As always, here’s my fairly literal translation of these verses:
9But you are not having a need [for us] to write to you concerning brotherly love, for you yourselves are God-taught ones into the love (agape) of one another and 10for you are doing this into all the brothers in all of Macedonia. But we are urging you, brothers, to abound more and more,
As I related in my last post, I think it is a tragedy that modern Christianity (at least in America, the only place I know) has so far departed from its basic charge to love, and, in particular, in light of this passage, the charge to love each other. Jesus told His disciples to love each other and the early church did it so well, even the unbelieving sceptics marveled at them.
How could we have wandered so far? Could I suggest the problem is that we’ve lost touch with God’s heart? As a generation, we don’t seek Him with any vigor, and therefore we don’t find Him. I fear we’re too content with our church going traditions and simply don’t invest the effort to really know Him.
I sense this in my own heart as I look at this passage. It certainly wouldn’t be true of me to say I’m known for how much I love my fellow Christians. How could that be? I read Zeph 3:17 again, “The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over you with singing,” and can’t say I see other believers through those eyes. As I studied vv3-8, I realized I really don’t see the whole sex issue through God’s eyes. As I said there, I’m willing to just accept that sex outside marriage is wrong, but I realize I don’t really see it through God’s eyes. And then, in that passage it mentioned how God has called us to live a “holy” life. I’ve lamented before that I don’t think we really even know anymore what “holy” means. The Seraphim see God and cry out, “Holy, holy, holy!” Do any of us really even know what it is that so enraptures them? Really? They obviously know exactly what “holy” is and when they see it in God’s divine perfection, it moves them to cry out! Again, I don’t think we even know what it is.
So we don’t see other believers through God’s eyes, we don’t see the matter of sex through God’s eyes, and we don’t even know what holiness is any more.
So do we really know God?
I for one don’t think I know Him well enough. I’m ashamed that I don’t really know His heart on such basic issues as these. I’m ashamed that after 40 years of “knowing” Him, I don’t do a very good job of seeing the world through His eyes.
All I can do is tell Him that, tell Him I am genuinely sorry I’ve learned so little, and ask Him to help me truly know Him, know His heart, see the world through His eyes.
He deserves people who really, sincerely want to know His heart.
I hope I can become more that kind of person and maybe, if you’ve stumbled across these feeble scratchings, maybe you’d be encouraged too to pray to know Him better.