Scanning the radio is not something I’m totally familiar with.
I typically don’t listen to the radio because being alone in the car is prime time to feed my thirsty heart. Therefore I primarily listen to sermons or music on my phone, or do nothing but pray in silence.
But driving home from Murray on Saturday night was different. I started scanning the radio and stopped on a station playing a song that had just started, one with a driving bass line and a super catchy beat. Before I knew it I was tapping the steering wheel (probably not in rhythm, since I have none) and nodding along.
Then I started really listening to the words. What is this song really saying? I thought to myself.
If you keep reading, we’ll get to the song in a moment. Until then we’re going to take a detour that won’t make sense at first, but stay with me.
What is the definition of sermon?
Sermon = a talk on a religious or moral subject, especially one given during a church service and based on a passage from the Bible
a long or tedious piece of admonition or reproof; a lecture
homily, address, speech, talk, discourse, oration; lesson
What is the definition of moral?
Moral = concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character
Based on the above definitions, are sermons only something you hear in church on Sundays?
Without a lot of detail, it’s pretty clear to see that sermons don’t have to be just addresses given from a church pulpit. There are plenty of other “sermons”: lectures in a classroom, a politician’s speech, or even music.
Music? Yes, music.
Songs are sermons put to melody.
What kind of sermons are you listening to?
What is getting into your heads and hearts through melody?
Is it taking you closer to Christ or further away from Him?
The song from the radio on Saturday night was One Republic’s Love Runs Out. Take a listen.
What is this song saying?
What is the main message?
When will the love run out?
I tried to research what the main message of the song was from the writer’s perspective, but found nothing. It’s my opinion that the song could mean two things. One, it could mean that this dude will love his girl ’til the love runs out, which might mean eternally.
But that’s not the impression I got when I heard it Saturday night.
My first impression was this was a song that described the reason 50 percent of today’s marriages end in divorce.
“Love”, the cheap, plastic love of today’s time will run out. It’s shifty and flimsy, based on eyes and emotions only.
What do I mean by that?
Eyes—only what you see. Visual attraction and appeal. How they will make you look. It could go even deeper into lust.
Emotions—only what you feel. As long as the feelings of giddiness, happiness, satisfaction and desire are there then you’ll love that person.
But when that’s gone, when that person doesn’t entertain you or “do something” for you anymore, you’re gone.
We see this played out in movies all. the. time.
The guy confesses his love for the girl (or vice versa) and things are going great, but after the honeymoon stage is over (and you don’t have to have a wedding to have a honeymoon stage) and the person does something the other doesn’t like or the fleeting feelings of pleasure leave, a breakup comes. “This relationship just isn’t doing anything for me anymore.” “I’m just not feeling it anymore.” “We’re different people now. I just don’t look at you the same way anymore.”
What happened? The “love” ran out.
But is that real love?
Real love will never run out.
Real love is infinite.
Real love is found only one place.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
The source of love is the Person of love.
Why does real love never run out? Because God is love and God is infinite.
This love is demonstrated how?
Zoom out to the context of 1 John 4.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:7-10)
To see real love, look no further than the cross of Christ.
Propitiation = A sacrifice to put away wrath
For an accurate description of propitiation, check out Leviticus 16 and be amazed at the crystal clear illustration of the burnt offering, where the innocent goat is killed—demonstrating the righteous wrath of a holy God toward iniquity—and the sin offering, which is the scapegoat who takes the people’s sins out into the wilderness never to be seen again.
This is the Gospel. It was a foreshadowing and explanation of Christ’s propitiation for us.
God’s love is a gift, one not initiated by us (1 John 4:10), and He never says to us, “I’ll love you until the love runs out.”
“I’ll love you until you do something that disappoints Me.”
“I’ll love you until…”
No. God sets His love on His children because Christ swallowed His wrath on the cross. That’s the only way a holy God could love unholy sinners.
Be careful with what sermons and moral lessons are seeping into your heart and mind, especially the ones with a catchy melody.
May we be saturated with truth and cling to the One who loves us infinitely and gives us an infinite well from which to draw infinite love and grace to dispense to others as He has given to us.