Friday, September 03, 2010

Love - The Mark of a Christian Community

Jesus said that people will know we are disciples if we have love for one another. And that can be a problem. Because “love” is one messed up word, let me tell you!

Most often in our culture “love” means “like a great deal.” I love pizza. I love my car. I am in love with a girl. If you ponder this way of looking at “love” for a moment, you will see that it basically has to do with me. It means that something makes me feel good. Pizza. My car. The girl I’ve started dating. Why do I love them? Because they make me feel so good!

Imagine trying to build a community (or family, or marriage, for that matter) on everything making me feel good. It may sound attractive, but so does being able to fly through the air just by thinking hard enough… and both are equally as likely.

Lucky for us, our feelings are not what Jesus is talking about when he says “love for one another” will be an observable mark of his disciples.

Imagine a community where people are patient and kind? Where people aren’t envious, boastful, rude or arrogant? Where people don’t insist on their own way? Where nobody is irritable or resentful? Where people believe in you, don’t keep a record of wrongs, and bear with you? That would be an awesome place! I am smiling just thinking about it.

A place like that would be a place where people have decided to treat each other well, sometimes in direct opposition to how they are feeling. That would a place where love, as the Bible talks about it, is the driving force and have I got some good news for you! That is exactly the place God wants the church to be. God wants our church to be an awesome place to be!

Beginning September 12, 2010, we are going to take five Sundays to talk about the over 60 references in the New Testament to how we can treat each other well. We are also going to have 5-week small groups with materials that follow this series. These are going to excellent groups to be in and I strongly encourage you to commit now to be in one when we organize them. We are even going to take a crack at a virtual group because some people who want to be involved have a travel schedule that takes them out of town regularly right now.

When I look around Journey of Life, I already see this kind of love in practice. Journey of Life is an awesome place to be. I am excited to celebrate the love we share, study what the Bible teaches about how to treat each other well, and grow in being able to display the love that marks us as followers of Jesus Christ.

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