Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lovin' it

Hello everyone,

Well, the honeymoon period for this blog is over! I'm going to try and focus on quality rather than quantity of posts, but in all likelihood I'll manage neither. This post has a few antecedents:

- It's Valentine's Day soon, so a lot of people are thinking about "love" in that sense (not me!);

- Josh Robinson blogged about his "thoughts on love" with a more Biblical basis;

- I heard a powerful testimony of a local minister this week on his life and why love matters. It made me think about God's love. This minister (Pastor Dino from the local Christian Centre Church at Jane & Shoreham) has led a very interesting life. He's from Montreal and as a kid was talented at sports, but then got into improvisation and acting. On a whim, he decided to try and make it in Hollywood, so he went there (!) but couldn't make it. He resorted to some pretty desperate measures, and eventually got a break. At this point he realised he needed a green card, so made plans to marry a girl to legalise his status.

He'd come into contact with a Christian on a bus who'd given him a tract about Jesus, and this Christian kept praying for him. Just before Dino was to get married to this girl, a Christian lady knocked on his door and said "Dino - what you're about to do [she didn't know what] is a big mistake. Don't do it." This was God's love stretching down to him in his situation. Soon after that he was saved and started preaching himself, seeing people come to faith; and eventually he returned home to Canada, went to Bible college and became a pastor.

That's all a bit peripheral to my point. Dino kept emphasising "God loves you" and "God is love" and these are two gloriously true statements. But he never went on and explained why that's actually important or even relevant to us. I mean, if someone I've never met apparently loves me, what do I care? It doesn't change my life in any way. What I was a little uncomfortable about his testimony was that he never went on to explain this:

God loves us. Why is this important? He loves us so much, in fact, that He wants us to be in relationship with Him, and this led Him to create a way that we could be forgiven. Why is this important? Well, because of our lifestyle that's in opposition to God. Dino saw this with his dodgy marriage and furtive lifestyle, but it's true for all of us, to one degree or another. The parable of the lost son in the Bible features a young man who runs off to another country, squanders his money with prostitutes and ends up destitute. Eventually he comes to his senses and decides to return to his father and apologise. His father, of course, forgives him totally and is ecstatic that his lost son has returned. It's the same with God! That is love, right there.

So, love. It's a great thing, and our response should be the same: "We love, because God first loved us". Charles Wesley:

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all!

PS: Another thing I love is that the student ministry has funding. I suggested holding a prayer breakfast here in Founders residence (analagous to Early Morning Prayer back in Southampton) and Andrew, the leader of this group, said that's a good idea, and we could provide free muffins! Now that's a prayer meeting I'd attend...

1 comment:

Jess said...

Hahaha....three muffins...oh boy. Good post, mate! Dino's testimony was pretty cool, I thought. What I found most amazing was the fact that God found Dino where he was at. Though he strategically placed a couple christians along the way to work the plan, God saw that Dino was searching and he went to him.