May 24, 2013 - Love: The Key to God's Blessing
By Jerry D. Scott
Got any pet peeves?
A friend of mine is really set off by drivers who aren't focused on the road. He's a commuter, so that makes sense.
I get peeved by people who wait until the last minute to get to a task they've known about for weeks, who then make excuses about why it's not done right. I'm not sure why that bugs me so much. (Go ahead, let me know what you think.)
Based on personality, experience, and training, each of us is sensitive to different issues. What looks like silly irritation to me may be deadly serious stuff to you. Proverbs tells us there are seven things that make the Lord angry! Really, it's true and it's not silly. If we want to enjoy His blessing, we would be wise to pay attention.
"There are six things the Lord hates — no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family" (Proverbs 6:16-19, NLT).
Arrogance, dishonesty, injustice, conspiring to sin, chasing after the thrill of sin, using lies to make someone look bad, and troublemaking in the family are on the Lord's list of things that stir up His anger.
That list makes a lot of sense when placed against the basic characteristic of the nature of God, love. John, the beloved disciple, explains: "Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1 John 4:7-9, NIV).
When we are self-centered and sinfully diminish the worth and quality of the lives of others in the ways listed in Proverbs, we really anger the One who is Love personified.
Do you know that God loves you? Yes, He does — not for what you do, how much you own, or your beauty or brains. He loves you just because you are! We will never love others the best way until we have accepted His love and settled, once and for all, our insecurities about our self-worth. That is why John tells us, "We love because [God] first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
Oh, what liberation comes from the love of God. And, what slavery to sin keeps us wrapped up in ourselves if we will not accept the love of God shown to us through Christ Jesus.
Want to enjoy God's blessings? Want to live the best life possible, one of joy, of peace, of fulfillment? Learn to love! It's a beautiful thing!
— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Faith Discovery Church (Assemblies of God) in Washington, N.J.