mt pleasant church of the brethren north canton ohio








From the Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Blog

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“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

(Romans 13:8-10 ESV)

     Paul here is agreeing with what Jesus stated when He was asked by the teachers of the law about the greatest commandment. His response was, “You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” It’s been summed up to say it this way, “Love God, and love people.” With a proper understanding of love, this is a true statement.
     The problem comes when our definition of love gets clouded by the world’s definition of love. When love comes to mean “I think everything you do is wonderful”, regardless of the actual morality of the action, then we’ve hijacked a term and love does not mean the same thing anymore. How can that kind of love be a fulfillment of all the commandments when it totally disregards the commandments? To love someone is to care enough about them that you want the best for them, which isn’t always whatever their heart may desire.
     Obedience is an expression of love for the one defining the rules. Jesus said, in John 15:10, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Because love is something that we intentionally choose to do, when we choose to obey God, we are expressing love for Him, and willingly submitting to His authority over us.
     When I was very young, and I got a spanking for something that I had done that I had been told not to do, the spanking was an act on the part of my parents to correct behavior that they knew would be harmful and detrimental in the end—namely, my rebellious attitude. When I did the same for my kids when they were small, it was because I loved them, and wanted to see them flourish and learn that life in the real world isn’t about getting everything they wanted, especially when it wasn’t good for them.
     A passage coming up in our sermon series in the book of Titus reminds us, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14) ESV
     Christ is looking for a bride (the church) whose love has been expressed in her obedience and desire for purity. What kind of church have we been? What kind of church will we be?

By His Grace Alone,

Pastor Bruce Jacobsen




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