Monday, November 17, 2008

When Love Stops

Events of the last few weeks have left me nearly breathless. So many things have happened to people we love. It has been hard to watch and experience. It has taken my breath away.

When love stops people always suffer. Ministers are to be the examples of love that does not stop. When they fail to live to this standard people get hurt--really hurt.

All of us are guilty of stopping the flow of love. We all sin. Sin stops love-always. Ministers, however, are supposed to be qualified to be ministers because they have consistently led environments where love did not stop. They have loving families. They have stable, loving kids. They are seen as loving in the community. A minister helps keep love from stopping by his example. Ministers who do not expand sustained love disqualify themselves for Christian leadership.

As wonderful as growing a church numerically is, growing love is the goal. Ministers must be held to the standard of love and not the standard of growth and progress. If love shrinks under a minister's leadership the minister must be lovingly confronted.

A church is meant to be a community of sustained love like a Vineyard. That is what only Abiding in the Vine can produce.

Those who would covet the position of a minister or leader in a church must be qualified by clear evidence that they know how to lead the expansion of continuous love. They must know how to bear the fruit of love through abiding.

Perhaps grieving the Holy Spirit is like having one's breath taken away. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God's love. How must the Holy Spirit feel when he sees love stop?

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