Bible Journey Begins With Worship!
In the future
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will endure
as the most important of mountains,
and will be the most prominent of hills.
All the nations will stream to it, many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the LORD’s mountain,
to the temple of the God of Jacob,
so he can teach us his requirements,
and we can follow his standards.”
For Zion will be the center for moral instruction;
the LORD will issue edicts from Jerusalem.
At Holly Hill, our theme verse for this year has been 2 Corinthians 6:2 — “Look! Now is the acceptable time! Look! Now is the day of salvation!” We’ve been trying to express the urgency of the with-God life, how we’ve got to take what we believe and what we learn and live it NOW! This month, we’re focusing on brotherly love, and we spent a lot of time this morning in 1st Peter.
Peter talks about brotherly love a LOT! He says that without Christ, our love couldn’t be truly genuine (1:22). He says that love is what covers us (4:8), and we know how desperately we need to be covered! And he says that brotherly love is an integral part of Christian living (3:8-9). It is the lifestyle to which we were called, and it is by blessing people in this way that we ourselves will be blessed.
That struck home really hard for me. You see, I grew up without a blessing. My biological father never showed any interest in knowing me. My biological mother got rid of me at a very early age. I bounced from family to family until my biological aunt and uncle adopted me, and I grew up in a very cold household. Affection and affirmation were definitely at a premium, and my soul shriveled until I began receiving blessing from an extremely unlikely source — but that story another time.
Now, I just want to remark on how Peter’s and Isaiah’s words come together. Isaiah spoke of a day when people would come to the house of God for moral instruction and to learn how to live with God. As a result of that, if you read along in Isaiah’s story, you see the results — true peace! Now, Peter reminds us that we are the house of God and our mission is to fulfill Isaiah’s vision — to take that vision of worldwide blessing and spread it! Our method: brotherly love — not doctrinal correctness (although that’s important!) — not “standing up for what’s right” (although there’s always a place for that) — not by “being nice” (although there’s always room for that, too).
Sincere, genuine, earnest brotherly love that doesn’t give up when our love is challenged, or rejected, or abused, or reviled, or spurned. That’s what will transform the world — and that’s why our good intentions aren’t worth much without the power of Jesus’ Spirit. Our acts of love, integrated with His vision, will endure (1 Cor 3) and carry on into life everlasting. That’s why we’ve got to learn to love like Jesus!
in HIS love,