonians 5:11)

40. Encourage one another daily… Hebrews 3:13)

41. …Spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

42. …Encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:25)

43. …Do not slander one another. (James 4:11)

44. Don’t grumble against each other… (James 5:9)

45. Confess your sins to each other… (James 5:16)

46. …Pray for each other. (James 5:16)

47. …Love one another deeply, from the heart. (I Peter 3:8)

48. …Live in harmony with one another… (I Peter 3:8)

49. …Love each other deeply… (I Peter 4:8)

50. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (I Peter 4:9)

51. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others… (I Peter 4:10)

52. …Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…(I Peter 5:5)

53. Greet one another with a kiss of love. (I Peter 5:14)

54. …Love one another. (I John 3:11)

55. …Love one another. (I John 3:23)

56. …Love one another. (I John 4:7)

57. …Love one another. (I John 4:11)

58. …Love one another. (I John 4:12)

59. …Love one another. (II John 5)

*From Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future (Tarrytown: Revell, 1991), 129-131.

Posted in discernment, theology

Are you drifting toward only wanting your ears tickled?

By Elizabeth Prata

This essay first appeared on The End Time in November 2010.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…” (2 Timothy 4:3)

Do you notice that word “endure”? The verse does not say “they will not like sound doctrine…” It does not say “they will not enjoy sound doctrine…” It doesn’t even say “they will not accept sound doctrine.” It uses the word endure. When you endure something, you writhe. You wish you were not there in the midst of it. If anyone has ever undergone physical therapy, you know that you have to endure it but if you could you would shoot out of the gym so fast you’d be like a speeding bullet. If anyone has ever had to get a root canal, you know that you endure it. You do not seek it, you do not like it, and if you could, you go away from it.

That is the process by which lukewarm Christians, fake Christians, and unholy pastors feel about the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. To be sure, the true Gospel of the Risen Savior is full of warm fuzzies. He loves us. (John 13:1). He prospers us. (2 Corinthians 9:8). He sends angels to us. (Hebrews 1:14). But the True Gospel is also full of truth, the unpalatable truth that the iniquitous lawless cannot endure: we are sinners. (Psalm 51:5). Rejection of the remedy for your sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) means you will spend eternity in torment, apart from God. That there is nothing good in us. (Mark 10:18). That we are fallen, craven, and deserve judgment. No, they will not endure that. So they don’t.

Instead they seek teachers to tempt us with what the devil has always tempted us with, and tempted Jesus too: health, wealth, fame. (Luke 4:1-13). They may find it in some “preachers” and in some “churches”, but it is for a season. Hebrews 11:25). Most do not find prosperity in health, wealth and fame. The only ones becoming famous and rich are the false pastors who urge the hapless and desperate to send money.

In his series, “Toxic Television: Unmasking the Prosperity Gospel part 1” Bible teacher John MacArthur spends a few minutes below of his one-hour sermon (linked above) explaining why Joel Osteen is false, dangerous, and unholy. He also spends time explaining why the Trinity Broadcast Network is also false, dangerous and unholy. MacArthur says, Osteen “is a quasi-pantheist where Jesus is a footnote that satisfies his critics and deceives his followers.” As for Osteen’s book, MacArthur says ‘Your Best Life Now’, the title, is a dead giveaway. The only way you can have your best life now is if you’re going to hell.”

Toxic Television: Unmasking the Prosperity Gospel part 1

A watered down gospel removes the book-end to the parts that they seek love and only ‘love’. The missing book-end is judgment. They will not endure sound teaching of His holiness involving love but also including righteous judgment.

“I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.
“They will say of Me, ‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.’
Men will come to Him,
And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. (Isaiah 45:23-24)

A watered down gospel that removes the other book-end is less filling but it tastes great. The Bible shows us that the True Gospel tastes great, and also the watered down false Gospel tastes great. In the verses telling us of Ezekiel’s commission,

Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.” (Ez 3:1-3).

