The Love of God for Each Other

It doesn’t matter how much you know, or how many skills you possess, if you are not loving with the love that comes from God you are misrepresenting Jesus.

Though St Paul was writing specifically about spiritual gifts and their misuse, this truth really applies to everything.

The recent “#loveislove” movement (if you can call it a movement) is wrong. There is more than one kind of love. The love of God is different to the loves that we naturally develop in this world. In the 1st century Greek of the New Testament (of the Christian Bible), “Agape” is the word used specifically to describe God’s love for us.

But it has a second use – to describe the love we have for others, because we have received this love from God. We can’t give it until we have received it, yet even once we’ve received it we have to keep practicing it.

You know that we have the choice to love or not love in everyday ways. People fall in love, but then get careless in love, and often end up no longer loving. Even once we’ve received this “agape” love from God, we can be careless and not love others this way.

Jesus told his closest followers that the world would know they are his disciples by the agape love they show for each other. This is meant to be our distinguishing mark; agape love for God and each other, and of course faith (trust) in Jesus.

People haven’t always had good experiences in churches. Some have been spiritually, emotionally and even physically hurt. Others have just been bored out of their wits. Others have been led down the garden path by wrong teaching.

These things aren’t God’s fault; they demonstrate the human ability to mess up even the best things. But God has supplied everything to make it possible to get it much better than that.

Imagine if we could have down to earth, relevant, solid teaching in church, as we become truly more like Jesus in loving God and each other in this way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful! That is our hope and our goal.

As we get horrifyingly close to the end of another year, this is my hope and prayer – that we will see the life of Jesus bursting forth in people in our church. If you’re already one of us, I pray that will be you. If you’d join us to check it out, I pray it will be you too.

God’s blessings to you this October – Rev Wayne

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