“A Love Relationship”
“All who love me will do what I say, and my Father will love them; and we will come am make our home with each of them.”
This month we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a time when we let those we love know how much we do; how much we appreciate them. We buy them gifts to commemorate the love we share with them. We say things like, “I just don’t know what I’d do without you.” It’s a time for romance… After all, what more powerful words can we hear but, “I love you” from someone we love?
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a love relationship as well. Oh there are many people who never think of it in this way. Most “religious” people never think of whether they love God, or Jesus Christ. They are usually busy thinking about how to go to him when they’re in trouble; when they need Him to do something for them; when they are in a desperate situation and there is no help but God! The wonderful thing is that, in all these situations and more, God is there for us without fail! But the question remains…. Do we love Him?
I’ve been reflecting a lot on my ministry through the years. I have been pastoring for over 25 years now. I’ve seen lots of things happen in the lives of thousands of people. Some bad; mostly good. I’ve seen many kinds of “Christians” through the years as well. Oh, I’m not talking about Christians distinguished by denomination, theology, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Basically, all the Christians I have encountered can be divided into just two camps – that’s right, JUST TWO. Jesus makes that division in this passage. There are those who love Him and those who don’t.
It’s because of this very simple and powerful distinction, that I preach and teach the way I do. It’s the foundation of the nature of the ministry of Lighthouse Tabernacle Church. You see, I am operating “under orders”. My mission is to grow a people to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds and strength; and to love their neighbors as they love themselves. Remember the two GREAT COMMANDMENTS?
During the last five years of the ministry (at least) God has directed me to focus on helping you “press in” in your relationship to God; to challenge you to spiritual maturity; to become more and more Christ-like. It is in obedience to this mandate from the Father that I preach and teach as I do. To some, I’m sure they feel like they are never “good enough” and will never measure up. Nothing could be further from my intention. I know the devil fills our minds with that “stinking thinking” and we need to dismiss it immediately. My mission is to inspire fanatical lovers of God! While it’s not about our performance; Jesus makes a very direct connection between how much we love Him and what we DO! We know He loves us – with an everlasting love. But, do we really love HIM?
There are lots of topics I could preach and teach on each Sunday morning. I know you’ll receive a blessing by them, too! But my concern is always whether I have inspired you to love Him more deeply, not just be blessed by coming to church to hear a sermon. I guess if I chose to preach what’s popularly preached out there, many may prefer it; but I would feel as if I were disobeying God by not preaching what He leads me to. Why? I love Him. I love Him with all my heart. So, I’ll do what He commands me to do, to the best of my ability. How can we go wrong staying on that course? This month, let’s endeavor to tell God how much we love Him – not by our words, but our actions as well.
May the Lord bless you mightily as you pursue His heart!
Our Love In Christ,
Pastors Damian and Marian