The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 53

“And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert (Him Whom they ought to trust and obey) and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error. And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity. (Matt. 24: 10-12 Amplified Bible, underlined emphasis mine).

Jesus, when asked by his disciples about the sign of his Second Coming and of the end of this age, began to speak about a whole series of events and prevailing attitudes that would mark the end times. Notably these signs were not to be considered as isolated events over the centuries; rather, the generation alive in the last days would themselves witness all of these signs!

My purpose in choosing this passage is not to discuss the end times but to make a point: that there is no such thing as love without commitment to one other! The measure of our love is to be found in the depth of our commitment. Christians often say “ I used to love once, but I was wounded”, or “ I was so faithful in my Christian service, but I was used”. On this pretext, they withdraw from being committed, never realizing that their love is growing cold! It may not be apparent that they have become cold - after all they may still go to church, read the Bible, tithe, and generally look like they are living a “Christian’ life. In reality, by becoming distant and aloof from other people they have withdrawn from loving God!

Jesus said, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come” (Matt 18:7). In our Christian walk there will be times when even the best of us ‘Christians’ will have bad days. Interestingly, we do not stumble over big boulders; we stumble over stones - little things, the things that are hardly noticeable!

We often stumble over other people’s weaknesses, causing us to retaliate and to withdraw from walking in love towards them. In order to preserve the quality of love in our own hearts, and to exercise true spiritual authority, we must be able to quickly forgive the one that has caused us to stumble. Every time that we refuse to forgive, or fail to overlook weakness in another, our hearts not only harden towards them but also towards God. Pretty soon we find that what first started out as an emotional response towards them has become an attitude. We may still think that we are open to God, but the Scriptures are clear: “The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (Jn5: 20).

It is hard to love as God requires. It requires effort! But it is possible with His help!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues