Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Loving the One we Have not Seen

Meditation for the week of August 8, 2010

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.

We who have become “followers of Christ” or “believers in Christ” in today’s world are following and trusting One we have never seen.  The Bible has an historical written record of the life of the Lord that includes the names of many who did see Him.  Some saw Him as a side-show oddity.  They just wanted to see if He could do some miracle.  Some saw Him as competition to their own plans and popularity and wanted to crucify Him.  Some saw Him as their Messiah and Savior.  Those who really believed in Him, loved Him.  Sometimes they didn’t act like they loved him but when they were asked, “do you love me?”, they could say, “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you (John 21:17).”  I wonder if the Lord knows that about those of us that claim to be believers in Him today?  After all, those of us in our generation have never seen Him except by the eye of faith.

How can you tell whom someone loves?  Usually they want to spend time with that person and talk with them.  You can tell a lot about whom a person loves by whether they spend money on that person and if they make sacrifices for that person.  As you listen to what a person talks about, the loves of their lives become very evident.  But you can also tell a lot about what a person thinks of another person by the way they say their name.

I have some friends who will never say my name unless they are upset with me.  Then they know how to say it.  My mom used to have several ways that she said my name and many of them I did not want to hear.  Normally if I hear a Bruce Dean from a family member that is not a good thing.  (Dean is my middle name).  Some of my really close friends call me Brucey.  I find that demeaning.  It may have been all right when I was five but I am not five any more.  I have some who call me Brewster.  I think that is a pet name for me, but I am never sure how to take it.  Students at Bible camps and at children’s meetings often call me Mr. Bruce which shows respect without a lot of formality.   I have some friends who always speak to me or write to me using my name in a nice appropriate way.  For some it is just Bruce, some it is Hi Bruce and some it is Dear Bruce.  But they care enough to know and say my actual personal name in a friendly way. I like that. 

I suspect that the way we say the name of the Lord is noticed by Him as well.  We hear some people who say His name with an exclamation point after it and we know that they are swearing.  I always wonder why it is the name of the One that they say that they don’t believe in that they use in this way.  Why not pick a President and use his name to emphasize a point.  For example, why don’t they say “By George Washington, that car was a lemon!”?

Then there are those who obviously love the Lord by the way that they say His name.  Many are careful to use the title Lord to show him respect.  Often I listen to see how the name of the Lord Jesus is being used in the worship service in the congregations where we remember the Lord in the breaking of bread.  Our songs often do a better job of using the name of the Lord Jesus than our prayers and preaching do.  If the Lord likes to hear us say His name in a reverent way, I am afraid that He would often be disappointed when we are worshiping Him.  Quite often we talk about Him as though He isn’t even there.  In some congregations, we seldom talk to Him. 

God is an abstract concept.  All religions worship God.  But Jesus is the personal revelation of God.  Is it possible that those of us who claim to know Him and love Him do not really believe that He is personally interested and present when we worship?  Is the reality of the personal  presence of this One that we have not seen real in our lives?  

If we truly love Him, let’s talk to Him, spend time with Him, spend money on Him, sacrifice for Him and address Him reverently by His personal name, the Lord Jesus.

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>