Heavenly Love

Published on Apr 23rd, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Heavenly Love

Heavenly Love

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.”  Colossians 1:3-5a

I do not think that Warren Buffet is jealous of my 1953 Farmall Cub tractor that is missing the front grill.  I do not think Prince William is too bothered by the fact that I mentioned the other day that he really is going bald.  I might be wrong, but I don’t think LeBron James is upset that I am still a little angry that he chose Miami over coming back to the Cavs.  I may have even said some not so kind things about him.  Still don’t think he cares much.

In our human nature we find that great wealth, great power, or great status gives us a certain independence.  We do not need…so therefore we are free from the binds that come from needing other people. People can be messy and if we are able to break those binds from them then we can make our life easier.  A popular athlete may be bothered somewhat by what some people say but he can more easily dismiss people because he has thousands in line who want to be his friend.  A truly wealthy person never needs to be jealous of what someone else has (materialistically) because he has the funds to go buy one for himself.  A powerful person can easily dismiss the pettiness of others because he knows who he is and what he is able to do.

But the rest of us who are not wealthy, popular, or powerful struggle a little bit more with the messiness of people.  We cannot so easily ignore what people say because we need those people who surround us. We do not have all of the options of the wealthy or the powerful.  We cannot so easily dismiss friends and acquaintances.  We do not have the option of being so independent.

Do you think that is one of the reasons Paul associates our love for others with our hope of heaven?  He says that the Colossian believers had a great love for others because of their hope of heaven.  How does our hope of heaven move us to love others?

Let’s go back to our first thoughts.  If someone becomes wealthy because of a great gift and they are humble enough to recognize that gift…then they may move toward others rather than away from them. They would realize that all that they now have been given could make them independent but their humility of realizing that it was all a gift drives them toward others.  Their wealth allows them to make choices of grace and love that they were not able to make before. What about a powerful person?  If they realize that their power was given to them by the people or by simply being born into a family then they may be driven toward people rather than pulling back in independence.  They realize that their great family position is a gift and not an entitlement.  A gift to share with others.

We have been given a great grace gift.  We have been adopted into an amazing family.  We call the creator of the universe dad.  He has given us permission to come to him with any request or problem.  He has even given us himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, to live inside of us.  He has also made us joint-heirs with his son, Jesus. Our inheritance is waiting for us in heaven.  Our future is set.  We need not worry.  Jesus, the greatest who ever lived, has also told us to call him our friend.  He chose us to be his friend.  All of those times that we were picked last for kickball can only make us smile because Jesus picked us to be his friend.

We understand, with great humility, that we did nothing to deserve this great hope in heaven.  God has simply chosen to shower us with these great blessings which give us identity, peace, hope, power, etc.  He tells us in Colossians 1:5a that these blessings should drive us to love others.

But what is also true is that this great grace gift does bring us some independence.  God’s gifts are enough.  I do not need to take from people.  I have so much that I can give to them.  The truth that we have been given so much and are so blessed by God should keep us from desiring from others what only God can give and should open up the ability to truly love them despite the messiness that brings.

Chew on this today:  I need you.  I need the brothers and sisters in my church.  If they were not there who would I be able to give back to?  Who would I be able to share the forgiveness of God with?  Who would I be able to demonstrate the mercy that was shown me to?  To whom would I be able to give some of this love that is overflowing in me?  I really don’t need anything from you…God has taken care of that…so when you hurt me or disappoint me I will be fine…in fact, it is a great opportunity to give you the grace that was given to me.  I love you because of the hope laid up for me in heaven.

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