Centrality of Love

Here at the Grace Place our stated purpose is to Love God and Love Others To God. It is the core of what we strive to be. It is, I believe, what God desires of us, His Church.

To love God is expressed in our worship of Him. This of course encompasses much! Within the context of the church we often narrowly define worship as the worship service, and more specifically, singing. This last Sunday I spoke from Matthew 5:17-26. Verses 23-24 stood out to me the most.

Jesus is teaching here that if you are coming before Him in worship (offering your gift at the altar) and remember a conflict that you have with someone, to go and take care of that first, and then return to offer your gift of worship. God is not interested in our love for Him if we do not have love for others. How many times have we stood in church "worshipping" when we knew we were having problems with someone? Is that really worship? Jesus would say, no.

John makes it very clear in 1 John 4:20-21. If we say we "love God" and yet hate our brother, we are a liar. How can that be worship?

An important truth that has been rumbling around in my mind lately, one that I actually began thinking on after watching Rob Bell's new Nooma video, "Rhythm", is...the way we love others is the way we love God. I haven't always thought that way. I hope more will begin to.

Love is central. Love is central in our relationship to God, and it means much more than loving God alone, it involves how we love each other.

Let us strive to make the Church more focused on truly loving God and loving others...the two cannot be separated.

3 comments:

Greg Wygle said...

I Jn 4:16-19
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
(NIV)

Tim said...

Unconditional love is one of the core values on which I base ministry. It is what Jesus' modeled and what people need. It's hard sometimes, but if Christ can love me then I can love anyone He brings my way.

Brian Eberly said...

Agree Tim. How dare us say to God that we love Him and then not show love to the very person He created in His image.

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