The true word absorbed by submissive believers is sweet. But it is also sometimes accompanied by a bitterness felt by even the most beloved of followers, even the most obedient of disciples. Sometimes the true word is hard to hear and bitter even for believers, because it reveals to us the true state of our sinfulness, our sorrow over our sin, and the fate of those who refuse His hand, those mockers and scorners whom we mourn over-

I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.” (Rev 10:10)

The only way to endure the knowledge of judgment that is coming is to rest on His truth and His promises. Those who do not rest in that truth, bitter as it sometimes is, do not endure it. Not only have they stopped asking the Spirit for wisdom, but they simply stop ingesting the sweet Words of the LORD and they flee away, being unstable in all they do.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)

But we do endure! Paul said to in 2 Tim 2:3, 10. Peter said to in 1 Peter 2:20. The writer in Hebrews 12:7 advised us to endure. Endure what? Hardship. Beatings. Wrongdoing. Life. Hardship. Persecution. And there are those today who cannot sit still in a chair or a pew and ‘endure’ the Word of the Living God who loves them. They seek tickling instead. They are gaining the world only to lose their lives forever.

Has solid preaching become an endurance test for you? Or are the hard but truthful words uplifting to you and filling in every way? If you have recently changed churches because the pastor is “a little too Bible thumping for my taste”, or have drifted away from regular worship lately because the sermons are too long, too convicting, or demand endurance on the part of your deceitful heart, then ask yourself if you are really just trying to accumulate a teacher in accordance with your own desires, and are wanting your ears tickled with a less filling but great tasting sermon. If so, you may be at risk.

Why at risk? Because we all live forever in eternity in one of two places. The day will come when the eternity you are beginning will either not have the word endure associated with it, which is heaven, or it will have the word endure associated with it, for an eternity!

You may try to avoid enduring a convicting sermon from a ticklish teacher today, but the end result will be that you will have to endure an eternity separated from Him in torment. O, faithful one, let it not be so!

 

Posted in theology, word of the week

Word of the Week: Love

By Elizabeth Prata

On Sundays I had posted a theological word with its definition, then an explanation, and used it in a verse. I also use a picture to represent the concept. This is my effort to maintain a theological literacy among the brethren and between generations, something I believe is critical. We have to know what we believe, why, and know the words to express it. Words like Justification, Immanence, and Perspicuity have all been a Sunday Word of the Week. I am reposting this series on Sundays. This post first appeared on The End Time in October 2018.

wordcloud

Similarly, when we discuss other words such as love, peace, and joy, we think we know what they mean, but often times these culturally embedded words have a totally different flavor when used from a biblical context. It is true of the words pertaining to the Fruit of the Spirit. Even these ‘simpler’ biblical words are misunderstood.

Therefore, over the next 9 weeks the Word of the Week will be one of the 9 Fruit of the Spirit.

You notice the fruit is singular. The Holy Spirit develops fruit, not fruits. Believers can and do manifest all its elements simultaneously. The nine representative qualities refer to the whole work of the Spirit’s sanctifying labor in the believer. One doesn’t work on patience today and then love tomorrow and then joy, etc. The fruit is one fruit with various characteristics.

Paul began with identifying love as the first fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said that love is the greatest commandment.

Love in the biblical context doesn’t mean what it means in the songs. The culture says we are always falling in and out of love (Pure Prairie League, Amie), as if love was a tide we had no control over and washes in and out. Whitesnake wanted to know Is This Love? They weren’t sure. Foreigner famously pleaded with the universe, that I Want to Know What Love Is.

Love addles people. Romance is mistaken for love. So is lust. The world thinks it knows love as an external thing that comes upon people who must grab it and plead for it not to go away. As if it can dissipate like steam. But that is not what love is according to the Bible.

I found the section from the MacArthur/Mayhue systematic theology book Biblical Doctrine helpful and illuminating here. The section on the Fruit of the Spirit of love reads as follows:

Christ’s substitutionary death provided the ultimate example of love. (Greek: agape). He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). Paul called for this supreme love to be characteristic of a husband’s love for his wife: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25). First Corinthians 13:8 promises that “love never fails.” (NASB).

