Liking or Loving the Church?

True Christians like the church but how many love the church? I’m not talking about a “warm,” “fuzzy,” feeling.” To love the church is to value it, care for it, guard it, to have the highest regard for it. In the seventh chapter of II Corinthians, Paul’s love for the church serves as a model for all who are born again. In Verse 1, he wanted the church to become more and more holy. In Verse 2, he affirms his own integrity in his dealings with the church. In Verses 3-16, there are various expressions of his love for the Corinthian church. He did not condemn them; it was in his heart to live and die with them (Verse 3). In Verses 5-6, he was troubled, but the God of all comfort, comforted him by Titus’ safe arrival. Then in Verse 7, Paul rejoiced in their love for him and for Titus. In Verses 8-12, he refers to his loving rebuke that led to them dealing with sin in their midst. He rejoiced not in their being sorry, but that their sorrow led to the sinning brother’s repentance, as well as to them doing the right thing. He was showing them his care for them in the sight of God. In Verse 13, Paul was comforted in their comfort and in their treatment of Titus. In Verses 15-16, we learn that he boasted about them to Titus; he told them the truth and his boasting to Titus was true. This resulted in Titus loving them even more because of their obedience and for the spirit with which they welcomed him. Finally, in Verse 16, Paul expresses his joy that he has complete confidence in them. Let’s look to God for that kind of concern, care, love,  joy and confidence for Jesus’ Church today and for our part of it.” Selah! “I love Thy kingdom, Lord, the house of Thine abode, the church our blest Redeemer saved with His own precious blood. I love Thy church, O God. her walls before Thee stand, dear as the apple of Thine eye, and graven on Thy hand. For her my tears shall fall; for her my prayers ascend; to her my cares and toils be given, till toils and cares shall end. Beyond my highest joy I prize her Heavenly ways: her sweet communion, solemn vows, her hymns of love and praise. Sure as thy truth shall last, to Zion shall be given the brightest glories earth can yield, and brighter bliss of Heaven” (“I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord” By John Fawcett).         Ron

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