Thursday, 1 November 2012

The most important thing

What do YOU think the most important thing is?

We ask our children, on  a very regular basis, this question...

"What's the most important thing?"

From a very young age, we teach them the answer.

From the time they begin to talk, they know the answer.

We try and instil it in them - every day of their life.

We remind.

We demonstrate.

We perform it.

We try and live it.

What IS the most important thing?

That is the most important thing.

Says who?

Says God.

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
I Corinthians 13:13

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 
This is the first and great commandment. 
  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Matthew 22:37-39

 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 
  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. "
John 13:34-35

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Romans 12:10

Just this morning I was reading in Colossians, and it struck me again.

"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."
Colossians 3:14

We have to teach, and remind our children to love.  To demonstate it and mean it above everything else.  In the spirit of keeping things real, let me just say it does not happen naturally or all the time.  It's why we have to TRAIN up our children in the way they should go.

But I was struck by these words of Paul, to the Church in Colosse. 

PUT ON charity.  It's a verb.  A word of action.  It's not something which always comes naturally, and sometimes it's outright hard work.  But, we are to put it on, nonetheless.  

Like a cloak, covering over all the garments of our character.  

Covering the beautiful garments of peace, joy, thanksgiving and praise.  Those things with which we clothe ourselves, as those who love the Lord.  

Putting love over the less-than-clean clothing that we have as part of our sinful nature.  That, though we have those beautiful garments from our Lord, are still present in our lives.  Love, covering all things - blanketing over all else that is good or bad. 

Some days putting on that love may be easy.  

Some days putting it on will be hard.   Very hard.  But, it's a choice we have to make, to put that love on.


Because, God tells us to.  Love is a command, not an option.

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love....

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another...
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? "

I John 4:7-8, 11, 20

Such sobering words.

If we do not choose to love...if we say we don't love...we are not God's children.

We are liars.

We MUST love.

We MUST put it on.  Pick it up, dust it off, and put it on.  Hard and heavy as it may at first seem, we remember that God loves US.

Us, in our sin.

So, we can love too.

What's the most important thing?


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