Thus, love is a communicable, divine attribute that is central to the Father’s character, (1 John 4:8), put on display by Christ at the cross, enabled in believers by the Holy Spirit. Love can be defined broadly as the conscious, sacrificial, and volitional commitment to the welfare of another person, in obedience to God’s Word (2 John 6), regardless of the person’s response or what one does or does not receive from him or her, or what love costs one to give. The love of Christians toward other Christians (Colossians 1:8), as might be expected, is the most commended “one another” response in the New Testament.

That’s what love is.

Posted in cross, theology

The cross is the greatest spectacle there ever was or will be

By Elizabeth Prata

Tony Reinke’s last chapters of Competing Spectacles so moved me I designed this picture to stare at and better ponder its truths. The mental picture of it was so vivid before my eyes I had to draw it out.

Initially I drew just the wavy line and the cross. The cross is lifted up, the sole item on the bloody landscape. To view it, all eyes must look UP. The cross of Christ is the only thing has any meaning in the world. When I was an unsaved person I rejected this notion immediately. As a saved person, by the grace of God, I am humbled to kneel and stare at this wonderful, terrible cross.

The line represents not only the hill, for the Son of Man must be lifted up, and it was a hill He died on and a hill he will return to.

The line is also the dividing line of all human history. The above and below, the hell and the heaven, the line that divides before Christ’s birth and after Christ’s incarnation and is both the starting point and the ending point of all that is and all that will be.

“Christ’s victory is the spectacle that holds the attention of the universe.” ~Tony Reinke, Competing Spectacles

Christ’s glory is the spectacle of all spectacles, and its power is most clearly seen in how it equips and motivates and animates our faithful obedience in all other areas of life.

Christ was not merely made a spectacle on the cross, the cross became a shorthand reference for everything glorious about Christ- His work as creator and sustainer of all things, his incarnation, his life, his words, his obedience, his miracles, his shunning, his beatings, his crucifixion, his wrath bearing, his resurrection from the grave, his heavenly ascension, his kingly coronation, and his eternal priesthood- all of his glory subsumed into his heavenly spectacle. ~Tony Reinke, Competing Spectacles

To be able to love Jesus and not hate Him any longer is the joy of my life.

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Posted in encouragement, theology

What is Love?

By Elizabeth Prata

Valentine’s Day is done and in the books. When you work in an elementary school in a lower grade, V-day as the kids call it, is almost as popular as Christmas. Even more so, because we’re in school for the cupid holiday and out of school for the Santa one.

The kids are so cute exchanging cards and little candies and they get excited over all of them. My teacher had brought in donuts and a juice box and they ate their snack and drank their drink and watched an old Disney movie for a few minutes, continued from the Christmas party. They considered the Valentine’s day ‘party’ a huge success.

But the day of love brings about thoughts on What is Love? as Haddaway sang in 1992. (Yes I’m that old). My notion of love was certainly different back then, as I was not saved. I often asked that question. I Wanna Know What Love Is, Foreigner asked and so did I. I was a child of divorced parents. I saw adultery, abuse, open marriage, betrayals, and disownments within the family and out. Growing up in the 1950s and 70s was confusing and a child of the world certainly had no clue about what love was. Cupid and Aphrodite didn’t help explain it, either.

Well, if one is saved by the grace of Jesus through the cross, one knows what love is. It’s not the ephemeral, cupid-like arrow dart Shot Through the Heart, which fades away. Eros is a fickle friend. It’s not the false promises that Whitney Houston sang in I Will Always Love You, because the flesh only loves itself.

Love is the love that Jesus gives and is. (1 John 4:7-21). It is sacrificial, endless, and pure. It will never die and will always surround us with its promise and never fade away. Jesus loved His disciples to the end and (John 13:1) He loves His people forever. (Romans 8:39). And so we love Him because He first loved us.

