Loving and Living Outward
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
Verse 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
Today we come to the end of our series, I Love My Church. We have been learning what it means to love God as His Church, love His Church as He has commanded us, and live as His Church so that the world feels His love.
The world is in need of God and His love. Each year things seem more and more evil. Yet we know that God loves us and we know that in His love He must have a purpose in having us here. Have you ever wondered why God has us in this world when it is so evil? His plan is that we are to be His light in the darkness. Even a small flame will dispel the darkness close to itself. And the more flames in an area the brighter that area becomes.
So if darkness seems to be overwhelming in our world what does that say about us as the Church? We aren’t burning very brightly are we? To be living as the Church means to be the light in the darkness. God’s creation was made with perfection. Creation was made to work best in God’s way. When we are not living in His way we are living in opposition to His created purpose and that is what causes things to run amuck. When the Church isn’t living as we should – holy as He is holy – how can the world see the difference between the darkness they are living and the light of God’s ways?
So how do we shine light into the world around us? How can we illuminate the darkness around us? First we must make sure we are shining for Him. We must know that He loves us as His Church. We must love others in the Church, in fact this is one of the main ways we can shine in our community. But the greatest way to shine the light of Christ in our community is by loving the community around us. Not tolerating them but loving them.
Light cannot become like darkness to shine brighter. We don’t turn a lamp as low as possible to make the darkness flee. We have to be more like Christ, loving as He loved, to shine brighter in our world. We need to love as Christ loved and He loved in truth and sacrifice. For the Church to love as He did we must stand for truth and love sacrificially. How much are we willing to love, not just God and each other but the world?
Making It Personal
What is a way that you have shown love to the world? Do you love other Christians in a way that the world would take notice? What are you willing to sacrifice for those in the world to know Jesus?
Making It Personal Kids
How did Jesus show love to those around Him? How does Jesus want us to love others in the Church? How does Jesus want us to love the world?
Father, we thank You for loving us and calling us to be Your Church. Guide us in loving You, each other and the world around us. We love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.