Been thinking quite a bit about Paul laying aside his available and righteous justification/defense/reason to do an act of love that he reckoned was better. I’ve wondered how many thousands of times I have neglected a better, higher way to love, in my quest to vindicate myself.
Now, I’ve kept a pretty good record of these neglects on the part of others close to me, and could craft better ways for “them” in retrospect and in future situations (if they would only do it my way). However, in my quest to specify better ways of loving in others, I conveniently and continually overlook ways for me to love better.
I’m reminded of some Scripture along these lines:
A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
1 Peter 4:7-8
For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer. Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins.
I give you a new commandment-to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
No one has greater love than this-that one lays down his life for his friends.
But what about their wrongdoing? What do do about the sin?
What about God’s ability to work in your and other’s hearts? What about loving someone into a better state of being? How about trusting Jesus in his death on behalf of those who killed him?
I’m thinking we can trust God with much more than we do, especially in relationships. Especially when hurt and love are hanging in the balance.
Been thinking maybe the Lord is better at this than we are.
Did you know that there are more than 30 churches in San Luis Obispo? It’s not that big of a city. We probably don’t need that many churches. But hey, Vintage! Here’s one more.
Yep. We’re one of those churches in San Luis Obispo.
A few months ago, Dayn and Aaron shared a bit of the story of how Vintage came to exist and what makes it different. It was a good reminder for me about why we’re doing this. When I pass three churches on my drive across town on Sunday morning, sometimes I wonder, “do we really need more churches in San Luis Obispo?”
Definitely not. Not just “another church,” at least.
I need a place to come on Sundays where my assumptions are challenged. Where I can sit side by side with other Christians who think differently than I do and still worship the same God. Where I can be OK with not having it all together. Where things might be awkward and not fully polished, but it’s real and everyone is welcome to participate.
It’s not about trying harder–it’s a weekly moment to pause and remember who God says I am. To be called back to the goodness of the Gospel. To be reminded that though we’re all flawed, we’re together–and we’re known and loved by God.
So yeah, there are a lot of churches in San Luis Obispo to choose from. Some of them have great children’s programs. Some have amazing preaching. Some are real communities. You might go to one of them and be real happy there. That’s great!
But if you’ve been to church in the past and are over it, maybe come check out Vintage SLO. You might like it, you might not. But hopefully it’s a little different than what you’re used to experiencing on Sunday morning.
(And if you were searching for “churches in San Luis Obispo” and found this page, be sure to check out the rest of our site)
How’s about a little sermon preview for Templeton, and rehash for SLO this morning?
We are looking into Acts 21:15 to somewhere in 22. In there, we see Paul doing something he simply did not have to do, but did to accommodate a group of his fellow Jews who believed a rumor about him.
Now, I don’t know about you, but my first reaction to something false said about me is to defend the truth of it all, and set straight those who are fabricating/perpetuating such lies. I also seem to feel responsible for how others interpret my way/words – in spite of my best efforts to be clear, and their responsibility for the filter they use.
But Paul, though very intelligent, a great debater and clearly not at fault in this situation, chose to align himself with the truth by participating in a vow, with some other guys, that was completely unnecessary and opened himself up to confirm the accusations. His allegiance to Jewish laws and traditions were always clear, as was his message of non-Jewish obligation to the Gentiles.
And that’s where this trouble began. Those who were preloaded to have a problem were having a problem. So Paul subjected principles that were readily and non-sinfully at his disposal for a greater, overriding principle. You’ll have to look into it.
John 5:44 says, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” and I find that inconvenient.
This morning your coach team is even at this moment walking through an issue that makes us feel like certain forces are working against us, and there are names attached to those forces. Personally, I am not feeling love or motivation to pray.
The difficulty in this verse is that personal connection. Praying for politicians I disagree with, or groups I find offensive is hard, but doable. This verse is calling me to pray for those that are directly messing with me. I love justice. I have a deep desire for the bad guys to get their due. Jesus’ call to love and prayer feels like I am betraying my own heart. And I am.
Jesus calls us to betray our hearts of flesh every day. Jesus calls us to surrender and let Him be Lord and judge. Jesus asks me to remember that I only want the bad guy to get his due when the bad guy isn’t me…because then I’m hoping for grace.
It is necessary for me to keep my blinders fixed firmly in place to maintain obstinate opposition to Jesus’ words. Please write back with stronger justification than I can find to ignore Jesus or pretend He didn’t mean what He said, I’m totally open to suggestions.