Here are a few resources for you about love-

The Prominence of Love (sermon)

You say, “Well, where does it [love] come from?”  Well, we’ve said this last time, I’m simply going to remind you of it:  When you walk in the Spirit – and to walk in the Spirit means you turn your life to His control, you confess your sin, you allow the Spirit of God to govern your thought patterns – as the Spirit of God controls you, He produces fruit, and the fruit of the Spirit is love, and love will only come in that way.  So the way you approach it is not in a self-righteous determination of your own mind; the way you approach it is simply to yield your life to the Spirit of God, “Holy Spirit, control me today, take over my life, live through me,” and the fruit of love will be manifest.

To Those Who Crave Controversy (Essay by John Newton)

If you account him a believer, though greatly mistaken in the subject of debate between you, the words of David to Joab concerning Absalom, are very applicable: “Deal gently with him for my sake.” The Lord loves him and bears with him; therefore you must not despise him, or treat him harshly. The Lord bears with you likewise, and expects that you should show tenderness to others, from a sense of the much forgiveness you need yourself. In a little while you will meet in heaven; he will then be dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now. Anticipate that period in your thoughts; and though you may find it necessary to oppose his errors, view him personally as a kindred soul, with whom you are to be happy in Christ forever.

How does a person love Jesus? What does it mean to love Jesus?

Jesus said that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:13). Jesus did this and more by dying for us while we were still His enemies in order to make us His friends (Romans 5:8). Much of what it means to love Jesus comes from understanding and appreciating what Jesus has done and is doing for us. We love Jesus because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

How Can I Love Christ More? (essay)

In his book, The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ, the Puritan Thomas Vincent offers nine directions that will lead you to your desired destination. Meditate on Christ – Direction 1: “Be much in contemplation of Christ.”

Still (!!!!) Single

I am 25 years old. I have been single for the past…25 years. I have never been kissed. I have never gone on a date. I have never received a note in class that said, “Do you like me? Check yes or no.”

 

love verse 4

Posted in encouragement, theology

God CANNOT forsake you

By Elizabeth Prata

I know we sometimes have a hard time understanding the permanent perfect love, such as the love the Triune God lavishes on his saved children.

With child abuse, abortion, abandonment, betrayals, and divorce, the love we say we have for others is oftentimes fatally flawed.

However, when Jesus says He will not leave you or forsake you, He means it. It’s not up for discussion.

When we’re saved, we become part of the Body of Christ.  Therefore, when God looks at us, He sees His Son. We are as Paul would say, “in Christ.” (Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 1 Corinthians 3:1, 1 Corinthians 4:15, 1 Corinthians 15:18, etc.) When He looks at you, He is looking through His Son to see you.

If God were to decide not to love us (which He wouldn’t because He promised to love us forever and He does not fail in His promises) He would be deciding not to love His Son. And that is impossible.

Never fear, if you are “in Christ” you are safely in the arms of God, never not to be loved, never not to be cherished, cared for, provided for. If you struggle with assurance of God’s love, leave the struggle behind God loves His Son and He loves all that are in His Son, you, me, all.

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. – Psalm 136:26

love forever verse

Posted in theology, word of the week

Sunday Word of the Week: Love

By Elizabeth Prata

On Sundays I usually post a theological word with its definition, then an explanation, and use it in a verse. I also use a picture to represent the concept. This is my effort to maintain a theological literacy among the brethren and between generations, something I believe is critical. We have to know what we believe, why, and know the words to express it. Words like Justification, Immanence, and Perspicuity have all been a Sunday Word of the Week.

8341e-word2bcloud

Similarly, when we discuss other words such as love, peace, and joy, we think we know what they mean, but often times these culturally embedded words have a totally different flavor when used from a biblical context. It is true of the words pertaining to the Fruit of the Spirit. Even these ‘simpler’ biblical words are misunderstood.

Therefore, over the next 9 weeks the Word of the Week will be one of the 9 Fruit of the Spirit.

