Love Grown Cold
By Clayton Adams Jesus said, 'Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) Jesus said this as part of a larger and more pointed conversation about the end of human time on earth.
Many people have predicted the return of Christ and the end of human time on earth and all have been wrong. There is no need be concerned with these predictions or waste your time with those who attempt to predict or who say they have found a hidden code for the return of Christ. Jesus' return has already been determined and the only One who knows is God Himself. All others are imposters.
Speaking of imposters they are everywhere. One dictionary definition of an imposter is; “one that assumes false identity or title for the purpose of deception.” There is a whole lot of deception going on in the world.
I have often deceived myself, I can blame no one else for my deception. Jesus said, “See to it that no one misleads you.” (Matthew 24:4) We deceive ourselves in one form or another and it is easy to do this. Humans are masters of self-deception. Deceiving ourselves is much easier than deceiving others.
Consider the example Jesus gives in the account of the religious leader and tax collector; 'Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' 'But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'” Jesus said, 'I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other (Pharisee); for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.' (Luke 18:10-14) It was the Pharisee (religious leader) who deceived himself and all he did was compare himself to someone else. That is how we do it – to make ourselves feel good about ourselves (the deception), we simply find someone else who we think is worse off than ourselves. I don't like being an imposter, it's not what I want to be but it is part of my human nature. Christians and non-Christians have this problem. Check out Eminem's song The Monster or the Christian group Skillet for their song – Monster. I do want to follow the example Jesus and the apostles set down in their own words. Jesus said, 'But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) The apostle Peter wrote, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Jesus taught by His Word and deeds to love people. However, loving people the right way is not easy. Human nature screams inside each one of us to “speak our mind” without regard to the damage it inflicts on others. After all, we have our right to say what we want, or do we?
The old adage; “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” It's a lie straight from hell. Words are cruel, words have eternal consequences, words kill the spirit and soul, words wound deeper, much deeper than sticks and stones ever wound.
The words we speak, in casual conversations, fits of rage or anger, out of frustration is the true measure of a person's heart. Jesus said, 'The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:45) We are engaged in a spiritual fight against the culture. People are not our enemy, but our enemy works through people. We must be diligent to not let our love grow cold and do not become callous to one another, disrespectful and unforgiving. Be careful not to be like the Pharisee who prayed next to the tax collector thinking that he was better. Lets live our lives with the love of Christ in us so that His love is heard from our mouths and seen in our lives. My prayer is; “Jesus, change my nature by forgiving me, transforming and renewing my mind. I pray that my love for others is without hypocrisy. Help me to abhor and resist what is evil and to cling to what is good. Keep us devoted to one another in brotherly love; give us wisdom and strength to honor others more than ourselves, to be diligent, vibrant in our spirit, serving You only Lord. Because of your grace and mercy we have much to rejoice and hope in. Give us humility and perseverance in our daily trials; Lord, help our love not to grow cold for one another and keep us focused on You in our tribulations, knowing that you work all things to Your good. Amen.”
Clayton Adams is pastor at Earle First Assembly of God. You can e- mail him at cpalaa@ yahoo. com, or find Earle First Assembly on Facebook.
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