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Is love more important than the truth?
Jesus’ love brought grace and truth (Jn.1:17) because He left heaven became
flesh and dwelt with man.
Many misunderstand love as being tolerant, forgiving toward anything offensive,
overlooking what is wrong. However if one examines Jesus life He was not like
this at all.
When the truth sets you free you want to tell others the same. Along the way we
begin to hear people tell us to settle down don’t be so radical. As we allow the
fire we first had to simmer we become complacent like others who have also let
their fire go out.
We can’t exhibit love to others without the truth. Truth is motivated by love.
This love confronts what is false, what opposes truth. It will not allow what is
false to progress and influence those you love. We are told to speak the truth
in love. In other words not be offensive, say something that would disturb
someone for no reason or be overbearing in presenting truth but make sense of it
to win the hearer who has believed what is false. Our motivation matters and it
should come by a genuine care for a person, wanting to be a help because we able
to. This is for both those in the world without Jesus Christ and those in the
church that are claiming to follow Jesus and have been misled, deceived.
The Gospel is the love of God to those who are not spiritually born, we need to
tell them what Jesus said “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and
broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and
there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
The word is also to be used to rebuke and correct those who name Jesus as their
Lord. Jesus did not just say His love would set us free but His truth; “If you
abide in my word” (live in the teachings) (John 8:31-32).
The fact is: Truth is proclaimed more in the Bible than love. The principle is
that one cannot know love without honesty, and be flexible and being sensitive
to the truth.
Jesus said to love as I loved you. How did Jesus love? He did not disregard what
they did wrong but would often address the people because he cared. When he
entered into conversation with the woman at the well he pointed out her sin
before the conversation turned to the right way to worship God. We see numerous
other examples of how Jesus loved the people. In Mt.16 Jesus rebuked Peter
openly because His love is a correcting affection, he would not allow Peter’s
statement of preventing him to die have traction among the disciples.
Pastors are to watch over their local church like it is family. They are called
shepherds, and they are to be just as protective as they would be for their
children, but I have seen this care waning and many have become negligent in
When he gave the rich young ruler the laws to abide by for eternal life he knew
the young mans failure. When the rich young ruler was confronted by being told
to give all he has to the poor and follow Jesus. It was too much for him and he
walked away. Jesus let him go, yet it says Jesus loved him. So we see that real
love tells people what they may not want to hear and will not always yield right
results. If you don’t speak up then you are not exercising love.
Jesus confronted the teachers that were speaking falsely about the word of God,
he did not allow them to continue without being challenged among the people. At
times he had warnings and harsh pronouncements (Mt.26) for them, calling them a
“Brood of vipers, and that they blasphemed the Spirit. His ministry was filled
with corrections and rebukes to those who challenged him and to his followers.
But I have never heard anyone call Jesus judgmental. He was in a continual
confrontation with the religious leaders of his day and Jesus never compromised
or stood down. Paul likewise exhorts us to “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be
brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Cor. 16:13).
The same person that tells about God’s love for mankind also spoke about God’s
truth. God’s standard is Jesus and Jesus prayed for believers in John 17:17:
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. V. 19 “And for their sakes I
sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” In other words
he submitted to the word and its will for His life and His Spirit who is in us
as believers should lead us to do the same. God’s love is not separate from his
holiness, neither is his truth. The Lord must nurture a love in our heart for
The truth came into the world because of love. Everyone must decide which side
they are, the side of truth or against it. There are only two reactions to the
truth - acceptance or anger. There are only these two responses to the truth.
Those who are willing to listen and forsake their error for the truth and those
who listen and will not allow the truth to penetrate.
To unbelievers that hear
It takes courage to speak, to reach out and begin a process of dialogue. This is
love. Love is a verb; it is a commitment and an action. It thinks about others
not ones self. When we speak of His cross we proclaim the truth that Jesus
spoke, that we are all sinners, we are estranged from God needing
reconciliation. The Lord came to the earth as the Word incarnate to have mankind
make a decision. He has already made ascension to preparing the place we will be
We have been called to give the gospel, everyone who is a believer has the
authority to do this not just those who are pastors. But a large portion of the
church is numb. We are to take the opportunity and respond not look for an exit,
an excuse not be involved. It’s been observed, "All that is necessary for the
triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" (Edmund Burke).
We are to defend the weak, help the needy. Not just by feeding the hungry by
giving them the word of life they need for eternal life. Sin and falsehood
continue when we do not speak up. We are to be zealous for good works (Titus
2:14). Why do people have no fight in them to defend the Lord among the many
that trample what is holy.
It is because many have their love s grow cold, its not there to reach out to
those who are perishing or help those being deceived.
I get letters from liberals in the church telling me that God will take care of
everything, I should not speak up. Is that what Jesus did? No. Will God take
care of evangelism – they are saying not to tell them the gospel! Will God feed
the hungry, so don’t ask for help or participate. What a cop out. This only
proves the people are in this category of their love growing cold (pastors too).
It sounds so spiritual “God will take care of it” but its not spiritual at all.
What they are actually saying is don’t use me Lord, you do it. God can’t get
them to do anything because they are still, not moving, non active – He would
have to push them instead of lead.
Those who love people look for opportunities to help even if it makes them
uncomfortable or challenging. They are ready to be used for the Lords will. This
is why Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the
kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matt 7:21)
If you are not moved by compassion you have dropped out. This is what the
problem currently is; the church is filled with pugh sitters. Christianity is
not a spectator religion, it is one that the Lord wants each individual to be
uniquely involved in. You will either be active or asleep; You are either a
missionary or a mission field.
2 Thess. 2:13: “God from the beginning chose you for salvation through
sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”
It’s been said 3% of the people do 90% of the work. Wouldn’t be great to see
these numbers switched around.
Eph. 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God has a plan to
use each one of us and he has uniquely equipped us with gifts and talents to
Paul summarized his treatise on love “Faith hope and love the greatest of these
is love (1 Cor.13:13).
Yet in v.6 we are told that love “rejoices in the truth.”
Truth is in our possession by the Spirit who is called the Spirit of truth. Love
is in our possession, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the
Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
As believers we are to have love for the truth, we are told to walk in the
truth, to speak the truth. 3 Jn. 1:3-4 “For I rejoiced greatly when brethren
came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I
have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” And we walk in
the truth in this way,
“whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we
know that we are in Him.”
(I Jn. 2:5).
We bear testimony to the truth by telling others. From the beginning this is
what brought persecution to the church, but it also brought growth. If you love
God you will love people and not shrink from telling them the truth because
Grace and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ. His Spirit of love is deposited in us
and should come out to others. John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the
Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." The word
is the water, the Spirit that works in us to deliver the truth to others.
In 2 Peter 3:17-18 after Peter explains that Paul has written some hard things
to understand, he admonishes “You therefore, beloved, since you know this
beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led
away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” We must be in the word and active in some manner
to keep walking with the Lord. Whether you are a helper, a teacher or one who
prays, they are all spiritual activities.
Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind.'
"And: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments
hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Mt.22:37-40)
Love is a decision, a perpetual commitment. If you love God you will be
committed to him, to do his work because you walk in love.
We live in an age of falsehood, dishonesty, mendacity, fraud, deceit and
deception 2 Peter 2:2: “And many will follow their destructive ways, because of
whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.”
The truth is more often resisted than received. Those who speak it are
persecuted, even by those who claim to have the truth. But the need for it to be
heard in our day is probably more than in any other time of history. We are
nearer to the end than before, lets see this clearly and renew our work to
fulfilling His will.