In this day when so many of us are concerned about the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of America, we need to step back for a moment and consider what our response should be. For those of you who were in worship July 5, you have no doubt where the leadership of Spring Hill stands on this issue, On the other hand, I would be very disappointed if you failed to hear the portion of the message which emphasized "speaking the truth in love." That's so important as we respond to those with whom we disagree at any time.
We must speak the truth without fear! And if the government should ever attempt to quiet us, then we, like Peter and John who were told not to speak in the name of Jesus, must say with them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:19, 20). In another similar situation, "Peter and the other apostles answered and said, 'WE ought to obey God rather than men'" (Acts 5:29). There is no question about it: when government and God have differing laws, Christians must obey God!
I want to emphasize again, however, that we must do so, "speaking the truth in love." The entire Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of love. When confronted with the question of which of the commandments was most important, Jesus said that to love God was first but then added that "and the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:37-39). The letter of I John reminds us over and over again that we are to love one another. And so there is no doubt about it: no matter how we may differ with a person, we must speak of our differences in love. How else will we ever persuade him to give His life to Jesus? How else will we ever be able to gain an audience for the proclamation of the Gospel? How else?
And even as we grapple with how to respond to all that is presently going on in our nation, may we not forget that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). May we love others even as our Heavenly Father has loved us!