Do I Have Enough Religion to Love?
Some people have enough religion to make them hate, but not enough to make them love.
Love should be the driving force of every Christian. In fact, without love we're not Christians.
1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
We must love God:
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
But if we do not love men, we cannot say that we love God:
1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Being a preacher, demonstrating the love of God is an absolute necessity. If I do not, I have no business preaching in Christ's stead. And that does not mean that the theological subject has to be the love of God, it means that everything taught and preached must be saturated with it. It means that the manner in which I shake the people's hands, hug their necks, the manner in which I listen to their problems (serious or trifle), must be sincere and with the compassion of Christ. God is love and His people are loving.
One of our major problems is pride. I've found myself pushing doctrines because I wanted to be right, not because I wanted men to be saved. The messages were not motivated by love for God and people; they were motivated by a love for myself. May God smite me, and every preacher, when we use the sword as a threshing tool and not a razor sharp instrument of life.
One of the hardest things I had to learn was that those who were trying to convert me over to their false understanding of the Bible were often doing it because they loved me and truly felt I was deceived. So, although they were doctrinally wrong, their motive was right. It softened my heart toward them and made me realize I was attacking people that loved me.
Let us weigh our motives. Why am I saying what I'm saying? Am I trying to prove a point? Will this actually build the kingdom of God? Even if I'm right, will this destroy the weak? Is this the proper venue for such a message? If the love of God and His kingdom are the motivating factors, check yourself again, and then love the people.