Greetings! Today I will be of service to the Merritt Church family. This small but vibrant congregation has a special community services ministry that is recognized and much appreciated in this city. More than 90% of the members are involved in that ministry – team work for the Lord! Also, they recently completed a full renovation of their church and it will be my first visit to them after that “faith project.” The members worked together with Pastor Thandazani and they are exuberant with the result of that team approach. Please keep the Merritt Church family in your prayers!
I have previously shared with you some thoughts about faith and hope as mentioned in 1 Cor. 13. Today I will introduce love, the most important component of that chapter. Love is converting into a shallow “feeling” in nowadays. People speak about “loving” anything that they seem to appreciate. However, love is much deeper and powerful than that because it the foundation of God’s character. Love is the full expression of Who He is (I John 4:8). The Bible presents examples of strong and genuine love: Jacob’s love for Rachel – he “worked for her” for 14 years (total) which were like days because he loved her so much (Gen. 29:20). When grieving the death of his wonderful friend, David expressed that Jonathan’s love for him was stronger than the love of women (2 Samuel 1:26). How about Ruth’s love for Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17) and many other Bible examples? Peter adds that “love covers a multitude of sins.” (I Peter 4:8 NASV) The power of love is amazing!
However, when we consider these remarkable human expressions of love, they become meaningless when compared to God’s love for His children. (John 3:16) No wonder Paul describes that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” (1 Cor. 13:4-8 NIV) Yes, love is sacrificial, selfless, giving, trusting, faithful, humble, honorable, patient, protective, perseverant… .
God’s love is fully manifested in/through Christ. Jesus came as a humble and innocent child. He was born in a manger and grew up in a poor little village while He could be receiving honor, reverence, and love from the heavenly angelic host! He was ignored even by His own earthly brothers and despised by those whom He came to save. He was rejected by His own people (John 1:11) and died the most humiliating death while we were still His enemies (Rom. 5:10) — all because of His love for you and me! Yes, that is why Paul concludes that love is the greatest gift. (1 Cor. 13:13) Then, let’s rejoice in Christ – God’s gracious gift to us!
Please find below the link for the beautiful stewardship testimony for this weekend, Dec 15: https://vimeo.com/306063644
Faithfulness to God is an act of love for Him!
In His Service,
Wesley Torres, D.Min.