Summary: If we truly love God and people, then we exalt the Savior, not ourselves, and give everything we have even when the days are dark.

A father passed by his son’s bedroom and was astonished to see the bed nicely made up and everything neat and tidy. Then he saw an envelope propped up on the pillow. It was addressed, “Dad.” With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:

Dear Dad,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and Mom. I’ve been finding real passion with Joan, and she is so nice. I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes, and the fact that she is so much older than I am. It’s not just her passion, Dad. She really gets me.

Joan says that we are going to be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood – just enough for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many children.

Please don’t worry, Dad. I’m 15 and I know how to take care of myself. I’m sure we’ll be back to visit someday so you can get to know your grandchildren.

Your son, Chad

P.S. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that’s in my desk drawer. I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home. (Charles Kimball, Allen, Texas;

Love: What does it look like when times are tough? Is it a father overlooking his son’s bad grades? Is it the raging hormones of a teenager? What does love look like in hard times?

Just a few years ago (2007), singer and songwriter, Sara Groves, wrote a song for her boys thinking about the days when they would grow up to face hard times. She called the song, “Song for my Sons,” and in it she encourages her sons, “When the cold wind blows like we know it will…don’t let your love grow cold.”

She told an interviewer she wrote the song because, “I think my sons will face things that I can’t even comprehend. And that evil, that darkness, that hurt will make them want to shut their hearts. Even now believers are shutting up their hearts and they’re closing the windows and locking the doors. But Jesus says, “I want you to keep your door open in the face of terrorism, in the face of all the ills that the world has to offer. I want you to keep your heart open and love your God and love your neighbor.” (Carolyn Arends, Running to Justice, www.Christian, 11-12-07;

The question is: What does that love look like in dark times?

Jesus warned us that tough times are coming to believers in these last days before His Second Coming. He also told us that, more than anything else, we must love God and love our neighbor. But right in between those two statements, he gave us a picture of what that love does and does not look like.

If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 12, Mark 12, where we see a picture of true love in the dark.

Mark 12:35-37 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ”‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with delight. (NIV)

They were delighted, because Jesus had stumped the teachers of the law. He had posed a question which they couldn’t answer.

They taught, as the Scriptures do, that the Messiah is a descendant of David; and yet, David Himself, in those same Scriptures (Psalm 110), called the Messiah, “Lord.” How can that be? How can the Messiah be both King David’s descendant and King David’s Lord?

Well, there is only one answer. The Messiah is God in the flesh. He is the God-man, Jesus Christ. As man, he is a descendant of David, born of the Virgin Mary, who can trace her lineage back to David. But as God, He is David’s Lord! Jesus is the Lord, God Himself! He is God who came in human flesh to save sinners.

And that is something the teachers of the law did not want to acknowledge. They refused to exalt Jesus as Lord, and it made them look foolish.

My friends, if we truly love God, we will…

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