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The Word For Today

The Law of Love (2)

God's love is the most powerful force the world has ever seen. And as a follower of Christ, it is up to you to carry the torch and keep it burning. The Bible says, '...Clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience...Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony' (Colossians 3:12-14 NLT). It's one thing to quote Scriptures, pray long articulate prayers in public, study theology and attend church. But only when people see your love will they be impacted by your life. Love, not words, is the true test of your discipleship.

It's said that General Omar Bradley once made a business trip on a commercial airline wearing a regular suit instead of his military uniform. When he reached his seat, he started doing some paperwork. As it turned out, the man sitting next to him was a young army private who didn't recognise Bradley. So, after take-off, he turned to the general and said, 'Since we're going to be together for a while, it would be nice if we got to know each other. My guess is that you're a banker.' Not wishing to seem rude, but needing to finish his work, Bradley replied, 'No, I'm General Omar Bradley, a five-star general in the US Army. I head up the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.' Without missing a beat, the young private replied, 'Well, sir, that's a very important job, and I sure hope you don't blow it!'

Your most important job today is to show God's love - so don't blow it!

Soulfood : 1 Sam 27-31, Lk 4:31-44, Ps 122, Prov 17:18-21

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The Law of Love (1)

A newspaper told the story of a boy with cancer who was going through chemotherapy and losing his hair. To show their love and support, his classmates all shaved their heads so he wouldn't be embarrassed about returning to school. The newspaper carried a picture of them all with their bald heads, accompanied by the caption, 'Everything we do, we do together.'

That's the 'law of love' Jesus was talking about when He said, 'A new command I give you: Love one another.' This must have sounded radical to the people Jesus was addressing, for they lived by two Old Testament laws: (1) The law of revenge. Before Moses came along, the law of the land was the law of the jungle. It said in essence, 'If you hurt me I'll hurt you and then hurt you even more!' Enemies actively sought ways to settle old scores because revenge wasn't just acceptable, it was encouraged. (2) The law of retribution. In Moses' time, revenge was replaced with retribution, which allowed 'an eye for an eye', but no more (Leviticus 24:20). You could do to your enemies only what they had done to you. To us this sounds harsh, but back then it was major progress.

Then Jesus came along and introduced a third law: the law of love. It meant you didn't have to get even; you could choose to forgive. Indeed, if you didn't, your prayers wouldn't be answered. This new commandment demonstrates the unconditional love God shows to us - then calls us to live the same way. So the law of love should govern your life every day.

Soulfood : 1 Sam 24-26, Lk 4:14-30, Ps 110, Prov 17:15-17

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The Danger of Pursuing Power

The first lie Satan told Adam and Eve was a direct appeal to the ego in all of us: '...You will be like God...' (Genesis 3:5 NRS). The crafty old serpent pulled back the curtain to Heaven's throne room and gave our first parents a glimpse of power and glory and they were hooked. And we've been hooked ever since! If you've spent any time in the company of social climbers and 'name droppers', you realise human nature hasn't changed much. It's still about staying on top! And since manners can take you where money alone can't, you can actually take classes that teach you 'power table manners'. Things like never handing your plate to the waiter and never stooping to retrieve dropped cutlery. In fact, to ensure your place on the ladder of upward mobility, a cardinal rule is never to stoop at all! Not even to help meet people's needs, admit your mistakes, or give to those who can't repay you.

The pursuit of power makes you think you're better than others and prevents you from serving them. It makes you susceptible to flattery, resistant to honest counsel and leads to isolation and non-accountability. You see it every day in little things, like never complimenting those under you in case they 'forget their place'; refusing to be loving and courteous to your mate in case you lose your most powerful weapon - control; putting personal ambition ahead of personal integrity; withholding intimacy to punish and manipulate someone.

Such power plays are designed to get you what you want at other people's expense. That's why the Bible warns, 'A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble...retain honour.'

Soulfood : 1 Sam 20:30-23:29, Lk 4:1-13, Ps 102:18-28, Prov 17:11-14

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