2 Cor. 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us
James 4:4 Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of teh world makes himself an enemy of God.
I've been thinking about love lately... from the Sunday morning angle and the Wednesday PM angle. First, John has been preaching about the love of God on Sunday mornings. In addition, Anthony has been preaching through James on Wednesday evenings, and James has a lot to say about love for the world.
The two series could be combined by saying, "We must flee from any love of the world that so easily grips us. We must run to Christ, who is our Beloved, altogether lovely One... who deserves all our love, because He has loved us FIRST with a perfect, everlasting love."
We can not love the world and be controlled by the love of Christ at the same time. That brings us to a crisis point... which one is it going to be? If it were only as easy as saying, "I'll choose B, please!"
John used an illustration about our cross country team yesterday. He mentioned how in preparing for races with the Spartans, runners can choose to be on the "fitness team" or the "competitive team."
The fitness team gets to have fun and just work on getting exercise (and I try not to yell... too much... at this group!) The competitive team, on the other hand, is there to work hard and well, be competitive! :) These are the runners who know that a good race involves pushing yourself to the limit... even if it means throwing up or collapsing at the finish!
In the Christian walk, choosing the "fitness team" leads to certain death. In fact, there IS no Christian fitness team- we are told that we are running a race, and we are told to do it well.
The hope of the cross makes us run fast, and the thing that will keep us un-distracted is love... His love for us, our love for him, and faith that is the bridge between the two.