A family was in a serious traffic accident. The youngest son, Mike, was seriously injured and needed blood. His big brother, Danny, was only eight years old but had the same blood type. Danny’s dad explained carefully how important it was for Mike to have blood and how great it would be if Danny could help out. There was silence for a while, then Danny said, “Daddy, I’ll give my blood so Mike can get better.” They put a needle in his vein and drew the blood they needed. Once the needle was retracted, Danny looked up at his dad and, with tears running down his cheeks, said, “Daddy, when do I die?” That was when his father realized that Danny didn’t know he was just giving some blood. He thought he was giving his life.
When the Holy Spirit guides you into all truth, how should a preacher respond?
The central truth to all other truths is that God is love. All heaven—in fact, all of the universe—is based on one truth—God is love. If not based on this truth, items meant to be blessings often misrepresent God and even damage His work. The religious leaders in Jesus’ time may have had wonderful doctrines; but they had lost the central point—God is love (see John 5:39). We need to make sure that what we believe, think, and how we act is centered on, depends on, and is tested by this main truth (see 1 Corinthians 13). Otherwise, it has no power (v. 1).
Everything we believe and know in order to function needs to be measured and supported by this one vital truth. A desire, a thirst for a deeper knowledge of God is absolutely crucial to our own spiritual growth and to the growth of the church (see 1 John 4:8). God is love—believe it.
We may honestly think we love God, but how do we test that? The acidic test of love for God is the love we show for those around us, both those we like or agree with and those we don’t. In the Bible, love is manifested through sacrifice. “ ‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends’ ” (John 15:13, NKJV; see also 1 Cor. 13:5; John 3:16; Eph. 5:1, 2). If you pastor a church or preach in the pulpit but are unwilling or have no time to serve the least of these, you may think you are a Christian, but you are not.
The greatest challenge to walking the talk is in our homes. Mike Mason states, “Love convinces a couple that they are the greatest romance that has ever been, that no two people have ever loved as they do, and that they will sacrifice absolutely anything in order to be together. Then marriage asks them to prove it.”1 God is love—show it.
God’s children are people of love and mercy. Only that can change the family, the church, and the world (see Zech. 7:9, 10; John 15:12, 13).Author Ellen G. White states, “In every true disciple this love, like sacred fire, burns on the altar of the heart. It was on the earth that the love of God was revealed through Christ. It is on the earth that His children are to reflect this love. Thus, sinners will be led to the cross to behold the Lamb of God.”2
Preachers, there is no other way to tell God’s story. To reflect upon this love, to make it the goal of your life, is the only way to real transformation, abundant life here, and eternal life there. This is the gospel, this is genuine Christianity, this is when Christ’s character is manifested in His children, and this is when Jesus can come and take us home. God is love—and if you know it, tell it.
- Mike Mason, The Mystery of Marriage (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 2005), 53, 54.
- Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), 334.