TITLE: A Symphony of Miracles Chapter 18 Patterns of Love 3/10/14
By Richard McCaw
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A Symphony of Miracles
Patterns of Love
One day at school a debate was organized, and who was on the team with the moot question: Is religion the product of fear? Bolivar Franklyn, a classmate, who constantly espoused theories of atheism.
I left school that day determined to take the bus home. However, while walking on a back street behind the school,I kept having a strange sense that I ought to return to the school. So I retraced my steps to hear the debate in progress. I sat on a brown metal chair at the back of the crowd carefully attending to all the arguments.
Bolivar was thumping on the podium with one hand. “People only go to church because they are afraid of Hell!” he harangued. He adjusted his turtleshell spectacles with the other. “If they don’t follow the party line, the line their particular brand of religion dictates, God will throw them into burning fire and brimstone!”
Peels of laughter rang out from a certain section of the large audience.
Later on, his opponent made a week rebuttal, “People go to church because they have a moral conscience!” A low hum blew through the hall.
Bolivar came back with, “Look at the progress made in Communist lands! Everybody can have a house, food to eat, less crime in the country!” At that time Russia had not yet begun to fall apart.
As the debate drew to a close, the moderator announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we will now give an opportunity to members of the audience to respond.”
I stood to my feet. “My esteemed fellow students,” I began, “I am not sure where my friend Mr. Franklyn has found his arguments, but allow me to enlighten you with pertinent facts from my own personal experience.”
Everyone turned around. “Let me first read a significant verse from the Bible.” With a pause I allowed my words sink in. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” As a boy of thirteen, I became a believer in Jesus Christ!” Once more I paused. “My choice to follow Jesus Christ was not because I was afraid of Hell. No sir! I realized that Jesus Christ loved me sufficiently to take the punishment of all my sins on a cross in order to deliver me from living a sinful life.” A great hush fell across the hall. “I also know that many of my friends, who have turned to God, can say the same thing! Most of you have heard that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes on Him will not perish, but have everlasting life!”
There was loud cheering and clapping in the hall.
I referred to Paul, the apostle’s teaching about repentance:“Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” It is not fear, but love, that causes peoples’ hearts to be transformed so that they follow God and become responsible and worthy citizens. It is God’s love that leads a person to follow Jesus Christ. He inspires us by His Spirit, so that our behavior can glorify God every day of our lives!”
More loud cheering
Times have changed dramatically. God works with intricate patterns of love to reach people in every walk of life. At first, they may not understand the language you speak, but if God’s love breaks through your spirit to them, that language will reach deep into their spirit and a divine connection will soon be established.
Yes, this generation is crying out for something more than mere religious ritual, something that reaches deep down into their very spirits. They are thirsting for the love of God, demonstrated in practical love of believers deeply in love with God!
An old hymn reminds us of those patterns of love demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ and in the lives of everyone in whom the love of God is shed abroad by the Holy Spirit.
1. In tenderness He sought me,
Weary and sick with sin,
And on His shoulders brought me
Into His flock again.
While angels in His presence sang
Until the courts of heaven rang.
Oh, the love that sought me!
Oh, the blood that bought me!
Oh, the grace that brought me to the flock,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the flock!
2. He washed the bleeding sin-wounds,
And poured in oil and wine;
He whispered to assure me,
“I’ve found thee, thou art Mine:“
I never heard a sweeter voice,
It made my aching heart rejoice.
3. He pointed to the nail-prints,
For me His blood was shed;
A mocking crown so thorny,
Was placed upon His head:
I wondered what He saw in me,
To suffer such deep agony.
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