Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today's reading has this verse:

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.. 1 Jn 4:20
I found it interesting because it directly relates being visible with being spiritually useful. We need to love God but our ability to love Him is limited because we cannot see Him. We end up loving what we have imagined God to be rather than loving God. Loving people does not have this danger. They are who they are. There is no imagining they are something else. So if we cannot love real people then the odds are we cannot love the real God either. We are lying to ourselves because we have replaced God with someone easier to love.

I find the same is true of an visible church. If we can't obey a visible church then we can imagine we are obeying God but it is not likely. Much more likely that we are obeying our own image of God. Not the true God. Obeying the invisible is harder if we are not cheating that way. So if we fail at the easier task of obeying the church we can see we are never going to succeed at obeying the God we cannot see. All we will really succeed at is lying to ourselves about the God we cannot see.

So we need to thank God for giving us real people that stretch our ability to love. We also need to thank Him for a real church that stretches our ability to obey. It is only through these medium that we have a chance to love and obey God. They solve our spiritual blindness. They keep us from taking the easy way out.

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