Thursdays With Oswald—Love Comes With Hatred

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Love Comes With Hatred

     Love to be anything at all must be personal; to love without hating is an impossibility, and the stronger and more emphatic the love, the more intense its obverse, hatred. God loves the world so much that He hates with a perfect hatred the thing that switched men wrong; and Calvary is the measure of His hatred. The natural heart of man would have argued—“God loves the world that of course He will forgive its sin”: God loved the world that He could not forgive its sin.

From Biblical Ethics

God had to allow Jesus to become all of your sins and my sins, so that those sins which He hates so much could be nailed once for all to the Cross. Without the Cross, there could be no forgiveness.

Because He hated sin so much, Jesus chose to personally identify with us, and carry our sins away from us. God could not merely look away from our sin, so He allowed Jesus to take away our sin.

Such perfect hatred … such wondrous love!

Honoring Veterans The Right Way

Disclaimer: I’m a patriotic crier. I love the United States of America, and proudly call her the greatest nation in history. So whenever I watch a patriotic movie, or serve at a veteran’s funeral, or even sing the national anthem before a Cedar Springs football game, I get misty.

I believe we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our veterans. But I also believe we may not be honoring that debt in the right way.

Sometimes it’s easier to honor our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have given “their last full measure of devotion.” We can play taps at their funeral, fire a 21-gun salute, and even put a flag in the sacred ground of their burial site every year at Memorial Day.

But what about our vets who are still living? Don’t they deserve more than just an occasional visit on Veterans Day?

In many ways, we treat Veterans Day like we do Thanksgiving Day: it’s just one day on our calendar to take care of our obligations to be grateful, and then we can continue on with business-as-usual until the next year.

Wouldn’t it be more fitting for us to see Veterans Day — like Thanksgiving Day — as a culmination of another year full of gratitude? After all, it’s very likely that we wouldn’t even be able to enjoy our business-as-usual lives if it were not for the sacrifices of our veterans.

The Apostle Paul gives us a good pattern to follow. Four times in his letters he says, “I thank God for you every time I remember you” (Romans 1:9; Philippians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 4). In these times of thanks, he is remembering others who put their lives on the line for freedom, just as our veterans have done for us.

There are a few things we pick up from Paul’s thankfulness to apply to our gratitude for our veterans —

  1. Keep mementoes of remembrance around you. Perhaps it’s an American flag, or a picture, or a Veterans Day program. Simply find something that will jog your memory frequently about the debt of gratitude we owe to our vets.
  2. Pray for our veterans. Paul often told his friends that when he was filled with thoughts of gratitude about them, he turned those thoughts into prayers for them.
  3. Turn your feelings into actions. When you see one of your mementos and say a prayer for a veteran, take it a step further. Jot a note to a vet, send an email, send flowers, or take them out to lunch. Perhaps you could invite a veteran into your home for Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter, or “adopt” a veteran on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

The point is this: Let’s not make honoring our veterans something we only do on November 11. Let’s remember them often, be thankful for them always, and turn those thoughts and gratitude into action all year long.

I still feel it’s important to honor our veterans on November 11. There is a great memorial service taking place in Cedar Springs tomorrow. You can get all of the details by clicking here.

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