I do some marriage counseling, and I am sold on pre-marital counseling. But I am sick of a certain answer I get from some of the people I talk to. The question is asked, "why did you marry this person" or "why do you want to marry this person?" And they respond, because we love each other.
Why does that make me sick? It is because most people don't really know what love is. Love is not something that is here today and gone tomorrow. Love is not something that we feel now but don't feel later. Love is actually, in the most true sense of the word, an unconditional choice to serve and care for another person with no thought of what you will get in return. What do you think of that definition?
Greatest illustration of that love is ... JESUS. He died for us. No strings attached. We don't have to climb a ladder to get to god, or do good deeds, or dress in the right clothes. All we have to do is acknowledge God's best and His love for us.
Romans 5:8 (nlt) --- But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
We didn't deserve God's love, and we still don't deserve it. Yet He loves us. He calls us to love others as a display of God's love for us.
John 13:34-35 (nlt) --- So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
I long for the day and pray for the day when people look at The Community Fellowship say, "look how those people really love." For the world, people who don't go to church or don't know Jesus, to say that would be a huge plus in our community for bringing them and others closer to God. It is God's call on our church and on our lives ... to demonstrate the love of God to our community.
Yet far too often the church is a place where, at times, people don't feel loved or don't see love expressed (whether inside or outside the walls of the church). That has to change.
Craig Groeschel in his ONE PRAYER message, Lord, Make Us One, talked about the fact that love unifies the people of God around God. 1 John 4:18 tells us that God's kind of love kicks fear and division out of our lives and out of God's church. What happens when God's people understand what it is to really love each other and to love people who need God?
Acts 4:32 (nlt) --- All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.
I pray that our church will come to know and live and that your church will live in that kind of love. I pray people will look at us and say, "those people really love."