Proclaiming the Love of God with Love

A poet and friend over on Facebook asked people to comment on a book he was reading, then listed a quote:

“There are two principles that have traditionally been labeled in Christianity as ‘greats.’ One is the great commission about sharing the good news of Christ’s triumph over sin and death with every creature; the other is the great commandment, in which Jesus summed up all the law and prophets by telling us to love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Of these two, the commandment far outweighs the the commission. I know what it is to carry out the commission without bothering with the command. We preached to strangers we didn’t love and walked away feeling like martyrs, when all along we were just being obnoxious.”
John Fischer in “Confessions of a Caffeinated Christian”
 
My Thoughts: (no particular order)
  1. John’s experience isn’t everyones.
  2. I feel sorry for the people he shared the gospel with uncoupled from love for them, at an earlier time in his life. That should never happen from any of us.
  3. Christians never have a “right” to feel like martyrs. We should always feel honored to have the privilege of proclaiming the greatest news in the world.
  4. We should always couple proclamation with love and love with proclamation. These two things, proclamation and love, should always travel together. Anything less misrepresents Christ and the gospel.
  5. Taking our personal confessions of failure and assuming or accusing others of the same thing seems like bearing false witness concerning our brothers and sisters. Tread very carefully.
  6. Let’s love strangers and refuse to be obnoxious while also proclaiming the gospel boldly, without compromise and with great compassion for our friends and neighbors.
“Lord make us men and women who love our neighbors enough to be patient and kind, sensitive and bold. Make us willing to risk their dislike so that they might have forgiveness and glory with You. Help us to always be ready to give testimony to the world that You are more valuable than life itself. Amen”

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