23 10 2019


One of the most painful things a husband can ever do to his bride is to see her disrobed for the first time and then say something uncomplimentary about her body. This causes a deep hurt that is more likely than not to become a gash in the soul that is not quick to heal. If a clueless man starts to point out verbally every wrinkle and wart and imperfection, he is doing to nothing to make his wife feel safe and secure in his presence. If she asks him, “Does this make me look fat?” And he replies, “You look like the Goodyear Blimp in that outfit,” I can bet you that there will be no smooth sailing in the future of these married shipmates.

In the Song of Solomon in the Bible, on the honeymoon night between the king and his queen, he looks deeply into her eyes and says, “You are altogether beautiful my love and there is no flaw in you.” Is this to be taken literally? Did Solomon marry pure perfection? Of course not! Solomon was looking through the eyes of love. Love covers over a multitude of mistakes. It doesn’t pretend that they aren’t there. It just decides to focus on all that is right so it doesn’t get shipwrecked by all that is wrong! My wife doesn’t need to be conned by me; but she does need to know that I love her unconditionally. It is not, “I love you if,” or “I love you because,” but simply, “I love you.” A couple who truly feels safe and cherished by one another will not be looking to cover up or hide and pretend. It is in that environment that love can bloom and grow.

Remember that our Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus, sees us as being without “spot or blemish.” He is truly looking through the eyes of love! God didn’t love us because of what we did look like but what we would look like when we get dressed up in His acceptance. He redeemed what others would have tossed aside. It is the difference between paper plates and fine china. Life wants to convince us that we are disposable and replaceable. God wants to teach us that because of the touch of the Master’s hand, we are masterpieces ready to be displayed as living evidence of what a difference His definition can make. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Whose view is influencing you?

Let me share a story. After taking a call in the locker room, a man asked his racquetball partner, who happened to be a minister, for a favor: “Brother, I’ve got a pastoral situation that maybe you can help me solve. My wife is getting back from visiting her parents in Ireland for ten days, and she’s expecting me to pick her up at the airport. My boss just called and is requiring my presence at a command performance. Is there any way you could help me out and pick her up for me? If I can’t be there, I know she’d appreciate someone special.” The minister said: “I’ll be glad to pick up your wife, but how will I know what she looks like? I’ve never seen her before.” “That’s easy,” the man replied. “When the whole dismal terminal lights up, as if the sun suddenly came from behind the clouds, just find the source of that radiance. That’ll be my wife.” Something tells me that this couple is not experiencing romance on the rocks, but a love that is stable and strong.

Love covers sin by filling the void. When we see the sins of others, we have a choice to make. We can rush to blow the whistle loud and expose the sinfulness we see, making sure that we spread lots of guilt and condemnation along the way, or we can come to the aid of those who are the victims of sin. We can become God’s police force and lock sinners up, or we can become God’s emergency technician team and provide life or death care to the walking wounded. Let me be clear. All sin comes with a price. There are consequences that can’t be avoided. We must never condone sin. But we must not hate sinners. Someone, somewhere is paying the price. But I believe that as Believers, we are called and equipped by God to help recover the losses left behind by sin! The church is not a place where we should cover up and pretend. The church should come clean and leave the acting to those on the stage. We have a choice. We can proudly crusade as religious pharisees or we can be more like Jesus and love those in need. Jesus loved the lepers, the prostitutes and the tax collectors and if you get right down to it, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I am beyond grateful that because of His amazing grace, He loves me. Do we see God’s saving action as a hand-out to us or as an invitation to join him in rescuing others? The way of the world is to receive a gift and enjoy it for our own pleasure. That’s what consumers do. Christians should be different because Jesus loved mankind like no other ever could or would.

Salvation is our spiritual empowerment to love others as God has loved us! Being Christians mean we aren’t busybodies but bodybuilders! God’s love does its biggest renovation chiefly in the heart and in the soul, and in the spirit. It is not just learning to conduct ourselves properly as dictated by those who have the biggest influence. Being a disciple is not just simply changing our conduct to conform to some new code of ethics. It is a miraculous work of God done in the heart. It is an inward grace. It is not an outward show. It will ultimately show up on the outside, but in and of itself it is an inward grace. All to Jesus we surrender! And we become more like the one we actually give our hearts to!

If Jesus is talking to you right now, what do you hear Him saying? Is He making a list of all your faults and shortcomings? Are you shrinking in His presence? Is God’s holiness freaking you out to the point that the only way you will function is if you wear fig leaves rather than coming just as you are? Listen to the voice of the real Jesus? Read what He really says! God is in love with us. How would it be different if we lived like we are in love with Him too? Let’s not be content to just imagine this. Let’s make it happen. Love covers over a multitude of sins and this includes yours and mine. This is something to celebrate and today I celebrate the Lord’s love for us!



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