Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Driven by Love

"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word and with tongue, but in deed and truth." I John 3:16-18

At first glance, the call to lay down our lives for others seems a bit absurd. Isn't that what Jesus did? Why do we have to do that as well?

I John is really the love book. I am looking forward someday to meeting John, because his gentle spirit and kind heart flows from every word he penned. I am sure he is a unique man. His book is not that long - it can easily be read in one sitting, but the overriding theme of love is unmistakable.

In the middle of chapter four he says this, "We love, because He first loved us."

With that one phrase, we get the answer to our questions above. When you truly understand the love that was shown to you through Jesus Christ, it is so all encompassing that can't help but be a loving person as well. The sanctification process (growing, maturing) produces love in the believer and this love is not based on warm fuzzies, but on the reality of the love we've already experienced.

At the moment, one of my responsibilities with our church plant is organizing the assimilation process - the path of taking a visitor into the church and leading them into a deeper relationship with Christ and the church. This process has many steps, with many volunteers and thankfully I have lots of help, but I am learning that assimilation is so much more than just moving people from one place to another. It's really about loving people enough to come alongside them and help them.

Why should the parking lot attendants and greeters be warm and friendly? Is it because they are trying to sucker people into feeling accepted and then maybe they'll come to the church?

Why should the nursery workers consider their responsibilities discipleship rather than baby-sitting?

Why bother with coffee and sweets? Are we trying to woo people through their tummies?

Why ask people to fill out friendship registers? Are we playing Big Brother?

The reason we do what we do in church needs to be love.

Harvest has a saying: You Are Loved. They use it a lot and it can be an empty saying if it is not backed up with actions. That's why you have greeters and treats and assimilation processes. The motivation is to be loving, to let people know that you care about them and want to encourage them in their walk with Christ. It is by this love that men will know that we have been loved by Jesus.

So, yes. We need to be willing to lay our lives down for others because of love. It's not something that should be hard to do, because as we grow in Christ, that love should be growing as well.

If you have time, give I John a read through today. It's worth it.


  1. Hello friend:) So blessed to have discovered your blog today. Thank you for your insight and open spirit. God's love has been ever present in our new life here and I am so thankful for it! Love to you and all the Wisen's!

  2. Oh, little doll! So glad to hear you are walking in His presence...such a comforting place to be, no matter what's happening in your life! Isn't the love of the body of Christ an amazing thing? So glad you stopped by. Give the boys a hug from me and a swig of Coke from Dave...

  3. I will give everyone a squeeze from you... Emmy would request U of M colored M&M's from Dave:) Forgot to mention congratulations on the new twins coming to your family. God is TRULY awesome!!!

  4. So many see the assimilation process as just a coy process to get people in the doors than start asking for money... I wish more could see the true love through us as Jesus ment it to be. So many skeptics in todays world, its hard to break through. I think trust is another factor that keeps people out of church. They have build walls around them to prevent being hurt.

  5. I must be willing to come to a place in my own walk with the Lord that says I am going to keep on doing what is right no matter how people treat me. I'm going to keep on loving and by Gods grace alone keep reaching out to people. I have found in my own life that its to easy to build up walls but what good does that do me its a very lonely place and not to mention not much light gets in. I have decided it is a risk worth taking to love much realizing that my life is not my own. It is true that people will let you down even your Christian friends who should "know better". I must never put my focus on people and how they are or are not meeting my needs. For me I will choose to esteem others as better than myself and to discover what it means to die daily and to truly loose my life for Gods glory to shine through this broken vessel. For I must decrees so he can be magnified in my life. This is no easy task as my own pride likes to get its flesh stroked all to often. I know that God will teach me his ways as I daily submit to him,keeping his word hidden in my heart

  6. I think the key word in your comment, Abigail, is "daily." To daily submit means that it is at the forefront of your mind - you are purposefully setting your mind on the things above, willfully, daily choosing to submit to Him...