By Johnie Edwards
This article does not deal with romance! It does deal with a list of things which people are said to love. Some of the things listed are things which God would have us love and there are some listed which God does not approve of man loving.
Lovers of God
God expects a first place in the lives of His people. Jesus said, ‘Thou shaft love the Lord thy God with all thy, heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37). We cannot please God if we fail to love Him. Yet there are those who are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God . . .” (2 Tim. 3:4). When men find no pleasure in loving God and do not want to retain God in their knowledge, God will give them over to a reprobate mind, to “do those things which are not convenient” (Rom. 1:28). We should be ready to confess as did Peter, “Yea Lord, thou knowest that I love thee . . ” (Jn. 21:15).
Lovers of Good
God expects us to be lovers of good men and good things. One of the qualifications for elders is that they be lovers of “good men” (Tit. 1:8). We need to think on “whatsoever things are of good report . . .” (Phil. 4:8). If we are to be lovers of good, we must by reason of use, have our senses exercised “to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14). Too many have pleasure in that which is bad and dislike that which is good.
Lovers of Hospitality And of Strangers
So many fail to practice hospitality as God expects of His people. An elder must be “a lover of hospitality . . .” (Titus 1:8). Peter said, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging” (1 Pet. 4:9). Paul said, “distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13). I am afraid that too many do not want to clean up, miss an afternoon nap and are just too lazy to practice hospitality! When we begin to put hospitality into practice we will be a willing host, ready to receive guests, even to lodge, without partiality, the rich as well as the poor.
Lovers of the Brethren
There is not enough love among the brethren. Paul said, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another” (Rom. 12:10). We are told, “Let brotherly love continue” (Heb. 13:1). We must to be saved, Peter said, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22).
Lovers of the Truth
There is a great demand for more people to love the truth. The truth is the Word of God (Jno. 17:17). The Psalmist said, “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea above fine gold” (Psa. 119:127). Loving the truth can be a matter of life and death. Paul told the Thessalonians, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10). If I do not love the truth, I will be lost. One reason people do not obey the truth is that they do not love the truth.
Lovers of Worldly Wisdom
We must beware of the `god of education.’ Much emphasis is being put on getting more schooling, getting a better job and having more things. Education is fine, and I am not against education, but education must be one’s servant, not his master! Paul warned the Colossians, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col. 2:8). Paul said, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:5). Gospel preaching must not be with “enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor. 2:4). Man, by worldly wisdom cannot know God. nor His will. We need to remember that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).
Lovers of Pleasure
Paul told Timothy that people would be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:4). We seem to be living in a “pleasure crazy” world. Pleasure has brought death to many. Paul said, “But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth” (1 Tim. 5:6). Loving pleasure keeps many from obeying the Word of God. Jesus pointed out in the parable of the sower that the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life choke out the word” (Luke 8).
Truth Magazine XXII: 27, pp. 445-446
July 13, 1978