Hi, this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Today the thoughts I want to share with you are surrounding The Business of Logistics
Whenever my wife Lynn and I travel to our summer cottage in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia, efficiency dictates that we travel down through the Shenandoah Valley on Interstate 81. As we travel along there are seemingly as many semi-trucks as there are cars…sometimes more. Logistics companies or independent drivers whose job it is to move the products of a manufacturer to places they are needed own most of those trucks. If those logistics companies do that well, and get the product where it needs to be, on time, they will be successful. In that type of business only a few things really matter, among them…being available to move the product, and getting it where it needs to go when it needs to get there. Though the freight is on board the truck, the driver does not consider it to be their own, and they don’t choose when it will be delivered. That driver knows the product is owned by the manufacturer and the owner decides where and when it needs to be delivered.
As a Christ follower, did you know you are in the logistics business? 1 John 4:16 tells us that God is love. God is the source of all love. In fact we can see that when we read the whole verse. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. John is quite clear, God is love and there is no other source of love. If you are showing love it is because you are connected to God the originator of the love. You don’t have to experience much of life to realize that when people claim be the originator of love they mess it up. When people try to take credit for the love they deliver, they ruin it. It is only when we recognize that the love is not ours, and we are simply in the logistics business, taking the love from its source (God) to its destination (others), that we are able to deliver it correctly. And by the way…we have been employed to deliver it.
1 Peter 1:22 in the New Living Translation says You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. Essentially, this verse is telling us that when we accepted God’s free gift, making us righteous through the sacrifice of His Son’s death in our place, we became employed by God to deliver His love to others. When the truck driver delivers the load to the destination, that driver knows they did not make the product on board, but it is in their possession so they can get it where it needs to go. The love we have is not our own. It came from God and is in our possession only so we can deliver it where it is needed. Logistically speaking our job is to take sincere love (God’s love) to each other as brothers and sisters. And by the way, we have been tasked with emptying the truck at the dock. We are to love deeply with all of our heart.
In 1 John 3:18 we are given further delivery instructions. It says, Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Again we are being cautioned somewhat as we were before. There we instructed to make sure we were sincere. Here it says it again just in a different way. I guess it must be important if it is being reiterated. In this verse we are being warned not to deliver God’s love only in the form of words, but rather, it must be delivered with action. Would a delivery driver ever arrive at his destination, note to the receiver that the product was on board, and then simply drive away claiming the delivery had been made? Of course not! The driver has to open the truck doors, unload the truck, and then upon receipt of delivery, the driver proceeds to the next destination. John is saying that if we express love only with words the load has not been delivered. Love must be distributed by action, because love is always actionable. Love is not an emotion…fondness is an emotion. According to God’s word, every descriptor we have of agape love or Godly love is actionable. Love is a verb not a noun.
Another concern logistics drivers must keep in mind is that the load arrive in good condition. Sometimes those trucks I see on Route 81 are refrigerated. Those trucks are often delivering perishable items that must be kept at a certain temperature so that they are in good salable condition when they arrive at their destination. If the truck contains fruit but it has spoiled, it is still fruit but it is of no use because it is no longer desirable. God’s word speaks to us about that as well. When we are delivering God’s love where He has asked us to, if we aren’t careful we can let the load become ruined. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 cautions us to keep the love we carry in good condition so we don’t ruin it for the end user. If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. If we want God to find us useful to Him, we must make sure the load is delivered where it needs to be, on time…and in good condition.
So now that we know what the load is, where it needs to go, and the condition He is asking us to deliver it in, let’s take a look at the bill of lading to see the specifics of what is supposed to be on the truck and what isn’t. 1 Corinthians 4-7 continues with that information. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I would like to end by simply reading the entirety of the loading and delivery instructions that I began my thoughts today with an excerpt from. 1 John 4:7-21 says, Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.
So now, Employed by God in His logistics business, love, love, then show some more love so that when you have conveyed all the love He needs you to you can hear that you have been a good and faithful deliverer of His love…and go be awesome!