Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith – ‘Love Saves the World from Death’

ronniemcbrayer300 orangeKENTUCKY (4/26/14) — I pulled from my bookshelf a few systematic theology books that I had not opened for a long time.

I blew off the dust, cracked the stiff binding, and dove into the hundreds of pages filled with declarations about the attributes and characteristics of God.

There they all were: God’s self-existence, knowability, immutability, infinity, immensity, unity, veracity, holiness, righteousness, omniscience, sovereignty, transcendence, and several other $10 words, with all my handwritten study notes in the margins. This corpus of work was intended to make the theology student feel confident, to demonstrate how right our doctrines are. But as I skimmed the pages I was made freshly aware of how distracted we have become.

For all of Christianity’s theoretical words and defenses, the Apostle John was simple and winsome with his definition of God: “God is love,” John said.

If Christians daily practiced this definition instead of declaring and defending how “right” we are, I imagine the world would be a much different place.

With the truth, “God is love,” rather than “God is on my side,” or “God hates you and your kind,” in the hearts of people and animating their actions, it would revolutionize the world. I know this talk about the power of love can trigger our gag reflex. We’ve heard enough of that, haven’t we?

Love talk is the cue to braid our hair in pigtails and flowers, break out the hookah pipe, drink a little free Bubble-Up, and lay back on a bed of rainbows. That’s about all it is, just talk. The late George Carlin said, “Love is incredibly powerful. It is a beautiful thing. But if love had any power to change the world, it would have prevailed by now. Love can’t change the world. It’s nice. It’s pleasant. It’s better than hate. But it has no special power.”

While tempted to agree with this assessment, I’m not ready to do so yet. I’m going to take John at his word: Love is God’s nature and love comes from God. Once this love gets planted in our hearts, it spills out to others, resulting in transformation; it changes the world, one person at a time.

Love isn’t ineffective. Rather, every generation must learn the same lesson: God’s love must become primary; more crucial than any other belief, creed, or doctrine to which we adhere. Such love will have infinitely more power than any theological explanation, and such power can be employed by everyone, from the brainiest theologian to the most common man on the street.

To that end, there was a rabbi who became friends with a Persian fortuneteller. Every morning the two sat together and watched people head out of the village to work. As a man walked by, the fortuneteller said, “I foresee that this man will not come back. He will be bitten by a snake and die.”

The rabbi answered, “Maybe so, but only God knows such things.” They agreed to come together at the end of the day to see if the worker returned. At evening they saw the condemned man enter the village! The Persian ran at once to him, grabbed his backpack, and emptied it on the ground. An enormous snake spilled out of the bag; a snake very much dead.

So the rabbi asked the man, “What did you do today to avoid misfortune?”

The man answered, “I cut trees in the forest. Every day at lunch the workers place our food in a common basket and eat together. Today, one of us had no bread and was ashamed. So I told my friends, ‘Let me collect the food.’ When I came to him I pretended to take bread from him, so that he would not be embarrassed.”

To this the rabbi burst out laughing. He said, “My son, today you obeyed God’s commandment to love! You saved your coworker and also saved yourself!”

And turning to his fortuneteller friend, the rabbi said, “When one loves from his heart, he changes the fates. Love saves the world from death.”

Indeed, it does.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted

Stock Report

button coupons
1 DOW 17,827.75
+12.81 (0.07%)    
2 S&P 2,072.83
+5.80 (0.28%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,787.32
0.00 (0.00%)    
2/6/2014 - posted
2/6/2014 - posted
button classifieds

In Other News...

Thanksgiving

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (11/26/14) — I wanted to take a moment to convey the grandest Thanksgiving wishes to all of the… Read More

Library Collecting Food in Lieu of Overdue Fines

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (11/26/14) — “Food for Fines” is once again being offered by the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public… Read More
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 7590

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 22, 2014 5223

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collision in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 4908

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 21, 2014 4140

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 3979

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 21, 2014 3515

Swimming and Diving Closes Fall Season at Ohio…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
November 24, 2014 3374

Two Charged for Possession of Meth After…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by MCSO/PIO Alex Piper
November 21, 2014 3256

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 25, 2014 2721

Madisonville Man Charged for Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 2700

Call for Help Results in Arrest for Possession of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

November 25, 2014 1989

Protect Your Home When Traveling This Holiday…

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1659

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 26, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 26, 2014 1546

Sweet Staple of Thanksgiving

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1540

Muhlenberg Set for Small Business Saturday Savings

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1458

Baptist Health Madisonville Hires New Physical…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
November 26, 2014 1315

Greene Leaf Boutique Offers Style for Less

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1268

Citizen Sounds Off About Library

in Hopkins News by Scott Rogers
November 26, 2014 1206

Madisonville Man Charged with Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Lt. William W. Poe
November 26, 2014 1203

High School Wrestling Teams Returning to…

in General Sports For All Sites by Steve LeMaster
November 26, 2014 1131

UK Volleyball Finalizes 2015 Class with Watson

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss