|Saturday, Jan. 11, 2003 || And they will know...|
God's grace and kindness to me never ceases to amaze me!
A few hours after I posted yesterday, I went down to my treadmill to knock out some miles toward my weekly goal. I like to read while I walk, and I have been going through Carol Cymbala's book, He's Been Faithful. (For those who don't know, she is the director and founder of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.)
As the minutes and distance ticked by, the following words jumped off the page:
"There is one great command in the Bible. It is not a command to have a big church, a great choir, or a successful preaching ministry. God commands us to love."
Love. It's that simple. He wants us to love. Love Him and love others.
I realize now that I have been looking for a "magical" formula for our church to grow in numbers. There are so many programs and plans. Community outreach events. Servant evangelism. Prayer meetings. Small groups. Flyers on doors. Mailouts. Concerts. Phone banks. Book upon book, seminar after seminar touting the way to grow a church.
And all along, God has been whispering:
"Nicole, it's all about love."
Love. Such a simple word, but the very one that best describes Who God is. In that one word is encompassed every other attribute. It is the very essence of Who he is.
God is love.
Carol goes on to say, "Since showing love is not always glamorous and may not bring us recognition, its value often goes unappreciated. Yet if love is not the source of everything we do, the results will not please God. In First Corinthians, Paul says, “And now I will show you the most excellent way! If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” Truly, as Paul tells us, love is the most excellent way. It is the great standard by which God will evaluate our lives.… Though our selfish efforts might bring us the praise we desire on earth, God knows our hearts and without His love we have surely “gained nothing.””
God honors love. He knows our motives, and if they are selfish, if they are not of love, they are meaningless.
And so now, instead of asking God to grow our church numerically, I am asking that He teach me to love Him more and love others in a practical way. I am asking Him to teach our church to love Him more and love others in a practical way.
And they will know we are Christians by our love…
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007