William Andrew Dillard
PARSON TO PERSON
WHERE THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS LEARNING
Love is a highly prized dimension of life, but unfortunately, considered to be a non-essential to the majority of the world. Some would say, “Now hold on there, preacher! Psychologists insist that love is essential to wellbeing.” Well, injecting “well-being’ into the thought creates a different equation, but just think with me for a minute!
In the great love chapter of the Bible, I Cor. 13, Paul said he might speak with the tongues of men and of angel without it. He went on to say that he might possess the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, even possess such faith as to move mountains without love. He could be kindly minded toward the poor, and become a sacrificial martyr without love. But all of that would be for nothing…FOR NOTHING! It is love that survives, that preservers, that counts for something both in time and eternity.
Love is not static! It goes to the depths of problems. It is active in longsuffering, promoting others, hoping, believing, enduring, bearing all things. It rejoices not in iniquity, but in truth! Let the meaning of these words be applied then to the average Christian in modern times. Do they fit well, or seem to be all out of kilter with the status quo?
Most any churchgoer will tell you he loves the Lord; loves His Word; loves His church, but these are words; too often hollow words. Hollow words find their satisfaction in detached, mostly ritualistic, habitual actions of religion which are void of personal communion and growth in the grace of God and His inexhaustible Word. It is sad! Certainly, one can live in the same house with a spouse; provide material things, and appear to be the envy of the world, but not have love for that spouse or the true meaning of a home. This is often true in describing professing Christians. One might do well to ask himself how much time he has spent in prayer or in reading the Holy Word lately. One would do well to ask of self just when was the last time personal faith was shared outside the walls of a church house? One would do well to ask himself, when was the last time he actually learned anything at all from the Bible that had not resided in his consciousness previously?
Consider that a small child was given a wing pin by a pilot in an airport. He proudly proclaimed to his mother that he was now a pilot. His mother replied to him that in his eyes he was a pilot, and in her eyes he was a pilot, but in the eyes of a pilot, he was no pilot at all. Could this also illustrate the status of many professing church members. It is easy to say, “I love the Lord,” but love is not static. Love is active. Where love is, there is growth, progress, learning!
WILL DIVINE RECIPROCATION MAKE YOU HAPPY?
William A. Dillard
Parson to Person
Some questions are so important that one must know the answers. One question to which I refer is resounded in Holy Writ, but it is also penned quite pointedly in the lyrics of a classic hymn. “What will you do with Jesus, neutral you cannot be. One day your heart will be asking, ‘what will He do with me.’” Could there be a more relevant and pressing question on a greater number of people than this? Jesus plainly declared that those who deny Him, He will deny before the Father. Matt. 10:33.
Jesus needs to be in the forefront of life. Think about this incident. “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: “The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.” John 12:20-21. It occurs to this writer that the wholesale rejection of organized religion by the majority of our nation’s population is partly due to the obscurity of Jesus. Please consider:
* Great edifices with stained glass windows and air conditioned environment are pointed to with pride, but where is Jesus?
* Social programs designed to busy one abound, but where is Jesus?
* The determination to present a non-offensive religion a lost society may keep the pews warm and the coffers full, but where is Jesus?
* Pulpits may be ablaze with educated homilies, but where is Jesus?
Strong witnessing and preaching about Jesus is needed! Men must know they are lost without Him, and that His sweet grace is freely offered to them for the trusting.
Consider the contrast of long ago with today’s society. Zacchaeus was so excited about the possibility of seeing Jesus that he climbed a tree to do it. Believers were so excited over the prospect of bringing a palsied man to Jesus that they cut a large hole in the roof of the house where He was. Multitudes followed Jesus to hear Him, and to witness His works without regard for food or lodging.
Today, people are so complacent about Jesus they are more likely to go fishing or to visit relatives than to meet with Him for worship. They will avoid any discussion of the need of salvation among their fellows for fear of being considered a radical. Often church meetings are esteemed so unimportant that members will look for excuses to be absent. Is the power of God diminished, or have we faked people into the church who are incapable of spiritual appreciation and excitement?
These things may be easily dismissed by nominal, worldly-minded “Christians,” but judgment flies toward earth on swift wings. Dear friends, “What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be! One day your heart will be asking: ‘What will He do with me?’” Will you be happy with reciprocation?
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