You notice the fruit is singular. The Holy Spirit develops fruit, not fruits. Believers can and do manifest all its elements simultaneously. The nine representative qualities refer to the whole work of the Spirit’s sanctifying labor in the believer. One doesn’t work on patience today and then love tomorrow and then joy, etc. The fruit is one fruit with various characteristics.

Paul began with identifying love as the first fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said that love is the greatest commandment.

Love in the biblical context doesn’t mean what it means in the songs. The culture says we are always falling in and out of love (Pure Prairie League, Amie), as if love was a tide we had no control over and washes in and out. Whitesnake wanted to know Is This Love? They weren’t sure. Foreigner famously pleaded with the universe, that I Want to Know What Love Is.

Love addles people. Romance is mistaken for love. So is lust. The world thinks it knows love as an external thing that comes upon people who must grab it and plead for it not to go away. As if it can dissipate like steam. But that is not what love is according to the Bible.

 

I found the section from the MacArthur/Mayhue systematic theology book Biblical Doctrine helpful and illuminating here. The section on the Fruit of the Spirit of love reads as follows:

Christ’s substitutionary death provided the ultimate example of love. (Greek: agape). He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). Paul called for this supreme love to be characteristic of a husband’s love for his wife: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25). First Corinthians 13:8 promises that “love never fails.” (NASB).

Thus, love is a communicable, divine attribute that is central to the Father’s character, (1 John 4:8), put on display by Christ at the cross, enabled in believers by the Holy Spirit. Love can be defined broadly as the conscious, sacrificial, and volitional commitment to the welfare of another person, in obedience to God’s Word (2 John 6), regardless of the person’s response or what one does or does not receive from him or her, or what love costs one to give. The love of Christians toward other Christians (Colossians 1:8), as might be expected, is the most commended “one another” response in the New Testament.

That’s what love is.

love verse 1a

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Hate Week Essay #7: Hating Jesus, once

 

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For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. Titus 3:3

I was saved in my early 40’s. I vividly remember my antipathy toward Jesus for most of my adult life. I conceded that there was likely a God, that part was easy. Just look at the Creation. It’s obvious someone made it all.

A distant God who didn’t meddle in my affairs, but was intelligent, provided this earth to dwell on, and was amiable in His looking down at us was the God I’d made up in my mind.

The notion that God judged, was involved in our affairs, and created heaven and hell as well as earth, was unconscionable to me. I was a good example of the people described in Romans 1:21.

The Jesus, blood, sin, wrath, resurrection thing was beyond me. I thought the cross was ridiculous and gross. I wanted nothing to do with any part of the Jesus story. I hated Jesus with all my body, soul, strength, and mind. As a result, I hated others too, as the verse says. This world is full of haters, the satanic hatred only the unregenerate, darkened heart knows.

I was a terrible sinner, going about my sins, cherishing them, justifying them, and loving them. I hated Jesus and I loved my sin. I hated others, as the verse today states.

Thus, unbeknownst to me, I had many woes laying on my shoulders, for doesn’t the scripture say-

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

I was in this wretched state when in His timing, God sent the Holy Spirit to open my eyes. I suddenly saw my sin and it was terrible. I cried out to God, yet He had even given me the voice and the urging to do it. Though I’d spent so long in the wilderness, darkened and debased, He loved me. My hate for Him was deep and abiding, but His love for me was everlasting.

Anyone who is saved now hated Jesus once, also. In our daily lives we often get so busy that we forget this great love and our former great hate, at least I do. Would you love anyone who hates you outright? My goodness, that’s a tough one. We’re called to, but actual implementation of it, even to our death, is something that mystifies me. Yet Jesus did it. He lay down His life for His friends, gave himself totally to His Father for our benefit. He died for people who hated him with a worldly, satanic hate.

