18 Mar Speaking the Truth in Love
Last Sunday, Pastor Jason preached the sermon: “God’s Power Made Perfect in Weakness,” from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. We learned that God is all-glorious over all earthly glories, all-powerful over all earthly powers, and all-sufficient over all earthly weaknesses. Also, we celebrated this truth together with Mel Harrington, as she shared her testimony of God’s power made perfect through her weakness. Praise God!
Read: 2 Corinthians 12:11-13:4
This Sunday, Pastor Jason will continue in 2 Corinthians 12:11-13:4 with Paul’s loving confrontation with the Corinthian church. In consideration of this text, we will focus specifically on how we can rekindle our commitment to one another. As you prepare for our gathering, let this devotional from John MacArthur encourage you towards obedience to the truth as the highest expression of love for Christ and also to speak the truth as an act of true love toward others.
Reflect: “Speaking the Truth in Love”
The twelve apostles included “John” (Matt. 10:2).
Seek to maintain a proper balance between truth and love.
Some people picture John as overly sentimental and egotistical, lying with his head on Jesus’ shoulder and constantly referring to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” But that’s not an accurate characterization of this “Son of thunder”! He loved Jesus deeply and was amazed that Jesus loved him—especially after he wanted to burn up the Samaritans and then secure a prominent place for himself in Christ’s Kingdom. Calling himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (e.g., John 21:20) was simply his way of marveling over God’s grace in his life.
As much as he loved Jesus, John never allowed his love to deteriorate into mere sentimentalism. In fact, the proper balance between truth and love is the hallmark of his ministry. In his writings we find the word love more than eighty times and witness nearly seventy times. His profound love for Christ compelled him to be a teacher of love and a witness to the truth. To him, obedience to the truth was the highest expression of love. As 1 John 2:5 says, “Whoever keeps [God’s] word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.”
John’s greatest joy was to know that his spiritual children were “walking in the truth” (3 John 4). He firmly denounced anyone who attempted to divert them from that goal by denying or distorting God’s Word.
Today media talk shows and other influences have blurred the lines between opinion and truth. One man’s opinion is purported to be as good as the next, and there’s little talk about what’s right or wrong.
Truth suffers even within the church, because many Christians are willing to compromise it to avoid upsetting people. They forget that true love flourishes only in the atmosphere of Biblical truth (Phil. 1:9).
Amid such confusion, God calls you to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). The world doesn’t need another opinion—it needs God’s absolute and authoritative Word!
Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the gift of His love and the power of His truth. Ask Him to make you a person of ever-increasing Biblical integrity.
For Further Study: Read Revelation 2:1–7. ✧ What strengths did the church at Ephesus have? ✧ What did it lack? ✧ What did Jesus require of it?
“Speaking the Truth in Love (John),” May 15th Devotional, in Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith, by John MacArthur.
Sing: Song List for Sunday
1. “Only a Holy God,” by CityAlight
2. “Life Defined,” by Shane & Shane
3. “I Will Wait for You (Psalm 130),” Arr. Shane & Shane