Love God’s people?
Love God’s word.
The two are one and to separate them is to leave a gaping wound, hearts patched with blood seeping through.
Sometimes the whims of what people want to hear and what they need to hear clash and the resounding clang of fleshly desire and spiritual need rings loud.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Oh, but the temptation burns strong and is rooted deep. The desire to please. The desire to win hearts
The fear of rejection,
The fear of man.
Man comes to us holding the shredded remains of his broken, battered heart and we proceed to patch. To substitute Band-Aids for surgery, to cover flesh wounds rather than healing soul wounds. Great is the temptation to minister only to the flesh that is before us, ignoring the spiritual turmoil that is left raging.
The Father’s question beckons loud;
Do you love me?
Feed my sheep.
We stand in church and loudly proclaim our love for God, but will we shepherd His flock? Will we stand watch and guide and direct? Will we nourish His sheep in the pure milk of the word?
Will we tend wounds superficially or wash them in the soul cleansing word of God that washes away sin, taking away all spot and wrinkle.
Love the people of God, love them deeply and with abandon. Like a discerning parent who feeds a child the nutrients they need rather than the sweets they desire – give them what they need.
Give them God’s word.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[c]
And this is the word that was preached to you