Let our hate go. We should harbor none of it in ourselves after salvation. We should only hate the things that Jesus hates. As our sanctification grows, our worldly hatreds diminish because love increases. The scale should be moving in the other direction. Giving up worldly hatreds is hard, but look at the sweet exchange. We can all cry out as David did,

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! (Psalm 25:7)

prickly 7

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Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Hate Week Essay #6: When will we hate Jesus? Answer inside

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

Jesus is an all-or-nothing proposition. This is because He is all. He is the all in all (Colossians 3:11). He is everything good, He is sufficient. Nothing should compete with Him. Hence the warning about two masters.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

No man can serve two masters … – Christ proceeds to illustrate the necessity of laying up treasures in heaven from a well-known fact, that a servant cannot serve two masters at the same time. His affections and obedience would be divided, and he would fail altogether in his duty to one or the other. One he would love, the other he would hate. To the interests of the one he would adhere, the interests of the other he would neglect. This is a law of human nature. The supreme affections can be fixed on only one object.

Please be aware of any growing idols in your (and my) life, whom you (and I) are serving. We cannot have two masters else we will hate the one. Jesus is too precious to risk hating Him, even if for a short while before realizing and then repenting.

Answer to the Title’s question: We will hate Jesus when we serve another master.

prickly 6

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Hate Week Essay #5: Jesus said to hate our family? Can this be true?

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26).

This seem harsh. This seems contradictory to the God of Love that we know Jesus to be. So what can it mean?

By the way, that its the first question we should ask when we see something we don’t understand in the Bible, or when we see something that seems to contradict. There are no contradictions in the Bible. If we can’t reconcile two verses, i.e. ‘God is love’ and ‘hate your mother’ or ‘Honor your mother and father’ but ‘hate your mother’ then there is something I must do to understand it, because I’m wrong.

I like Gill’s Commentary. Many commentaries are available for free at biblehub.com. There are concordances, lexicons, devotionals, and more.

Gill’s says of the Luke verse:

and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple: not that proper hatred of any, or all of these, is enjoined by Christ; for this would be contrary to the laws of God, to the first principles of nature, to all humanity, to the light of nature, to reason and divine revelation:

but that these are not to be preferred to Christ, or loved more than he, as it is explained in Matthew 10:37

Ohhhh! Getting clearer now.

A parallel verse was mentioned so let’s take a look at it. Scripture interprets scripture. Commentaries are helpful, but scripture is best. That’s where parallel verses come in.

He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37)

Christ should be primary in life and love. Paul carries this sense of highest love for one, that by comparison it’s hate for the other in Romans 9:13-

As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

The verse to which Paul was referring is from Malachi 1:2-3. GotQuestions is helpful here,

So, considering the context, God loving Jacob and hating Esau has nothing to do with the human emotions of love and hate. It has everything to do with God choosing one man and his descendants and rejecting another man and his descendants. God chose Abraham out of all the men in the world. The Bible very well could say, “Abraham I loved, and every other man I hated.”

Yes, context is king when studying scripture. The Malachi/Romans verse isn’t referring to one man, but nations from one man.
There’s one more parallel verse to the Luke verse I’d posed at the start. John 12:25-

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

S Lewis Johnson of Believers Chapel Dallas had preached on this verse. He’s a preacher I like.He explained

What does he mean by that? Why, you know he means that it is possible for us to be so desirous of life as we want to live it that we actually are unfruitful in our lives. We may desire the kind of existence that we desire, we want the world’s wealth, we want the world’s power, we want the world’s pleasure, we want the world’s glory, we want to live our lives as we wish to live them and that’s right, you may live for a time but you abide alone. … In other words, if you want to keep your life you can keep it, but you’ll lose it. And if you’re willing to lose your life, if you are willing to have your set of priorities such that Jesus Christ is first in your life, then you’ll gain it. And furthermore, you will gain it unto life eternal and fruitfulness.

Hate is complicated, isn’t it? There’s things God hates, things we should hate because God does, the world’s hate, our hatred of even our parents or our own life in comparison to the life we should live in Christ…

The Bible is an endless wealth and treasure of precepts and doctrines, all pointing to the One alone who is worthy: Jesus Christ. Emmanuel, God with us. Our love for Him should be the primary orientation of our lives.

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