“Love and Tolerance, Not Always the Same!” December 8

 

Love & Tolerance, Not Always the Same - Love and tolerance: the world often equates one with the other. Yet, passages like Galatians 6.1-2 and Ezekiel 33.1-6 make it clear that tolerance is not always love. We are told to lovingly confront sin in the lives of other believers and to share the gospel and, at times, warn unbelievers of the judgment to come.Love and tolerance: the world often equates one with the other. Yet, passages like Galatians 6.1-2 and Ezekiel 33.1-6 make it clear that tolerance is not always love. We are told to lovingly confront sin in the lives of other believers, to share the gospel and, at times, warn unbelievers of the judgment to come.

Also read about God’s promises to Israel, the futility of running from God, and how a fool and his words get into trouble.

 

Today’s Readings:
Hosea 7 & 8
Psalm 139.7-12
Proverbs 29.20
2 John 1-13

 

Love and Tolerance, Not Always the Same!

 

2 John 1-13:

This is Love

 

Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Here in 2 John, the apostle makes it clear that the way we love God and others is by being obedient to His Word:

“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (v. 6).

Sometimes obeying God’s Word seems contrary to what the world considers loving behavior. The world often defines “love” as “tolerance.” Yet, passages like Galatians 6.1-2, Matthew 18.15 and Ezekiel 33.1-6 teach that we are to warn believers and unbelievers alike so they can repent and turn from their sin.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we go around pointing out every sin, but when we see a professing believer caught in a lifestyle or pattern of sin, we should be willing to lovingly confront them, when necessary, and perhaps come alongside them. With unbelievers, we need to prayerfully consider sharing the gospel with them and, at times, warning them of the judgment to come.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Prov. 27.6).

Neither does it mean we should be harsh or self-righteous. In fact, this is a time to first examine ourselves and be sure we get the logs out of our own eyes (Matt. 7.3-5). When we do approach someone we are to be gentle and tentative, not tentative about the truths of God, but tentative about their behavior by not jumping to conclusions.

Perhaps you have a married female friend who has mentioned to you that she and a male co-worker have had lunch together a number of times or you’ve observed her playfully flirting with someone. You see all kinds of red flags, but it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Instead, you can lovingly warn her of the danger of spending time one-on-one with someone of the opposite sex or talk to her about the dangers of flirting. You might use an example from your own life where you thought something was harmless, but later realized it was a slippery slope.

Or maybe you have a co-worker who announces he or she is getting “married” to  their same-sex partner and hands you an invitation. You know refusing to go will not be taken well, but you know you can’t support your friend’s choice.  Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “Tolerance or Test?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 23 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Is it true?” (Daniel 3.14).

Three young Hebrew men by the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were faced with a decision. The King had built a golden statue of himself and ordered all his subjects to bow down and worship his image. Anyone who didn’t would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

It would have been easy for them to justify doing it. After all, he was the King and his word was law, but not these three!

Hawkins says about the King:

Upon hearing the news of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego acting according to their convictions, the king summons them into his presence. He wanted to know “Is it true?”

Today the “King’s law” is “tolerance.” Hawkins says:

Tolerance used to mean that we recognized and respected other people’s beliefs and values even when we didn’t share them. Today tolerance means something entirely different: it now means that everyone’s values, faith claims, and lifestyles should be accepted and that all truth claims are to be treated as equal.

As believers we should be loving and kind to others, no matter what their beliefs. We should respect the laws of our land as long as we are not being asked to sin or “give hearty approval” to those who claim evil is good (Rom. 1.32).

Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were tested, so are we. Will we respond as they did?

… who lived according to inner principle, not by outer pressure. When their moment of crisis came, they stood tall and firm because their decisions were guided by the Word within their hearts, not by the external world system. As the morals of our culture continue to crumble, we believers should expect to hear this same question asked of us: “Is it true? Is it true . . . that you do not bow to the gods of this world?” These three young Hebrews are shouting encouragement to us across the centuries today. They are saying, “Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Don’t give out.”

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4.4).

Last week’s question: “Who among you fears the Lord?” (Isaiah 50.10). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

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Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.


 

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December 8 “Tolerance … not always love” +LINKUP

tolerance

Sometimes obeying God’s Word seems contrary to what the world considers love. The world often defines “love” as “tolerance.” Yet, passages like Galatians 6.1-2 make it clear that tolerance is not always love.

Today’s Readings:
Hosea 7 & 8
Psalm 139.7-12
Proverbs 29.20
2 John 1-13

 

Hosea 7 & 8:

Israel has forgotten his Maker

This little book of Hosea contains some of the strongest prophecies against His people, alongside the greatest picture of His redeeming love. Although He declared judgment for their rejection of Him, He also promised to “buy them back” off the auction block, just as He commanded Hosea to do for Gomer.

12 I have written for him the great things of My law,
But they were considered a strange thing.
13 For the sacrifices of My offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat it,
But the LORD does not accept them.
Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.
They shall return to Egypt.
14 “ For Israel has forgotten his Maker, … (8.12-14).

Though Israel continued to perform their religious activities—“the sacrifices of My offerings,” God would not accept them. They were meaningless to God because they were without faith and were mixed with idolatry. But, although they would return to captivity—“Egypt”—God said He would not leave them there forever. There will come a time when He will once again begin working in the Nation of Israel as a whole and many will return to Him in faith.

Today many people attend church. They may even be involved in some area of ministry. But their religion has little, if any, effect on how they live their lives or treat others. They give God very little thought on a practical level. They may well be among those we talked about yesterday who hear “on that day … ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” (Matt. 7.23). Continue reading